- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 16 hours and 21 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Original recording
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: April 1, 2010
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003VXLUKM
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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French Level 1: Learn to Speak and Understand French with Pimsleur Language Programs Audible Audiobook – Original recording
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Top Customer Reviews
You might want to look at the reviews for that product:French I, Comprehensive: Learn to Speak and Understand French with Pimsleur Language Programs or even the Conversational: French, Conversational: Learn to Speak and Understand French with Pimsleur Language Programs (Pimsleur Instant Conversation), which is the first 16 of the 30 lessons of Level 1.
I did struggle with trying to guess the right level to start with, since I had four years of French in HS... but that was long, long ago. I decided to start with Level 1, and am happy with that choice. I remember all sorts of vocabulary and grammar, but I really need to practice speaking and listening, and even the first lesson is helpful to me. In the end, I went directly through all 30 lessons, repeating a few only because I was driving and stopped paying attention to the lessons at times and needed to repeat.
I wonder if it would be very hard for people who have never done French because with the full sentences they're speaking really quickly. (This is true of the French, so it's appropriate on that level.) But they also regularly break things down into individual syllables, so maybe this is okay. Also, many of us would like to see things written down, which I think doesn't happen till Chapter 8 or so. Again, I have an advantage here with the four years of French -- it's fine for me -- but this might be frustrating to those who are actually new to French. (I have recently tried to learn a bit of a couple other languages in the car, Spanish and Danish, using other methods, and when I think about it, I do think I prefer the style of the Pimsleur to the other courses.)
Three stars because getting this format from Audible was an ordeal. It's much cheaper than buying the disks, but my download was only Part 2 (starts with Lesson 18), and did not include the PDF booklet. I did eventually figure out that the missing pieces are available to me if I go to Audible.com and click to both my account (to get the Part 1 audio) AND the product page on that site (for the PDF). I still don't feel like this process went correctly and wish I'd just gotten the version directly from Pimsleur. (It looks like you can buy this directly from Pimsleur, and presumably receive all the pieces.)
I also don't really like the monolithic Audible format... I find it hard to navigate. I added the Audible app to my iPhone and this audiobook. Ugh. You can add your own bookmarks, but there appears to be no way to go immediately to a particular lesson, aside from fast forwarding, etc. This would be much more usable as the 30 separate tracks that would have come on CDs.
Later, I realized that you can play this through iTunes on your computer, or through the iPod app on the iPhone, you can navigate to particular lessons. It's still a forward/reverse kind of thing (sequentially through the lessons), so you can't easily get from lesson 20 to lesson 29, for example... you have to go to 21, 22, 23, ... to get up to 29. But at least you can repeat a lesson more easily than you can with the audible iPhone app.
Once I finished French 1 (which took me one month... I didn't do it every day, but I did several lessons on some days), I tried buying French 2 directly from Pimsleur. Annoyingly or amusingly, there were also download problems and I had to seek help from customer assistance, but I did eventually get my download. It was a much slower download than from Audible, and took about 40 minutes. But the resulting format was what I'd been hoping for, 30 separate mp3 files! (Plus an intro mp3 and the PDF booklet. There are also 30 separate mp3s for the "reading lessons".) I created a playlist for these in iTunes, and this is now just what I want. French 2 will work out better for me. I have a feeling I am going to need to repeat these lessons more, so the 30 distinct mp3s is going to be very helpful.
Most lessons will only require a half hour from your day. At times you may find it useful to review the lesson. Some are put off by the business nature of Pimsleur. Don't let that bother you. It teaches you the language well. It has an emphasis on business, but that basis you get there will allow you to explore your other interests. Taking the time with these lessons will also improve your experience travelling if your only interest is being a tourist. In my past use of the language programs I have found that I could read what ever literature desired in the language, but perhaps needed a dictionary with which to expand my vocabulary. It teaches you to think, hear and speak in the language, and embeds the structure of the language into your mind. I've caught myself answering people with languages I've learned with Pimsleur, before even realizing I was speaking a different language. It works that well!
I recommend this particular program for anyone struggling with the language in high school, or college. You will learn more with this program, and the half an hour it requires will improve your grades. Really, what ever your reason for wanting to learn French, I wholeheartedly recommend this program.
Some have complained about the price on Audible. It is, in fact, the cheapest I have seen it. I have to say, the list price may be a bit expensive compared to others, but here is the thing, become a member and you get credits every month, save up five credits and you have this program cheaper than any other way of purchasing it. Of course this means you have to wait a few months in between phases, but that gives you ample time for review. If you don't want to do that, you can purchase different program packages with Audible, some give you up to 20 credits all at once. For $230 dollars you can by the platinum annual membership that gives you 24 credits upfront which is enough to purchase five phases of Pimsleur French of Audible. I haven't found a better price. And frankly, you will spend a lot more on college credits and learn a lot less with a lot more effort. Do this and then take a CLEP Test. Also, by purchasing the membership, you will find many other books to listen to dirt cheap. Some of them in very simple French, Spanish, German etc. That you can use to practice what you have learned with Pimsleur. And this allows you to listen to the language which is a great plus over merely practicing through reading. They also have more advanced books in foreign languages, and the membership with audible cuts the price you pay greatly. Don't fool yourself, this is an incredible deal!
Also, some parts are a little outdated/weird with gender roles (e.g. you are a man bringing your colleague's wife flowers in several units), but this may just have to do with retaining older scripts.
So, it was helpful for learning to speak without hesitation, though the vocabulary wasn't as expansive as I wished it had been.