French III - 2nd Rev. Ed.: 1st Rev. Ed. Euro Audio CD – Audiobook, Jan 1 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
I don't believe anyone who says they learn to speak French solely through Pimsleur. I think we must have very different ideas as to what "speaking" a language means. Sure, you could parrot a few basic phrases, but have little understanding of grammar, conjugation, or even what you are saying or how to spell or read it. Pimsleur focuses on some topics which are not of particular importance, either, and beats them to death. For example, they are obsessed with people being engineers for some reason and have many lessons devoted to saying so-and-so is an engineer. This is not something I have ever had to say in France. I know this is a Pimsleur obsession as I have also used their Spanish I-II sets (I don't know Spanish as well as French), and they spend a lot of time talking about engineers on those discs, also.
They are also obsessed on the first few lessons of this set with the phrase "I was raised in .... wherever." Okay, maybe that's something someone might want to know, but they go on and on with this phrasing for several lessons (so far, I haven't finished).Read more ›
This course is the closest I have seen to the method that children follow to learn their native language. My two year old has no idea what a verb is, but he can communicate in well formed sentences using the correct tense and pronouns, because he has learned through aural feedback what the correct structure should be.
Pimsleur courses immerse you in the language to the extent that you will learn by hearing and speaking. Kind of like you know that if I were to say "He was learned to speak French" that it just sounds wrong. Now I may not be able to tell you which grammatical rules I broke, but I know it should be "He was learning to speak French."
The bottom line, is that these courses give you a great start that helps you advance more quickly through your more formal study and coversational practice with native speakers. The material is fun and never boring. Great for filling in your morning commute.
I also appreciate that it is about as interactive as a cassette tape can be ... the listener responds with material that he or she has learned in prior tapes and gradually and solidly acquires a substantial number of language building blocks. Although there is repetition, it is varied and subtle, and is not the mind-dulling lists of phrases, vocabulary or sentences that seems to be the norm in the language tape business.
It is important, however, to place the Pimsleur system in context: if you want to understand the theory of the grammatical rules of what you are learning, you must find that elsewhere. For example, if you'd like to see the rules on how present tense "-er" verbs are conjugated, that's not here. You would in fact be learning to do it, but you wouldn't "see" it on paper or read the rules on how it's done. Or if you want to increase your skill in understanding a native speaker talking a full speed, that's not its strength either. But, if you want to develop a working command of some core phrases and vocabulary that will be yours and stick with you, there is no better approach.
Let's put it this way: I was sorry when I finished it and I wish there were a Level IV, V, VI .... and so on.
The female speaker (Carpenter) talks like an old lady in a high pitch voice like she's always screaming. The male speaker (DeRobert) varies his speech that you think he is trying to over act a play or trying to win a reading contest. He sometimes does not fully pronounce the words. The French instructor speaker (Clement) is very good though.
It's a huge difference from volume I and II. If you;re getting volume III, get a different edition with different speakers. For me, I might just sell this one on eBay and get a new edition because the speakers are too annoying and can't learn much.
Most recent customer reviews
The reviewer from Ireland expressed it well. What you are taught, you are taught well, but for the price you should expect to be taught much more. Read morePublished on Oct. 15 2003
This language learning CD is aimed at the notoriously very difficult to assess and highly variable "intermediate" level... Read morePublished on March 26 2003 by Amazon Customer
I bought this course because of all the great reviews it got, but although I found it helpful, it didn't improve dramatically my level of French. Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2002 by Amazon Customer
I have purchased all three Pimsleur series and believe they are some of the best out there to help one learn to speak French. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2001
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