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Assimil availability

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BobMc
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4044 days ago

36 posts - 47 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 1 of 19
26 February 2010 at 12:40am | IP Logged 
There are Assimil courses out there in French that I wish were available in Engligh, such as Brazilian Portuguese and Advanced German. I can not for the life of me figure out why companies like Assimil and Linguaphone don't go after Brazilian Portuguese. Brazil has 200 million people and is an up and coming economy, and there seems to be a fair amount of people in the U.S. interested in learning the language from a career standpoint. Yes, Rosetta and Pimsleur have offerings, but no one seems to progress that far with those.

Anyway, to my real question. Do current Assimil courses ever get discontinued? If I do plan to learn French someday, should I worry that some of the current courses with a French base language could get discontinued, or does that rarely ever happen?
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datsunking1
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
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1014 posts - 1533 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: German, Russian, Dutch, French

 
 Message 2 of 19
26 February 2010 at 1:29am | IP Logged 
BobMc wrote:
There are Assimil courses out there in French that I wish were available in Engligh, such as Brazilian Portuguese and Advanced German. I can not for the life of me figure out why companies like Assimil and Linguaphone don't go after Brazilian Portuguese. Brazil has 200 million people and is an up and coming economy, and there seems to be a fair amount of people in the U.S. interested in learning the language from a career standpoint. Yes, Rosetta and Pimsleur have offerings, but no one seems to progress that far with those.

Anyway, to my real question. Do current Assimil courses ever get discontinued? If I do plan to learn French someday, should I worry that some of the current courses with a French base language could get discontinued, or does that rarely ever happen?


I would also be interested in Brazilian Portuguese. Why Assimil doesn't expand their market to English speakers in beyond me. They would have much more business in my opinion. I would definitely buy Russian and Portuguese.
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goosefrabbas
Triglot
Pro Member
United States
Joined 4764 days ago

393 posts - 475 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish
Studies: German, Italian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 3 of 19
26 February 2010 at 4:30am | IP Logged 
How many native English speakers think it's a good idea to learn other languages?
Of those, how many would put up the effort?
Of those, how many would spend close to $100 on a course?
English speakers aren't exactly the people you'd want to market a language course to. Sure, by the sheer number of English speakers it would be a good idea to target them. But if an English speaker already knows another language it's probably a common one like French, Spanish, or German, which Assimil has the most courses based in.
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TerryW
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4753 days ago

370 posts - 783 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 4 of 19
26 February 2010 at 8:29am | IP Logged 
Looking at the US Amazon pages for the "501 Verbs" book series, here is the "sales rank" (they list it in the "Product Details" section) at the time I'm posting this:

Spanish - Amazon.com Sales Rank: #983 in Books

French - Amazon.com Sales Rank: #5,306 in Books

Arabic - Amazon.com Sales Rank: #13,748 in Books

German - Amazon.com Sales Rank: #19,795 in Books

Portuguese - Amazon.com Sales Rank: #23,323 in Books

Italian - Amazon.com Sales Rank: #40,903 in Books

Russian - Amazon.com Sales Rank: #261,113 in Books

Japanese - Amazon.com Sales Rank: #311,900 in Books

These are the versions "with CD" where available, so sales of books without should really be added, which cannot be done rank-wise. I took the first occurrance of each language in the resultant listing on an Amazon search for "501 verbs."

Since this is a snapshot of 1 point in time, there may be some anomalies in there, but I think this "index" could give a fairly good indication of relative interest in languages by serious language learners. I doubt people traveling on vacation would buy the 501 verb book to pick up some phrases.


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Paskwc
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 4073 days ago

450 posts - 623 votes 
Speaks: Hindi, Urdu*, Arabic (Levantine), French, English
Studies: Persian, Spanish

 
 Message 5 of 19
26 February 2010 at 10:28am | IP Logged 
Portuguese's popularity over Italian's surprises me. I know many people who don't know
where Portugal is and think Brazilians speak Spanish.
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tractor
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3849 days ago

1349 posts - 2292 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, English, Spanish, Catalan
Studies: French, German, Latin

 
 Message 6 of 19
26 February 2010 at 6:21pm | IP Logged 
BobMc wrote:
There are Assimil courses out there in French that I wish were available in Engligh, such as
Brazilian Portuguese and Advanced German. I can not for the life of me figure out why companies like Assimil
and Linguaphone don't go after Brazilian Portuguese. Brazil has 200 million people and is an up and coming
economy, and there seems to be a fair amount of people in the U.S. interested in learning the language from a
career standpoint. Yes, Rosetta and Pimsleur have offerings, but no one seems to progress that far with
those.


Linguaphone actually offered a wide range of languages some 20 years ago. Not only that, but they made non-
English editions too. It wouldn't surprise me if the had a Brazilian Portuguese course back then.

BobMc wrote:
Anyway, to my real question. Do current Assimil courses ever get discontinued? If I do plan to
learn French someday, should I worry that some of the current courses with a French base language could get
discontinued, or does that rarely ever happen?


Sometimes they will make new courses, eg. German With Ease instead of German Without Toil. But I don't know if
they will ever stop selling a particular course without making a new one.

Edited by tractor on 26 February 2010 at 6:22pm

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tractor
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3849 days ago

1349 posts - 2292 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, English, Spanish, Catalan
Studies: French, German, Latin

 
 Message 7 of 19
26 February 2010 at 6:24pm | IP Logged 
goosefrabbas wrote:
How many native English speakers think it's a good idea to learn other languages?
Of those, how many would put up the effort?
Of those, how many would spend close to $100 on a course?
English speakers aren't exactly the people you'd want to market a language course to. Sure, by the sheer number
of English speakers it would be a good idea to target them. But if an English speaker already knows another
language it's probably a common one like French, Spanish, or German, which Assimil has the most courses based
in.

Couldn't exactly the same thing be said about French speakers?
1 person has voted this message useful



Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
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4399 posts - 7687 votes 
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 8 of 19
27 February 2010 at 11:34am | IP Logged 
Why don't Assimil release more languages for English speakers? Amazon's US sales rank again gives us a clue: (again, not that some of these have been released in more than one edition, which is also why TY and Colloquial have been excluded).

Title ; Rank (Spanish) ; Rank (French)
501 verbs ; 983 ; 5,306
Pimsleur ; 9,893 ; 38,230
MT Bgnnr ; 15,83 9 ; 26,232
Assimil ; 422,048 ; 325,160

Figures are slightly different in the UK, but Assimil still has a similarly low page-rank.

Assimil isn't popular with English speakers, so releasing minority-interest languages isn't economically viable.

OK, so they could put the price up a bit to account for this, but that would have the effect of giving people the general impression that Assimil is an expensive course.

Edited by Cainntear on 27 February 2010 at 11:36am



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