Most helpful positive review
61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Helpful, easy--but for beginners who plan to learn more
on October 25, 1998
I give this 5 stars not because I bought it "...and by the weekend I'd translated Maupassant!" --but because I think it is a very good tool to help BEGINNERS create and comprehend simple, conversational sentences--and say them correctly--by the third chapter or so. (There are 24 chapters.) The cassettes have approx. 3 hours of spoken french to listen to, to repeat, and to give you a good idea of the often arbitrary (and frustrating!) pronunciation. Each chapter presents several brief dialogues, listen-repeat and q&a exercises that really reinforce the vocabulary and grammar. There is NO English on the tapes, so they aren't ideal to listen to while you walk the dog or drive to work unless you've worked through the lesson already. All the more French to immerse yourself in! Definitions and grammar are presented as notes along the edge of each page, so they are not exactly comprehensive but I found them easy to understand and they got me through the exercises fine. If your idea of great language instruction is grammar-intensive and not neccesarily audio, this may not be for you. On the other hand if you learn best hearing the language in repeated, short (and not boring) episodes, this is right up your alley! Pronunciation isn't laid out methodically here, and the glossary is no substitute for a good dictionary, so you might benefit from those in addition to this set. (Try How to Pronounce French Correctly.) For people unfamiliar with or intimidated by French, but who want to learn more than some tourist phrases, this is a good place to start before moving on to materials that move at a faster pace and that have more demanding exercises. I was very pleased with it and much more confident when I began studying more seriously.