Thanks for the hints of Italian books. I'll make sure I get the first one so that I can start speaking a language I understand well but can barely speak now...
"Your library is probably more interesting than mine."
I thought that before you started sharing what you have been using...Anyway, it is good to confront our experiences with other people so that everybody can have an idea of which material is available.
"I know that we have studied many of the same languages (including ones I didn't mention.) I like speciality texts (legal, medical, hospitality, business) in addition to these: "
In my case I try to read about all subjects so that I can translate any document that is given to me. However, I had to turn down a financial-related translation these days. I guess one can't be good in all fields.
"I ALWAYS ask for discounts on language materials and usually get them.
If I can't talk to someone and talk them into a discount, I'll use e-bay, alibris, or another source. "
I wish this strategy worked in Japan. Well, at least in the places where I know I can find ALMOST everything I want: Kinokuniya in Umeda or Junkudo bookstore. Everytime I go there the smell of knowledge knocks me down :D
"Vocabulary building (easy way): Vocabulearn (many languages) by Penton Overseas. (over 7,500 words recordings and booklets)
Vintage books with new printings: Cortina Greek (with recordings)
Colloquial (wonderful, but it's according to the title) by Routledge.
Good: Romanian (1995) Dennis Deletant with recording, Croatian and Serbian (Celia Hawkesworth (I think)-older edition with recording "
That's what I like in materials,i.e, tapes so that someone like me, who studies mostly by myself, can check out my progress.
"I've heard that the Penguin Russian is good. I saw it recently, but I have similar-looking texts and vintage texts."
Never heard of those since I studied Russian only with NHK books and the later with the "Express" series by Hakusuisha (In Japanese). Before I realized it was mental suicide to study 5 languages at the same time (Now I'm only trying to learn Chinese, French and Dutch) on the train I use to study with a book called "Russian in exercises", which I "forgot" to return to a Russian teacher I met...By the way, I started learning Chinese with the "Colloquial Chinese" course!!
"Did you start a thread on this before? "
I guess I did and I really think we shouls start again because instead of arguing about languages I prefer to argue about HOW to learn them. I hate politics and discussing about "taste". After all, nobody will have the same opinion about a certain language or dialect.
"One thing I can't find is a really good set of books and recordings in Mandarin. Pimsleur is good for the spoken part, but I don't want to get a book with a bunch of pinyin. I know a little Mandarin, but I'd start from the beginning anyway. Any suggestions? You know my "working languages", so any suggestions in those languages would be welcome."
Well, I also started Chinese with the NHK courses then moved on to some books in Japanese but never really passed the basics so I decided to buy some good books in China from Peking University Press. Right now I'm studying with "Intermediate Chinese Listening Course" and also read through "Standard Chinese Course" (This is for beginners), which has 2 cd roms and lots of vocabulary and grammar. In order to improve my listening skills I also have used "Chinese Pod", which has dialogues in several levels. I will be checking my Chinese books and will let you know if I have anything else interesting.
"By the way, I read recently that there was a shortage of Russian/Japanese translators, and I thought about how you said that you were hired for your skills in German. Sounds like you made a wise choice. "
Really? Then we have to get some nice jobs for using Japanese (If you already don't have one) and I'm also feeling motivated for studying Russian again.But I'm really glad that German was the second foreign language I studied after English because it can still open doors in the future if I go back to Brazil.
p.s I don't like Pimsleurs books very much because it'S always an AMERICAN man talking to a female speaker of whichever language we might be learning...;)