Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Your favorite language program?

 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
376 messages over 47 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 45 ... 46 47 Next >>
habadzi
Super Polyglot
Senior Member
Greece
Joined 4084 days ago

68 posts - 106 votes 
Speaks: Greek*, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Hindi, French, German, Italian, Ancient Greek, Modern Hebrew, Arabic (classical), Indonesian, Bengali, Albanian, Nepali

 
 Message 353 of 376
16 October 2014 at 5:51pm | IP Logged 
In the last decade at least there is a desire to save costs. So courses set up to
'teach yourself' may not really do so. They translate entire sentences without
explaining single words; they magically expect people to understand Bantu noun
classes, and they skimp on the glossary at the end.

And CDs just go too fast, so they are often not useful. Software must be used to slow
them down.

To the best of my knowledge courses are not tested on real people before being
marketed.

Then they ask their friends to give positive comments on Amazon, and reading them
makes it very clear the writer never had to deal with the difficulties.

So what to do? Read two different methods in turn. When one gets too hard, go to the
other for a while. And of course do use the free FSI courses of the 60s. They have
incredible levels of detail.

Jeffers wrote:
TY stands for Teach Yourself. It is one of the big language
publishers and has a lot
of courses. Most of their courses follow the traditional pattern of: dialogue,
vocabulary list, grammar notes, exercises. They also have beginner courses, audio
courses, advanced courses, etc.

They have a lot of the normal languages you would expect, like French, German,
Italian,
etc. In that case, they have a lot of competition and might not be the best choice.
But for some languages, they are one of very few choices. So I recommend TY for
people
learning Hindi in part because there are few other options.

One more comment: TY have a habit of bringing out new versions of courses every three
years or so. In most cases they have simply re-packaged the older course without any
substantial change. What makes it worse is that they re-name the course, which makes
people think it's a different course.

4 persons have voted this message useful



turorudi
Triglot
Newbie
Philippines
Joined 2079 days ago

24 posts - 30 votes
Speaks: English, Tagalog*, Japanese
Studies: Hungarian, French

 
 Message 354 of 376
16 March 2015 at 10:08am | IP Logged 
I am currently using the following to study Hungarian:
1. Complete Hungarian (Teach Yourself)
2. Colloquial Hungarian
3. Assimil Hungarian with Ease
4. FSI Spoken Hungarian

I tend to switch to different materials depending on my mood. But recently, I prefer
using Colloquial over TY because the latter tends to be a bit all over the place. Also,
the FSI course really helps with conversation (and thinking on your feet)-- it doesn't
matter if it was made many years ago :D
1 person has voted this message useful





Betablinx
Pro Member
United Kingdom
Joined 1957 days ago

10 posts - 11 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: German
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 355 of 376
18 June 2015 at 4:46pm | IP Logged 
Just finished reading through all 45 pages and was wondering what people thought of
this plan:

1. Pimsleur for introduction to the language and useful for when driving to work or at
the gym.
2. Michael Thomas for rapid learning.
3. Assimil as the core part of study.
4. FSI for filling in any gaps.
5. Perhaps further supplement with Teach Yourself or Routledge Colloquials books.

What I have also noticed is the big language learning software providers (also the
most expensive ones) such as Rosetta Stone or Fluenz have gotten negative reviews for
the most part and seem to be a waste of money.

The first language I want to learn is German and then after Thai, both to a fluent
level. Could someone with experience of learning new languages criticise or improve my
4 point plan above please?
1 person has voted this message useful



Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2562 days ago

502 posts - 1090 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 356 of 376
18 June 2015 at 8:27pm | IP Logged 
Hello Betablinx,

Welcome to the Forum! First, if I might make a suggestion, I wonder if might not be a little more appropriate if you were to reopen your discussion thread under the section "Advice"? However, since we're already into the thick of things, I'll respond to your post.

Yes, Rosetta Stone is pure, unadulterated rubbish. Fluenz is a much better software product than Rosetta; it is NOT rubbish, but it IS tedious and, given the availability of other materials, it would not be a good investment of either your time or your money.

Both Pimsleur and Michel Thomas are "all audio" programmes. Their approaches are similar, but not quite the same, and both have advantages and disturbingly irritating disadvantages. Nonetheless, given that, for reasons of safety, using a cellphone while driving is no longer legal, surely the even greater distraction of trying to learn a foreing language while driving can only be greater cause for concern ... uh, meiner Meinung nach.

If you're going to pay full price for Pimsleur German, then choose the "Unlimited" software option. There is no longer a price difference vis-à-vis the mp3 audio option. The advantage with the Unlimited package is that Pimsleur has finally stepped into the late 20th century and provided some on-screen text examples of the audio, something that they could have achieved mid-20th century had they simply provided a printed glossary with a few example sentences per lesson. This is a tremendous improvement over the requirement of digging around in a dictionnary and book of verbs. However, you'll still need to consult a simple German Grammar to truly understand the structure of the language. You'll also need a German Grammar for working with (Saint) Michel Thomas. Both programmes are a good place to start learning German, provided you adapt well to their method: I have an ambigous relationship with Pimsleur and, for me, Michel Thomas German was excruciatingly painful to use. As both programmes are for beginners, and cover more-or-less the same territory, you need not complete both of them.

As a follow-up to either Pimsleur or Michel Thomas, I would use Assimil simply because it is fairly comprehensive and because working with the short dialogues has a cumulative effect somewhat similar to working with sentence-pattern drills. The material is also quite current. However, because of the sometimes bizarre nature of the accompanying course notes, you'll need to use a simple German Grammar to truly appreciate the Assimil explanations.

You "could" follow-up Assimil German with FSI Basic German, or you could begin the confidence-shattering/confidence-building experience of working with "native materials". You could also postpone this step by using Assimil Perfectionnement Allemand and either translate the French notes and transcriptions into English, which is something that I would not recommend, or simply use the audio files and German transcripts as "graded equivalent-to-native-materials".

FSI Basic German is a long, tough, somewhat dated, but truly excellent programme. It's true strength lies in the sentence-pattern drills. I would suggest that, once you have progressed through, say, about half of the Pimsleur or Michel Thomas programmes, you have a go at the first few Units of FSI Basic German. Do not judge the programme by Unit 1 alone, as it is particularly tedious; the drills in the subsequent Units have more flesh on the bone.

As an alternative to the FSI Basic German drills, which I absolutely devoured, you might consider the Glossika Mass Sentence drills. You can use them in conjunction with the Assimil programme, once you're about one-third of the way through the latter programme.

The Routledge Colloquial and Teach Yourself Complete programmes are basic introductory courses and, assuming that you progress through Pimsleur-MT-Assimil, they have nothing to offer you.




Edited by Speakeasy on 18 June 2015 at 8:48pm

2 persons have voted this message useful





Betablinx
Pro Member
United Kingdom
Joined 1957 days ago

10 posts - 11 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: German
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 357 of 376
18 June 2015 at 9:07pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for the detailed reply Speakeasy, it's greatly appreciated. Finding this forum
today has been a godsend and I expect has saved me £100s.

After reading what you said I think I'm going to go from; Pimsleur to Assimil and then
to FSI, I'll just forget about: Michael Thomas, Teach Yourself and Colloquial.

It's annoying that Assimil doesn't have an English site, I use Chrome so it translates
it for me but it's a bit dumb from a commercial sense that they only have the site in
French. I am also confused about their products as they tend to have multiple products
for each language. I'm guessing that the most expensive one is the one to buy for the
complete course. I still think they could have named their products better.

Out of interest what level of German are you currently at and which resources did you
use to get there?

After Assmil and FSI is there any software or resources you could recommend to get
from where that gets you up to fluency?

Thanks again.


Edited by Betablinx on 23 June 2015 at 8:38pm

1 person has voted this message useful



habadzi
Super Polyglot
Senior Member
Greece
Joined 4084 days ago

68 posts - 106 votes 
Speaks: Greek*, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Hindi, French, German, Italian, Ancient Greek, Modern Hebrew, Arabic (classical), Indonesian, Bengali, Albanian, Nepali

 
 Message 358 of 376
18 June 2015 at 9:23pm | IP Logged 
I am studying Assimil Malagasy, and I am extremely impressed with the detail of this
method. It's a small format thick book with a whole lot of specific information packed
into it. And unlike cheap methods, it gives translations, exercises, explanations, and
audio.
Bravo assimil!
2 persons have voted this message useful



Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2562 days ago

502 posts - 1090 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 359 of 376
19 June 2015 at 1:28am | IP Logged 
Hello Betablinx,

I have sent you a PRIVATE MESSAGE. To access it, you will have to LOGGIN, click on the MAIL function at the top of the page, and open your INBOX.

As to Assimil, you can purchase their courses on Amazon, AbeBooks, Alibris, and on numerous other online booksellers' websites, as well as in many bookstores. Since Assimil sells their courses as (a) book only, (b) CDs only, (d) book and CDs as a package, be sure that you know what you're ordering.

Following Assimil and/or FSI Basic, you really should be aiming for "native materials". Nonetheless, Linguaphone offers an "Advanced to Expert" German course that is, effectively, graded native materials (it is entirely in German and believe me, it's not easy). To ease the shock and pain of your first contact with native German materials, you should have a look at the Deutsche Welle website. As to getting up to fluency, well, to a large extent, that is what this Forum is all about and I will refrain from commenting any further at this time.

You have picked out some the most highly-regarded materials and that is a very important first step. The next step will most likely determine your success in language-learning, particular in the self-study environment, removed from daily contact with native-speakers; that is, you need to develop a STUDY PLAN. For that, I suggest that you open a separate Discussion Thread under the ADVICE section.

Guten schönen Abend!
2 persons have voted this message useful



habadzi
Super Polyglot
Senior Member
Greece
Joined 4084 days ago

68 posts - 106 votes 
Speaks: Greek*, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Hindi, French, German, Italian, Ancient Greek, Modern Hebrew, Arabic (classical), Indonesian, Bengali, Albanian, Nepali

 
 Message 360 of 376
19 June 2015 at 7:10am | IP Logged 
The best thing is to use multiple methods simultaneously. You go on for a while in
one. You get tired or can't keep up, then do another.

If Pimsleur exists in a language, level 1 is the most efficient first step. (People
praise Michael Thomas, but I have simply never experienced it). Buy used from ebay if
available. Buy cassettes and digitize if you have patience.

FSI is free, and though tedious, it really teaches the rules with plenty of practice.
The website has changed, I believe fsi-courses.yojik.eu. (I have contributed
Bengali.) In case you find 3 levels of Pimsleur and you complete also the FSI of a
language, you are at intermediate level. You can read 'teach yourself' in between to
get practice, but these books are really too brief.

For Thai there are specific books. Pimsleur should teach that, but be careful with
this oral method. East Asian sounds are sometimes strange, and you may not hear them
correctly. Then there is a need to learn this complex alphabet.


2 persons have voted this message useful



This discussion contains 376 messages over 47 pages: << Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.4531 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2020 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.