Item description for A Grammar of Afrikaans (Mouton Grammar Library, No. 8) (Mouton Grammar Library) by Bruce C. Donaldson...
A Grammar of Afrikaans (Mouton Grammar Library, No. 8) (Mouton Grammar Library) by Bruce C. Donaldson
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.7" Width: 6.4" Height: 1.1" Weight: 2.1 lbs.
Publisher Walter de Gruyter
ISBN 3110134268 ISBN13 9783110134261
Availability 129 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 27, 2017 06:50.
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Reviews - What do customers think about A Grammar of Afrikaans (Mouton Grammar Library, No. 8) (Mouton Grammar Library)?
very good and useful grammar Dec 23, 2007
The fact that Afrikaans is not one of the leading languages of the world nor (let's be sincere) one of the greatest or most important tongues even in Africa cannot be an excuse to criticize this grammar only because of its price. It's a pity that the only reviewer on the book does not devote a sole line to deal on the contents of this book but only devotes himself to criticize the format and the appearance of this book. Even if it is true that the book is very dense and sometimes hard to read (this is why I rated it with only foru stars) we sholuld devote first our review to the contents of the book as these are what can make us purchase it or not. Let's make clear firstly that this is a GRAMMAR BOOK not a roman or a course book using modern pedagogy, not nice jackets, nor pictures or drawings, nor useful sentences. The probelm is that many people have a wrong idea of what a grammar should be. Grammar books are reference material, not to be read as novels, not to be worked on as course books. Grammars are neither books to learn a language with, they can help during learning process (to explain tricky or complex points), but nobody should use a grammar book (at least such a grammar like this) to learn to speak, read, write or understand a langauage, because it will not help. It is true that some people have learned something of a new language (albeit with a lot of effort, constant work and through dedication) with a grammar and a dictionary, but for most people this is a very tedious, dull and hard work completely different from what must language learning be, a challenging, interesting and highly motivating process with can only be achieved using appropiate materials. Grammar books can be boring, dull, dense, hard and complex, specially if somebody tries to read them as a story book or a novel. Grammar explain how a language works, not how to work with the language, chapters tend to devote itself to single grammatical points (noun declension, verb conjugation, pronouns, subordinate sentences,...) which tend to deter the layman from reading (specially by the use of complex grammatical terminology).
So what are the strong points of this grammar? As a linguist and language teacher (I teach Arabic) I found the grammatical explanations really clear, complete and informative (even the first chapters on phonetics, phonology and spelling), there are a lot of examples, illustrative sentences and idioms, some texts, and even a final chapter on greetings, swearings and other expressions. I found in it an explanation to many grammatical points I wanted to understand more deeply while learning the language, specially on verb conjugation and the usage of prepositions, I think that maybe the chapter on word formation (ch. 15) could be a bit larger with more examples, but many of the derivational processes appear also in other parts of the book. As I stated previously the dense format can be the negative side of this book, but I really don't think it must deter someone from using this book, specially if we consider that this is the sole modern gramamr of Afrikaans which is complete and readily available outside South Africa.
There are many good books to learn to speak Afrikaans (on the Teach Yourself and Routledge Colloquial series for example), but this grammar is a must for advanced students or for those who need to investigate on the grammatical structure of Afrikaans.
USELESS at that price Dec 14, 2007
I suspect there must be a joke somewhere here . No books, no matter how good or dreadful it is, can justify such a price . Specially NOT a grammar of a language that is way from being one of the most wdely spoken in the world... I mean REALLY .. let s get serious. I have been able to browse through that grammar in a Library and between you and I, it is not even worth 20 bucks. or , well, may be yes for the leather binding.. but certainly NOT for its content
I ve seldom seen anything so dull, so grey, so boring to use and ghastly to read. The only value I did find in that book what its ability to put me to sleep,, serious.. i ended up almost snoring inside the library just after reading 4 pages.. how embarrassing really ...
If you do need a GREAT Afrikaans grammar, there is one which is fabulously well done by beryl Lutrin. It is called. Afrikaans handbook and study guide. isbn 978-0-620-32584-4 Top class reference book, 120 pages, A4 format, in colours to make things easier to understand and.. on top of that. it is truely affordable. I paid mine in British pounds, so, not sure about the conversion rate in US dollars, sorry