Best French language tapes

Old Nov 2nd, 1998, 09:18 AM
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Best French language tapes

I would like to learn at least some French before I go to France in February. I went to the bookstore and was overwhelmed by the number of language tapes available and the clerk wasn't able to offer much help about which one would be best. Does anybody have any advice on a good French language course (tapes)?
Old Nov 2nd, 1998, 01:13 PM
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The ghost is in the machine today, I tried posting this earlier.

I like "Language 30" tapes very much.
I found Berlitz tapes hard to follow, even when I knew some of the language.
Old Nov 2nd, 1998, 01:31 PM
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Check out what your local library has and see which "brand" works best for your learning style. I especially liked Pimsleur (beginner, then intermediate series) to start with, and then I check out one after another so I can learn as much as possible. It sure helps!
Old Nov 2nd, 1998, 04:30 PM
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After trying three different sets of cassette tapes (thinking I would learn a lot of French driving back and forth to work) and not getting much out of any of them, I picked up a software program on CD rom by the Learning Company - French for Travelers. It's excellent!
Old Nov 4th, 1998, 07:38 AM
Don Stadler
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I would echo thre Pimsleur suggestion. I learned Italian from a Pimsleur set (the advanced set of 30 lessons) and have been complimented for my accent and grasp of grammar.

Pimsleur won't give you a ton of grammar, unfortunately, but it WILL give you something no class can dream of. Practice. In one 30 minute unit Pimsleur gives you 15 to 20 minutes of practice speaking the language and creating phrases in the language.

Most other courses cut out the creating part, asking you to parrot words and phrases. Unfortunately this doesn't get you very far in speaking the language!

Pimsleur promotional materials tell you that you can complete a unit a day, following a unit once. I find this unrealistic. I needed two or three, sometimes four repetitions to master a unit, and sometimes had to go back and repeat several units. The process was more like 2 months, 1 to 2 hours a day. PLUS I was working in Italy at the time, and therefore had DAILY practice outside of the tapes.

This doesn't mean that the tapes aren't valuable, only that there is no one best way to learn. If you can arrange to spend time in France (perhaps at the excellent Alliance Francaise schools) AND use Pimsleur, AND take a community college course to help with grammar and reading French you will go a deal farther than with only one angle of attack!
Old Nov 24th, 1998, 08:41 AM
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Can you tell me where one can get
ADVANCED PIMSLEUR tapes? I am finding out that only beginning tapes are sold at retail stores. Our library does not carry them.
Old Nov 24th, 1998, 09:53 AM
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To previous post -- I don't know what
you are calling "only beginning" vs
advanced, but you can buy Pimsleur
tapes through Level III (which is all
I've seen) easily through the Amazon.
com online book/music store:
You shouldn't buy elsewhere at
retail because Amazon gives a large
discount which
is really important as these are
EXTREMELY expensive tapes.
You can also go to what I think is
Pimsleurs WEB site (or someone
selling Pimsleur, anyway) at:
Old Nov 25th, 1998, 11:28 AM
Posts: n/a
Learning a little French can be dangerous. Start speaking a little French and a Frenchman thinks you are fluent and awswers back so fast you will not have a clue what he is saying.

My advise is shout at the French in English !!!

Have a good time it is a nice country, apart from all them French people.

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