Software Review:
EuroTalk Interactive Language Software

Talk Now! CD-ROMs for Beginners $44.99
World Talk Intermediate Level CD-ROMS $44.99
Talk Now! + World Talk Bundle $69.98
Advanced Language on DVD-ROM $49.99
Vocabulary Builder CD-ROMs for ages 3-10 $29.99
Learning with Asterix Comics-based CD-ROMs $49.99
EuroTalk Interactive

EuroTalk Interactive is a British-based company that offers CD-ROM and DVD-ROM-based instruction for over 70 different languages. Four series of programs target different audiences: beginners, intermediate speakers, advanced speakers and children. A Learning with Asterix series, featuring the irrepressible French comic book character, is also available.

Talk Now! is a series for absolute beginners, designed to teach the basics of a language quickly. There are currently 71 languages available in the Talk Now! series ranging from Afrikaans to Zulu. New offerings include Slovak and Farsi. There’s even Latin for Harry Potter fans.

Talk Now! teaches vocabulary and phrases in categories such as food, time and shopping, which make it appropriate for travelers. It’s easy to record and compare your pronunciation to the male and female native speaker. Quizzes and a memory game check your comprehension, and progress can be monitored from session to session. A printable picture dictionary is a thoughtful touch. The series is perfect for a quick language orientation or refresher.

World Talk CD-ROMs are for intermediate speakers and are designed to improve your listening and speaking skills. Available in 27 languages from Arabic to Welsh, this series includes ten language games, a recording studio in which you take the part of an actor and record yourself, six speed-adjustable stories for practice in dictation and comprehension, a quiz game for one or two players and printable worksheets.

The Advanced Language on DVD-ROM employs an innovative concept – you get to take a role in an episode from an actual television show, replacing the voice of a chosen character as the video plays. This turns out to be great fun, and gives excellent real-world language practice. Practice sessions and tests are based on the show and cover vocabulary, missing words, next line prediction and spelling practice. A dictionary and word search are illustrated by film stills from the show, and both allow words to be heard in context. This series requires a DVD-ROM player and is available in French, German, Spanish, Italian and English. The English television show is an episode of Inspector Morse, a favorite British detective series.

Vocabulary Builder CD-ROMs are aimed at children aged from 3-10 and are currently available in 29 languages. These CD-ROMs use a multimedia flash card approach with color illustrations. Vocabulary is introduced in categories, then quizzed in nine different games. Children can record “cartoons” and play them back in a virtual cinema.

The Learning with Asterix series comes in two-disk sets. Asterix comics are hilarious and irreverant and should appeal especially to teens and adults with an offbeat sense of humor.

Programs come in a slim, easliy stored folder the size of a commercial DVD package. All the EuroTalk programs have a clean, appealing design and use photographs to illustrate vocabulary. Programs run from the CD-ROM, do not require installation, and are compatible with OS 7 to 9.2.1. CD-ROMs are also compatible with Windows 95/98/NT/2000. The DVDs require a G3 or G4 and OS 8.6 or above, or Windows 98/2000 .

Eurotalk Interactive offers free international shipping for orders placed through their website, and all products carry a money-back guarantee.

– Elsa Travisano

Copyright ©2001 by Elsa Travisano. This article originally appeared in the December, 2001 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.