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1: Voyage en France: An Easy French Story (Easy French Reader Series for Beginners) (Volume 2) (French Edition) (French) Mass Market Paperback – October 4, 2013
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It is a very well crafted story. Fun to read so you learn from motivation - hard to put the book down. And what I like is that the story is very contemporary in setting and aimed at adult learners.
A good mix of grammar constructs and tenses are used, yet the book is still easy to read for beginners. After each few paragraphs of the story there is a summarised explanation of key vocab and grammar.
To get even more out of the book I'd suggest getting a French to English dictionary kindle ebook as well. Then as well if you get stuck on a word or expression, it's just a matter of putting your kindle cursor on the word to get the meaning from your dictionary.
But again, thanks to this author. One of the few learning "tools" I've enjoyed. Definitely the best introductory reader I've come across for adults.
Louis and his wife, Melba, are delightful characters. Passionate Louis creates some hilarious situations with his beginners French and long suffering Melba (modestly fluent) steps in when necessary to sort out the mess and misunderstandings. It takes great skill to incorporate humor into a simple text but the author successfully peppers jokes throughout both stories while keeping the language relatively uncomplicated.
I actually found myself laughing aloud at some of the French faux-pas:
In the bus someone leaves his "over coat" behind (le "manteau") behind, Louis chases after him ..."you have forgotten your chin" (votre "menton"):
Sur le siège˚, il a oublié˚ son petit manteau˚ noir. Louis prend le manteau et appelle : « Monsieur ! Vous avez oublié votre menton˚ !>>
"Melba lève les yeux au ciel˚." ... (Melba rolls her eyes)
They rent a car from a guy in some hick town who only knows the names of animals in English ...he reels off a long list of the animals to impress, the last being "une arraignée" (spider)
"-- Il a vraiment une araignée au plafond˚, pense Melba. "
It's a play on words ...loosely translated : "this guy's got bats in the belfry".
These readers are of excellent quality and perfect for adults learning the language.
Bis! Bis! Sylvie Lainé.
I am looking forward to reading the further adventures of Louis and Melba.
However, this probably isn't the ideal learning resource for a rank beginner. The writing assumes a basic knowledge of French grammar. It's up to you, the reader, to figure out how to decline the words you find in the lexicons. Likewise, you won't gain much sense of how new words should be pronounced unless you already have some command of French phonics.
Kindle indexing works very well. Links allow you to look up new or forgotten words; on my Samsung Nexus Galaxy or my Acer Iconia A500, it's easy to get back and forth between the main text passages and the lexicons.
Overall, an enjoyable divertissement and a great little tool for polishing up rusty French reading skills.
The reading level is moderately challenging but still at a upper elementary/middle school level. I had to look up only a few words per page, on average.
I wish these books were for sale as Google Play Books because Google Play Books have the "Text to Speech" feature which would enable you to listen to the book albeit with a computer voice. This is something that is sorely lacking in the Kindle app for many Android phones.