French Pimsleur Review

by Brian
(Cottage Grove, WI, USA)

Before travelling to France my wife and I took the Pimsleur French course which we purchased at Barnes and Noble (10 lessons on 6 CDs). We both had a lot of fun with it!

In Turkey and then later in France I apparently had a very hard to detect accent, as opposed to when I use my German in Germany or Spanish in Mexico, both languages I learned via more traditional means, where I get rolling laughter at my attempts to communicate.

The thing I liked best about the Pimsleur method was that it really did aid in normal communications, and made it easier to understand how to pronounce the language. It promoted a lot of familiarity with the sound of the language.

The lessons are long but at the time we were taking long trips regularly so that was no big deal. The only drawback was that I had difficulty reading the language later on, but still the groundwork the CDs provided helped with that when I decided to tackle it.

Some of the pronunciation work felt a litle overboard, like my wife and I still putter around the house occasionally muttering "moiselle. moiselle. Mademoiselle."

All in all I thought it was a very effective and very fast introduction to the language, and probably provides the best groundwork for someone who wants to chase after proficiency (though naturally the course itself won't be able to provide that).

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