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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
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.
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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 1999
I found Basic French to be an enjoyable refresher for my long-forgotten college French. The 3 60-minute cassetes have 24 lessons which introduce verbs and nouns in related skits involving a French teacher, a student, a secretary and her manager. The skits have good instructional content, are pleasant and are plausible (for example, an early episode has the secretary counting her money, and one of the final episodes is a dinner party hosted by the manager). The episodes provide a variety of native speakers with varying (regional?) accents, and varying (but appropriate) moods of astonishment, annoyance, gratefulness and boredom. There is no boring drillwork but there is instructive repetition built into the skits.
My only complaint is that the past and future tenses are hurriedly covered in the last skits.
If I were to do this again, I would get the French Today package (4 60-minute cassettes) for the additional hour of practice material (which presumably provides some real practice with past and future tenses) and for the extra books such as the dictionary.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2001
I absolutely love this set. I have tried many differnt self taught packets and they all dissapointed me. This set makes me want to play the lessons over and over, they are very catchy which helps in remembering. With in three months YES I was able to communite faily well with my relatives in Montreal and France. Get it, it's great if you are planning a trip to a french country. The lessons are easy to catch on to. Good Luck!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2003
This 3-tape and workbook set is a good choice for beginning French students. The tapes introduce concepts and vocabulary in an orderly, easy to understand manner. The workbook allows you to follow along with the tapes, or to read aloud for practice. In the margins of each short chapter, it defines words you may not have learned. Finally, there is a brief but concise 1 page "test" at the end of each chapter to help you evaluate your progress.
Good luck with your French!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2002
it is one of the less boring one; very effective; it doesn't just let u to go through boring drills. i do enjoy listening to the story. the grammar are basics, but good enough for travelling purposes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2003
The three tapes are a good way of listening to speakers acting out fun scenes. The book is a follow-up. After listening through the tapes, then you listen along with the book. The book contains tips and tests. The whole series is not boring and enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2006
I came across this book/cd combo and have enjoyed going through 7 lesseons to date. The pronunciation is an eye opener esp if like me you're taken a few lessons as a kid and recall the grammar but no one taught you the right way to pronounce things. However if you expect this or any book to teach you conversational french you might be disappointed like I was when I tried to read an online version of the French news paper lemonde. However this set is well written, well documented and the speakers speak slowly and clearly. Well worth the investment. Though perhaps they say "Pierre, fermez la porte" way too many times for my taste:-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2007
Easy to follow & builds confidence fast if you practice the exercises. You still need classes to be able to speak to someone & learn the general colloquialisms.
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26 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 1999
I strongly feel that this tape will have you speaking basic French in just minutes! It's soooo fun to do! I got it from the Library a few weeks ago,and now i'm pointing things out in the car and naming what they are! SURELY 5 STARS!
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on December 1, 2013
The Berlitz method was very useful for me as I learnt by listening to the tapes over and over again. It was fun listening to the tracks, as they use interesting characters and sound effects to help you figure out what is being said. It also includes a book, which allows you to see the grammar and spelling and shows the script used on the tracks.
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