I still have my old collection. I liked the series, so I decided to buy a new one for the first time over 15 years. The series has changed A LOT. Besides being more expensive, it also seems to contain less content.

I never did like the method that most learning materials use, where they just throw sentences at you and expect you to figure out the grammar on your own. I prefer to have things explained to me. I also like books that give a detailed description of how to pronounce the language (assuming that pronunciation can be determined from spelling with any reliability, of course).

What the series is now is nothing like the series I knew. I would like to find a new series that's more akin to what Living Language used to be long ago.

  • It would be helpful if you provided pictures and/or a more detailed description of your collection. For example, the Table of Contents and some example pages you want more of.
    – AML
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 13:46
  • The books are rather small and came in sets of two. One a grammar and lesson book, the other a dictionary. The books always began with detailing pronunciation, followed by a chapter listing greetings and other social words. After that though, the book went in order explaining the grammar in detail. Each chapter was based on a new grammar concept, though sometimes it would just talk about a new declination. The back of the books also summarize everything in a reference grammar. The very last pages of my books detail how to write letters and put addresses on envelopes. Yeah, they're very old.
    – user3892
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 16:29
  • Are you familiar with Assimil? If so, do you like it, or is that the opposite of what you like?
    – AML
    Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 13:00

1 Answer 1


Professor Alexander Arguelles did thorough video reviews of many different language learning series about 10 years ago, which I think you will find instructive. Here are links to each review video:

I don't know what language(s) you are looking for, but from what I can tell the most similar to what you want would be older (from the 1950s and '60s) versions of Teach Yourself. As a side note, the professor thinks that materials from the 1960s are the most substantive and that most materials have become watered down since then. But in terms of new series, which is what you asked for, you would probably be into Assimil, Linguaphone, Colloquial, or Teach Yourself. Hopefully your local library carries these so that you can check them out before buying.

  • On his 'living language' video, the second series he showed is the one I have. I also have one book from the next series. Never really read that far into it though. The second series that he claims is form the nineties is the one I like and want more of.
    – user3892
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 4:23

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