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Hugo VS Assimil :french which’s the best?

  Tags: Assimil | French
 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
Joined 3704 days ago

63 posts - 66 votes 
Speaks: Arabic (Egyptian)*
Studies: English, Russian, Modern Hebrew, Aramaic

 Message 1 of 5
04 May 2010 at 1:59am | IP Logged 
I really can't choose to start my learning between Assimil and Hugo
many persons told me that Assimil is the best way to speak french fluency
but others advised me with Hugo French in 3 months
and others told about French in action

which is the best ????
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 5413 days ago

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Speaks: English*, German, French, Afrikaans, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Dutch
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 Message 2 of 5
04 May 2010 at 4:13am | IP Logged 
I own a number of Hugo programs and I like them. I also own French in Action and I have the old and new Assimil French programs.

I would definitely make Assimil my first choice.

It is recorded entirely in the language.

They break the course up into daily lessons.

The course is largely dialogue. They teach the grammar as you go.

The course is interesting and easy to keep up.

You are not under pressure to learn and to memorise. You just learn passively for the first couple of months.

The choice you make depends greatly on the way you learn. Hugo and FIA have a more formal approach to learning. I would say that Assimil is a more natural way to learn. It is similar to a visit to France with someone advising you as you struggle with the language.
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Czech Republic
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 Message 3 of 5
04 May 2010 at 8:57am | IP Logged 
None of them is "the best", they each approach the language in a different way, so you get something different from each of them.

Hugo French in 3 Months is pretty heavy on grammar: it has lots of tables showing word endings. It does have dialogues too, but is more of a traditional "textbook" than the other courses you mention. It is good if you like studying the way people do at school.

Assimil is primarily dialogues (and lots of them) with grammar left mostly to the footnotes. It is good if you like exposure to "realistic" language and can pick up the grammar from that exposure.

French in Action is an immersion experience: it is a 50-something part video series entirely in French, starting off very simple and building up to a pretty good standard. To get the best out of it, though, you do benefit from the accompanying audio and books.

You mentioned you want to speak French fluently. If you are that ambitious, why not get all three courses? All of them are good, and it would help you reinforce things from different angles.

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Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3649 days ago

38 posts - 54 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French

 Message 4 of 5
04 May 2010 at 9:55am | IP Logged 
To echo what fanatic and Splog advised, if you have the time and money, do several courses simultaneously -
particularly one like Assimil that is focussed on speech. If you can only spare 30-60 minutes a day then I
recommend Assimil. From my experience so far, small periods of regular daily effort are more rewarding than
longer irregular ones.

I previously tried more traditional materials that sound like Hugo based upon Splog's description. They helped me
read and write a little French but did little to help me speak and listen to it. In contrast, I'm about 3/4 of the way
through Assimil and it is very helpful indeed.

Edited by Kampernaut on 04 May 2010 at 9:55am

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Senior Member
Joined 3638 days ago

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Speaks: English*
Studies: French

 Message 5 of 5
04 May 2010 at 5:49pm | IP Logged 
I would go for Hugo French in Three Months with the CD's and textbook.
I like the Hugo French in Three Months course.I feel it's a good solid course for
beginners to intermediate learners.It had good mixture of grammar and conversation.

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