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Michel Thomas Speak French For Beginners: 10-CD Beginner's Program Audio CD – Nov 20 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, Nov 20 2006
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CDN$ 1,158.23 CDN$ 335.35
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (Nov. 20 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071479821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071479820
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.8 x 23.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #860,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Michel Thomas was head of the Michel Thomas Language Centers and taught languages for more than 50 years, primarily in New York, Beverly Hills, and London. Over a period of 25 years he developed a unique and revolutionary learning system that made him the world’s leading language teacher.

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Top Customer Reviews

I play the cds in my car while I drive, over and over again. With no other exposure to French, only these cds, I was able to navigate my way through Paris & France, doing relatively complicated negotiations like returning a soiled item at a tourist store and asking someone to try on a jacket for size, so I can see if it would fit my husband!

He explains the language so logically that it makes sense. He helps you to remember. He gives clues and shortcuts and teaches you to do educated guesses.

My 12 year old daughter did not like French in school, so I also persuaded her to work through these cds and suddenly, she understands the language and has confidence! Her marks have improved too, she had climbed from a B symbol to 90% for her French in a couple of months!

Michel Thomas is an excellent teacher. I also read French now, even though reading is not specifically covered in these cds, they put you on track to go further.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e6855f4) out of 5 stars 43 reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99efd198) out of 5 stars WOW --This program is unreal April 29 2007
By Uogio - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I took high school and 2 years of college french (B average). I knew some vocab and the simple present and past tenses, but was very insecure about my knowledge and pronunciation of the language. I always shied away from impromptu French conversations and felt stupid for not "getting it" after all that class time. But WOW--now I am always eager for a bit of conversation whenever I meet a French person or someone who knows the language. I actually understand the language. I am halfway through this program and already advanced beyond my classroom lessons. For the first time, I am confident and comfortable with French.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c27fc48) out of 5 stars An Outstanding Course June 16 2007
By Paul Jacks - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This course is truly extraordinary. I have been a student of French for many years and while possessing decent reading and vocabulary skills, I have always felt uncomfortable when speaking French. I have purchased many study aids over the years and none have really helped much. I have generally despaired that I would never attain my desired level of fluency. That was until I ran across an advertisement for Michel Thomas's course. Although I have some knowledge of the French language, I decided to start at the beginning, in order to progress through the entire course. Although skeptical at first, I really enjoyed each CD. Michel Thomas's teaching style is truly incredible. He breaks down pronunciation and elements of grammar in ways that I never learned before. His pacing is just about right (much quicker than Primsleur, but not too fast), especially for someone with a background in the language. The CDs already have me more comfortable constructing sentences than any of the collegiate or other coursework that I have undertaken previously. I look forward to each CD and the beginner course has proven to be very useful for both review and enrichment. I cannot wait to start the next series and I feel that by completing the full course and supplementary CDs, I will definitely attain my desired level of fluency. I strongly recommend this course for absolute beginners or for those students, like myself, who want to improve their skills in French.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a1acce4) out of 5 stars Better than I'd expected! March 15 2007
By Robin J. Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I bought this program in hopes that I could learn a little conversational french. My boyfriend's family is French Canadian and it was awkward for me at family gatherings because I didn't understand what was being said. This program is easy to use. I listened in my car on my 30 minute commute to work. In 2 weeks I had completed the whole thing! There are 2 awesome review CD's and every bit of the program is interactive. It's not about memorizing....it's truly about learning. It covers the basics, it advances to a conversational level and it explains the sentence structure so you can create your own conversation and not just use simple sentences. My boyfriend will say things to me now that I actually understand and can resopnd to. If you purchase this program you won't be disappointed!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac11114) out of 5 stars Got me quite comfortably through France! Oct. 17 2007
By More0ver - Published on Amazon.com
I came to this Amazon page to get details about these CDs that I've been recommending to someone looking for good beginning French instruction for her family. Years ago, I had spent a little bit of time listening to the CDs before heading off to France on my own; I was surprised and relieved to find that I was able to communicate with a fair amount of confidence and dignity, eliciting friendly and respectful responses from the French. It's not as if I could actually carry on a conversation, but I could at least figure out how to ask basic questions in a pretty comfortable and confident manner and to understand responses. He slowly and methodically teaches you how to think it out word by word without doing a lot of rote memorization. I gave his set of Spanish CDs to some friends who were about to spend a lot of time in Mexico, and they loved them - they bought the more advanced ones to continue.

I was surprised to see comments here about this not being real French. That got me to wondering whether I should be recommending them. So I did an online search to find out about Thomas' background. I was astonished. Not only has he lived in France, but he was in the French army in WWII; served in the intelligence corps; was in infamous concentration camps (one of which he escaped from); worked in the French resistance; he was even tortured for information by the Gestapo and French police, but didn't break down. He went on to be a lieutenant of the French Forces of the Interior, and commanded a group that destroyed telephone lines in coordination with the landing of the Allies in Normandy. And on and on and on - there's even a book about him by Christopher Robbins called A Test of Courage! So I think it's safe to assume that what he's teaching is real French - and this whole thing has inspired me to dig those CDs out again and really use them to learn more instead of waiting till the last minute when I'm off to travel again.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c27fbdc) out of 5 stars The most interesting language product on the market Jan. 25 2008
By Superbug Safety - Published on Amazon.com
This is a great CD set. Michel uses a variety of mnemonic tricks to get you to remember certain words, and on the first few discs gives the listeners a way to expand their vocabulary by giving them a series of word endings in English which tip you off as to whether or not the words come from French. Many words can be converted from English to French by merely pronouncing them in a French way, and Michel shows you how to do this. It's a neat trick, and when he gives you ridiculously long sentences to translate from English into French, you find it surprisingly easy. Even though the sentences are long, it's obvious that his selections are deliberately easy to translate, but that is exactly what the listener needs to build confidence. Unlike most language learning programs which bore you to tears by giving you only a word and translation, Michel actively teaches the listener, giving a history of the language and keeping your interest throughout.

The best part is that no matter what you get taught, Michel tells you over and over how simple each new thing is to learn, even if it's a "hard" verb tense or grammatical construction. He then explains it in a way which is not intimidating, and eases the listener in to learning to how to appreciate the structure of the language. This is in marked contrast to the brilliant Pimsleur programs, which are unbeatable with regard to learning pronunciation, but leave much to be desired when it comes to learning structure. The best way to go about it is to listen to Pimsleur to get the pronunciation down, then move on to Michel Thomas to learn the nuts and bolts of the language. Then, of course, go out there and start talking.

The only downside is that for most of the set, Michel sounds like he has the mic almost touching his lips, and you can hear the moisture of his mouth. It's a very liquidy sound, and the occasional smacking of his lips gets irritating. I'm sure this will turn some people off, which is unfortunate. As long as you're not too sensitive to it, it shouldn't be a problem.