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French (Pimsleur Language Program) [Audio Cassette]

4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An incredible intro to the language April 5 2003
By Indybg
Format:Audio Cassette
Before you buy this, you should know that it is only the first half of the comprehensive French I, and if you're traveling independently (as I was), you'll need the whole thing. After finishing off the 16 lessons of this, I found that my local library had the comprehensive set, and was able to use that to prepare for my trip.
That said, the Pimsleur method is stunning. The first few lessons can seem a bit frustrating--all you learn is different ways to say "Do you speak English?" and "Do you speak French." What you don't realize is that the program is actually giving you a sophisticated introduction to French sentence structure just using a few words, and you fly ahead from there.
Where this differs from tapes that just give you phrases is that it actually gives you the ability to form your own sentences, adapting to different situations. The program never teaches you specifically how to handle, say, getting a room in a hotel, but when I was backpacking through small villages in France, I was able to handle this without a hitch.
You will need a phrasebook or a dictionary on your trip to fill in the vocabulary gaps, and if you plan on counting past fifty or saying anything in the past tense, you will need to obtain the comprehensive program. But if you're going to France in a tour group and just want to be able to understand a bit of what's going on around you, this is perfect.
The effectiveness of this program cannot be overstated. My library has levels II and III. I'm planning on going through those and heading off to backpack in Quebec this summer.
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Format:Audio CD
Pimsleur's "Quick and Simple French", really lives up to it's name. Until recently, I didn't understand a word of French. A friend bought my copy for me at a local bookstore. When the narrator stated that the listener would eventually understand the conversations, I thought to myself "yeah right". But after listening to the CD's one time, I was able to retain most of the information. It's such a joy to be able to learn with the Pimsleur method. One can accomplish so much in such a short period of time. The method used is definitely effective. What I liked about the program is that it helps increase your confidence in learning. I also like the fact that you don't have to read or write anything. Just sit back relax and listen. I'm really sold on this program and would like to purchase the comprehensive set in the future. My suggestion is that if you're contemplating on buying Pimsleur's language courses, start off with the "Quick and Simple" courses first. you won't regret it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a few tips Nov. 26 2001
Format:Audio CD
I'm currently using Pimsleur to learn Japanese and Cantonese, and I'm thrilled with my progress. Pimsleur has a truly effective system for learning language painlessly and effectively.
I've noticed, though, that on many Pimsleur reviews here on Amazon, people say they needed to listen to each tape 4-5 times before they felt they knew the material. Fortunately, that's not necessary. Here's how to make equal progress on just one listening: Each time you're prompted to come up with an answer on your own, *stop the tape* and give yourself time to think before you get interrupted by the soundtrack. If the tape gives you the answer before you've come up with an answer yourself, you haven't learned anything.
Also, as much as I love Pimsleur courses, they're still wildly expensive, even with Amazon's sometimes-substantial discounts. Try getting them off eBay or half.com first. And then sell them after you're done. You won't need them anymore.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but I won't be able to read anything... April 10 2002
Format:Audio Cassette
By the time I finished the 16th lesson, I was responding quickly to the tapes, including the permutations that were not simple parroting of what the announcer said. To me, this meant that I was learning the language.
The only drawback is that it is COMPLETELY on tape, other than the language card that comes with it. I wonder how well I'll do in restaurants and with printed directions.
That said, I came back to Amazon.com looking for a followup tape from Pimsleur, in the same series. I really liked it, and if I could give a fractional star, it would have been 4.5 stars.
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