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French with Michel Thomas

4.4 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Hodder Arnold (2000)
  • ASIN: B000OVCIJG
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.3 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,473,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After reading some of these reviews you may be expecting some kind of miracle. You will be disappointed. I give this course five stars, however, because it provides a great deal of information painlessly, in a short period of time.
After eight hours with Michel Thomas you will have a fairly solid command of the present tense and personal pronouns. Possesive pronouns are briefly touched upon, with others receiving even less attention or none at all. You will be able to speak in the future tense using aller: to go. "I am GOING TO buy it tomorrow." He briefly touches upon the real future tense - "I WILL buy it tomorrow" - though the coverage is lacking. His coverage of the past tense is bad, at best. He very briefly discusees the imperfect, but not the passe compose. Without getting into grammar, lets just say you'll need the latter in every day speach, i.e., "I SAW him yesterday."
Michel Thomas likes to say "Don't say it, think it" which happens to be the exact opposite philosophy of the Pimsleur program. With Pimsleur you learn how to speak without having to think out sentence structure, which is exactly how we speak our native tounges. This course is perfect for what it is, however. No other program, Pimsleur included, will have a total beginer speaking so much in so little time. If you are starting with Pimsleur or another program this course is definitely worth buying. After all, we all want to be able to speak the language we're trying to learn, and this will get you off the ground in a short period of time.
I must complain that little emphasis is placed on pronounciation. In fact, no one on the CD is a native speaker.
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By A Customer on January 8, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I believe this 8 CD set is great if you meet each of the following requirements: 1) You have some foreign language experience. This is necessary because there are no pronunciation explanations, and there is a presumption that the listener will learn things as quickly as the students on the recording. If you have no French experience, you might have to listen to a CD several times before moving on. Also, future lessons do not always build on earlier lessons, so you must either replay CDs or practice your lessons with others. 2) You have large chunks of time to listen and focus on the CDs. I listened to these in my car on long freeway commutes, which worked well. I could not imagine simply listening in my home, where I might be easily distracted by phone calls, people, pets, etc. 3) You are planning to visit a French-speaking place soon. The tapes are very good at teaching French, but unless you plan to practice your lessons immediately after, it might all disappear from your head.
Overall, I believe his method is a good one. Michel Thomas focuses on teaching the "small" but extremely important words, and less focus on general vocabulary. After years of enduring high school French, I believe Michel Thomas' is the much better method for learning to get your point across in a foreign country.
Slight irritation with Mr. Thomas' crackly voice and idiosyncracies, strong irritation with one of the students towards the end of the tape. Overall, though, it gets the job done.
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By A Customer on February 24, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I picked up this set of CD's to prepare for a week-long trip to Paris. It is a fun, painless way to get exposure to the language. It's a bit optimistic to think you'll speak French well after the course but it will give you an adequate grasp of the language, enough to muddle your way through. The great thing about this approach is that you'll learn the mechanics of the language and be able to use it somewhat creatively in real world situations. Drawbacks: you won't learn much vocabulary and at the end of the eight CD's, you'll wish there were more. Michel Thomas is on to a good thing and I hope he will publish future volumes. The Pimsleur Method (also available from Amazon) uses a similar method and offers three volumes - just shy of 50 CD's in all so if you have more time and cash, you might want to go this route. I did just fine in Paris. I traveled with a guy who had some high school French (so more vocabulary) and between the two of us, we were able to get by with a minimal resort to English.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The foundation of language acquisition is input. Think babies listening for a year and more before they start to speak. This program, where you will hear more spoken english than french, is essentially an amusing cognitive exercise in short term memory. You will be able to manipulate the sentence structures and verb conjugations without too much effort if not with ease. The daunting french pronunciation will appear manageable and the teacher does not demand the perfection of it. There is enough repetition and overlap of structure to reinforce what you previously learned. You will think that you will be able to learn french, that your next trip need not be an exercise in linguistic fear and inhibition. Unfortunately these CDs are little more than the pep rally before the big game. Acquiring french is going to take much more input (listening/reading) and much more effort (repetition/meaningful conversation). The lessons you learn with Michel quickly fade, though they are inspiring and engaging enough when you are doing them. Be warned: if you don't want to spend eight hours in a very small room with a language learner whose inability to 'get it' will quickly drive you up one of the nearby walls, stay away from this course. Perhaps the program's editors want us to think we are superior learners. As you wait and wait some more for her to make her way through the grammatical minefield you will find yourself thinking of the additional lessons that might have been fit onto the CD. Mercifully her 'airtime' is reduced as the program progresses. French With Michel Thomas is entertaining but, unless you have the money to blow, you would do better to go with one of the longer programs. Bonne chance!
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