UPDATE: Bueno Entonces is no longer available.
I’ve been curious about Bueno, entonces for a while – I’d heard good things about this new breed of Spanish course and had enjoyed their free You Tube Karaoke videos – so when the opportunity to get hold of a review copy of their entire course came along, I was more than happy to take a look.
Bueno, entonces is a unique way to learn Spanish. It’s an audio/video course where you learn alongside David, a cheeky Brit, who has travelled to Buenos Aires to learn the language with Jimena, his attractive teacher who he can’t stop hitting on. The soap opera storyline is a great idea and keeps you wanting to continue – it can be quite rude and is often laugh-out-loud funny – and the languague used is refreshing as you learn how Spanish is actually spoken, complete with modern slang and and vocabularly that you’ll really need.
As well as the dialogue, the videos feature entertaining animations of the couple, visual aids and subtitles in both Spanish and English. This is really useful, as you learn to read as well as understand the language – an area most audio-only courses fall down on.
One of the most unique aspects of the course is the colour coded symbols used to make you aware of which grammar form the words are – for example, which verb (and which tense), noun (masculine or feminine) or adjective, etc. This can be incredibly helpful in the early stages, especially for those who are bewildered by grammar.
Despite my curiosity, as an upper intermediate student of Spanish I didn’t think the course would have much to offer me, but I actually learnt lots of new vocuabularly, clarified some grammar points and, frankly, it was so much fun that I was simply hooked.
Who is this for?
If you are a beginner Spanish student and will be visiting Argentina or Latin America then this course is perfect. If you are more of an intermediate level the first lessons will be a bit easy for you but you will learn more later on. If you learnt Spanish in the past but are rusty then this course would be great revision.
Comparison to other audio courses
The only other audio course I’ve used for learning Spanish is Pimsleur which, although useful, is not nearly as good an option. Bueno, entonces is far cheaper; uses much more modern, relevant vocabulary; moves at a faster pace; teaches you to read as well as listen; and gives you a much better understanding of grammar and pronunciation rules.
- Bueno, entonces is a fun and entertaining way to learn Spanish. The storyline keeps you hooked and motivates you to continue the course.
- The use of natural, modern, relevant language that you actually need to know.
- The grammar and pronunciation sections are very well explained and easy to understand.
- The symbol system is great for beginners.
- You read as you listen so you learn what the language looks and sounds like.
- The lessons are broken up with faster paced new vocabulary sections so you can learn at whichever pace suits you.
- You can use the course on your video iPod or iPhone so you can study on the go.
- You learn about Buenos Aires culture and slang.
- The language spoken is very Argentine and quite particular to Buenos Aires. Vos is used rather than tu (although tu is also shown in grammar conjugations), and you’ll hear the ‘sh’ accent distinctive to this area. This doesn’t mean you can’t use the course for visiting other countries (they’ll understand you), but you’ll need to be aware of the differences unless you want to sound like an Argentine.
- The course is a great start that will get you communicating but it doesn’t move beyond the present and future tenses, and there’s no higher level to move on to (yet).
- David uses a lot of English which I feel is a bit of a waste of time, although it is probably necessary for the storyline. Jimena always speaks in Spanish though. Obviously he speaks more Spanish as the course progresses and he becomes comfortable conversing (as do you!).
- The files are very large to download and without fast broadband it takes a long time. This may have just been a problem for us as we’re in Bolivia though!
30 lessons of 30-40 minutes each divided into five weeks: five days of lessons plus a revision class that tests you on what you learnt that week. You have a choice of video or audio only versions.
A number of PDFs are also included: support material and exercises for each class; a key for the symbol system; a list of Argentine slang; and insults and pickup lines from across Latin America.
Where can I get a copy?
The Bueno, entonces course is available as DVDs or instant download from the General Linguistics site. It costs $147 which is a bargain compared to taking a class or audio courses like Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone that cost much more.
If you still aren’t sure about whether this course would be useful, then you can try it out risk free because they offer a 100% money back guarantee for the first 90 days. If you don’t love it you can get your money back!
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