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French For Dummies Paperback – Dec 15 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (Dec 15 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764551930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764551932
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 18.8 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #232,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Abdullah Z Jefri on Nov. 17 2001
Format: Paperback
I have come to the conclusion that one can NOT learn french without attending the old-fashion French class-room based seminars! I tried books, audio-cassettes, and interactive PC softwares yet I made no progress! But once I started attending the classes, all the books and cassettes I had helped me to advance at a rate faster than all my class-peers!
Having that in mind, this book is a good book to read once you start a French course. It's comprehensive on the basic concepts and it's fun to read as well. It will give you some tips that your French instructor might miss or overlook. It will also enhance your vocabulary.
The CD however is quite disappointing! It pronounces the alphabet, which is good. But only few of the conversations are available on the CD. I think that if they had the pronounciations of various words available as well then it would've been much more helpful.
If you're expecting to learn French by reading a funny book or by listening to cassettes while driving, then get real! Learning a new language is a difficult task. Don't expect that a book or a cassette will make it any easier.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Evan on March 30 2000
Format: Paperback
There's about 50 pages worth of material in this 350 page book. You're better off buying a pocket guide. In fact, I have a tiny French phrase book from Oxford that contains more info and fits nicely in my pocket. They must have rushed this book to market pretty quickly. The CD doesn't contain the audio from the last chapter (sloppy), I've discovered misspellings (sloppy), and there are strange blue ink blobs throughout the book (sloppy). The dictionary in the back is the pits. Despite my criticism, it's not a terrible book. The audio CD is clear and helpful. But there are better values out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25 2000
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book in a Hongkong bookshop because it was the only choice and I am sorry that I did. The authors say that they want to teach essential communication skills, but their text is basically a phrase book that teaches a large number of one-liners. It is deficient in the progressive, building block approach that is so essential to language learning. Moreover, the book often digresses into too much cultural and travel information. For example, we are told how to read temperatures in Celsius, where to find a nightclub, and the advantages of buying a museum pass. Fine, but I bought the book because I wanted to study French. There are also more than a few pesky typographical mistakes and instances where the dialogue on the CD doesn't exactly agree with what is written in the text. A neophyte learning French has enough to deal with without having to figure out what the authors are trying to say. Finally, the book tries to be too cute in de-mystifying language learning and is constantly talking down to its readers. (They waste a total of six pages on cartoons written in English that make fun of studying French.) A book with a name like 'French for Dummies' should try to exceed expectations. Unfortunately, this book tends to live up to its title.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dave on Feb. 22 2000
Format: Paperback
Like an pre-adolescent, FRENCH FOR DUMMIES can't make up its mind what it wants to be when it grows up. It wants to be more than phrase book, but it (by its own admission) it does not want to be a text book. In the end, it falls short on both counts.
It opts for quick answers and shortcuts, so much so that students wanting to do more than repeat stock phrases will be sorely dissapointed. Yes, you could spend the asking price for the book, then set about memorizing the dialogues, but what for? You could tell a doctor, "I have an upset stomach" (J'ai mal au cœur), but not "I am having chest pain."
In the end, the wise reader would do well either to go about seriously learning the language (and for that I would recommend the text that accompanies the PBS series French in Action) or buy an inexpensive phrase book or two. (Or three... Anyone traveling to Paris ought to order WICKED FRENCH a tongue-in-cheek phrase book so that when you are being ignored by the haughty staff at a cafe can ask a waiter "C'est vrai que vous avez honte de votre menu?" (Is it true that you are ashamed of your menu.) Not exactly the type of phrases found in Berlitz's phrase book.
But please, pass on this one.
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