French language tapes?

May 5th, 2001, 10:03 PM
  #1  
steve
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French language tapes?

Has anyone ever had any luck trying to learn
a different language (like French) from a
cassette tape. I drive alot and have plenty
of time to listen to cassettes as I going
from one place to another. I believe my
local library has these avail. for borrowing.
I'm leaving for Paris on 24 May and don't
know ANY French. Thanks in advance to any
who can comment.
 
May 6th, 2001, 03:10 AM
  #2  
Wendy
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Bonjour Steve,

You are heading to Pensacola aren't you? (I'm originally from Panama City)

French language tapes are helpful, but there are a lot to choose from. For studying, it is helpful to have the books to go aolng with them to 'see' the words as they are being spoken, but for driving, a 'repeat after me' kind of tape would work very well. Are you wnting to learn the language or learn travel phrases for a trip?

IMHO, I don't think that the tapes that teach you 'hello my name is' and 'your name is?' are the most helpful. Those are wonderful phrases to know, but how many of us need to know that when we arrive in Paris? If you spend some time looking at the tape(s) and their contents, try to choose one that uses native French speakers in everyday situations (restaurants, asking directions etc...) IMHO these seem like more useful phrases. Different accents, rapid speech and the situation can often make the basic French phrases seem like Greek. For learning to pronounce words and phrases to be understood, I like the 'Pronounce it Perfectly' series by Barrons and written in conjunction with the Universite de Paris (en Sorbonne.

IT offers to teach you to learn to speak with an 'authentic' French accent (although there are many), imitate the fluid style of French speech (the smooth rhythm)and is geared towards studetns, tourists and business people.

No doubt you will receive other wonderful series suggestions from others, there are many to choose from! I'd also be curious to know what others think and find useful.

Bonne chance!

Wendy
 
May 6th, 2001, 03:13 AM
  #3  
wendy
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I forgot to add that for a first time trip to Paris, there is a 'drive and listen' or something like that cassette that I have seen available...but I haven't used it. Anyone?

Also, I highly recommend the pocket Berlitz French book, with color coded tabs to indicate different sections (restaurants, taxis, hotels)and it gives you the phonetic (phone-et-tik)pronunciation that helped me fake my French through Paris before I spoke French!

Wendy
 
May 6th, 2001, 03:18 AM
  #4  
Jim Rosenberg
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I used French tapes with great results and I went in a very specific order of selection, beginning with simple vocabulary and then working up to conversational. Also, it IS very important to follow along with written French materials whenever you can. In the car and at home, I found it was important to wear headphones in order to study the subtleties of pronunciation until I had a good handle on it (please, no headphone safety lectures here today, okay? ). Your biggest enemy right now is that you really don't have time to do much. I would concentrate more on the written part now, to assist you with signage, etc. Do the tapes as you can, beginning with vocabulary. Finally, always listen to Wendy. ;o)
 
May 6th, 2001, 08:11 AM
  #5  
steve
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Maybe I should try to get a tutor. WENDY
Isn't the gulf coast between Panama City
and P'Cola just almost unbeatable for the beaches? Thanks for your responses.
 
May 6th, 2001, 10:18 AM
  #6  
Art
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Hi Steve, I have been using the Pimsluer tapes for Spanish, Romanian and Polish with great results. They have conversations between 2 people. The results that I have were confirmed by a Romanian lady who commented that my pronounciation was almost perfect. If I have any complaint is that they don' quite go far enough. They are a little more expensive than some of the others, but, they will match or beat prices from Amazon.
 
May 6th, 2001, 10:23 AM
  #7  
Art
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I forgot to mention that I listen to them driving to and from work, but there are reading excercises to check the sounds of letters and words at the end of most lessions. Those I (of course) listen to at home when I can look at the book. I've been listening to the Polish tapes this week and it has gone from totally indeciferable to being able to understand some basic phrases and figuring out the sounds of the special letters and pronouncing words based on spelling.
Regards
Art
 
May 6th, 2001, 10:33 AM
  #8  
Linda
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Steve, though I'm not Wendy, I felt compelled to comment on your beaches remark. You're RIGHT. I didn't particularly like the area when I lived there and probably wouldn't live there again, the beaches are the nicest I've seen in the world. Wonderful sand, gorgeous waters. Even beat out the Caribbean islands, IMHO. (But you DO want to skip Panama City Beach during Spring Break!) Have fun in Pensacola.
 
May 6th, 2001, 10:38 AM
  #9  
wendy
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Steve,

You and your family will be in Paris right after I leave. In such a short time, I don't suggest a tutor...it may sound ridiculous, but maybe you can all 'role' play with a good book, like the Berlitz book I mentioned. I suggested this with my students when we decided to take a last minute trip to Paris...they only 3 weeks to get ready, and we met every day and played out possible scenarios in restaurants and asking directions etc... Not only were they fast finding the page they needed from all the practice, they rarely used it. As Jim and Art pointed out, seeing the word and hearing at the same time is a very effective way to learn.

I'd love to answer you question about P.City, but I'm afraid I'll get 'yelled' at for being off topic!

You are welcome to e-mail me directly.

Bon Voyage!


 
May 6th, 2001, 10:45 AM
  #10  
wendy
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Okay, now I'm compeeled to go off topic! Linda, you lived in Panama City?

There is an enormous difference between Panama City and Panama City Beach. We are lucky to live in the city on the water, and take the boat from our dock to the island and beaches, avoiding the tourists.

I tell my friends in France how sugar white the sand is, that it is blinding on a bright day, and until they visited me there, did not believe me.

The water IS turqouise and emerald green, and the deep-sea fishing, sailing, and sunsets are absolutely beautiful. I'm looking forward to the early mornings fishing out 40 miles and coming in to picnic on the island and then swim with the dolphins. We even live around areas where Indians lived on the shores over 1200 years ago, and have left 'trash' piles of oyster shells along the inlets and I go 'hunting' for pottery in these middens and have several plates and pots reconstructed. Pensacola is full of them too.

I'm ashamed of the tourist traps and spring break atmosphere the COC of PC has allowed to take over.

Oh well, we take the good with the bad and stay in the boat!
 
May 6th, 2001, 04:51 PM
  #11  
Linda
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Wendy, yes, I lived in PC from 1999-2000--actually in Callaway. Hated the humidity, hated the bugs, but the people are great, and you can't beat the beaches. Live in Las Vegas now, no humidity, no palmetto bugs/mosquitos. But no beach either. Sure miss watching the sun come up over the bay, sitting on the deserted, white sand beach near my house. No beaches like them at all. (But I'm jealous--wish I would have had a boat. Maybe I'd still be living there!)
 
May 6th, 2001, 05:45 PM
  #12  
wendy
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Callaway to Vegas!? Here on Fodors? It IS a small world...if you don't mind...I'd love for you to e-mail me sometime and let's talk? It's been 'home' (aside from Paris since 1969 when I was born on the Tyndall runway!)
Wendy
 

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