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French III - 2nd Rev. Ed.: 1st Rev. Ed. Euro Audio CD – Audiobook, Jan 1 1999

3.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Pimsleur (Jan. 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671315552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671315559
  • Product Dimensions: 29.5 x 5.3 x 33 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,677,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

I got this set from my library, for free, which is what I'd recommend others do as the price is ridiculous for what you get. I have had several years of formal university-level French, and try to keep up with occasional conversation classes at Alliance Francaise, etc. I got this to brush up on listening/pronunciation for an upcoming trip, as I haven't spoken French much or used it for a while. That is context for my review, which is that these discs were much more limited and basic in their content than I expected, and I gather this is their top level (there is no French IV).
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).
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I've tried a lot of different methods for learning French over the years, and while I have made steady progress, it was pretty haphazard. I agree with the other reviewers that this course is not the only instruction you need, but in my opinion it's a must have. The Pimsleur courses give you the strong foundation in understanding and speaking the language that you can then leverage to fill in the gaps in grammer and vocabulary.
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.
Bon Chance!
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It's too bad that the cost of the Pimsleur system almost makes it prohibitive to use, because it really is an excellent system. Pimsleur Level III continues the approach of focusing on a basic, high-frequency vocabulary and engaging the listener in using what he or she has learned. I have acquired quite a few cassette learning systems in my attempt to learn French on my own and the Pimsleur approach is probably my favorite. Because virtually all of my time is spent while driving, I very much appreciate that I don't have to refer to a book and that I'm not constantly rewinding a tape.
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.
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By A Customer on July 8 2004
I went through French I and II and thought were very good. I just started volume III and I'm not sure I can continue. I have the 1998 edition and I have to say they chose the worst speakers they could find.
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.
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