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Assimil

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josht
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4614 days ago

635 posts - 857 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: French, Spanish, Russian, Dutch

 
 Message 185 of 278
30 October 2008 at 10:19am | IP Logged 
ficticius: I'd recommend you don't give up, but rather, keep on plugging away. I've finished the passive wave of Assimil French with Ease, and am now working through the active wave.

I found that when I started the active wave, after the first few lessons I was running into a lot of material I couldn't produce - words I'd simply forgotten, constructions I was using incorrectly, etc. The solution? I'd review the lesson until I could produce it correctly. As I've continued through the active wave, I've found that it's (mostly) getting easier. There are still some lessons, such as one on idiomatic expressions, which I essentially have to "relearn" to do the active wave, but those are the exception, not the rule. Generally speaking, I've found that when I went hastily through a lesson during the passive wave, it led to the active wave being quite difficult, or downright impossible until I relearned the lesson.

The primary thing I've taken from this is that forgetting is part of learning. As language learners, if we give up everytime we hit a problem or struggle to understand / produce something, then we might as well not even bother learning languages. Struggling with the material doesn't mean the material is inadequate or unusable; it means you've not mastered the material. :-) (I realize some materials are truly worthless, but I'd say most of the folks on the forum here would say Assimil qualifies as at least "decent.")

So, in short: don't give up. While I wouldn't recommend starting over completely, as that would probably bore you to tears, I would recommend you go back and review ALL of the lessons you've done so far. And then, if you find that you still are unable to produce the German as you'd like - review again. If you forget something, relearn it.

Are you using any other materials besides Assimil? I'd recommend a decent grammar book to help you along; having one might help you deal a bit better with the cases and declensions. Schaum's has a German grammar book out which is decent for beginners.
6 persons have voted this message useful



Juan M.
Senior Member
Colombia
Joined 4067 days ago

460 posts - 597 votes 

 
 Message 186 of 278
08 November 2008 at 2:23pm | IP Logged 
Hello everyone.

I've been trying to track down any of the second generation Assimil books (in English and Spanish, for now) which reputedly are their best, but have not been able to find too many with late 1960s or early 1970s publication date. Most are either from the 40s and 50s, from 1965, o far newer ones, which I gather are not very good by comparison. I was wondering though if those listed as 1965 could fall into the second generation? I would immensely appreciate it if someone could clarify this for me.

Thanks in advance!

Bye.
1 person has voted this message useful



habadzi
Super Polyglot
Senior Member
Greece
Joined 3742 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 187 of 278
22 October 2009 at 5:36am | IP Logged 
Maybe assimil has run out of steam after 4 years of discussions. I just purchased the Malagache book and quickly looked through it. They teach material explicitly, translating word for word below a sentence,and this is very good. They focus on important items needed for speaking, such as pronouns early on and give these systematically in lists, so peple can create the right number of categories in their minds. These "traditional" aspects of the text work well with human memory.

But the amount of material is so limited! the books have a small format, but still it's only about the amount you would get in phrase books. And the CD that came with the booklet only has about 48 minutes of audio!!

Assimil is probably irreplaceable for the rare languages it has, like Maori and Malagache. For these one must be happy to find any material with audio. For more commn language, use more extensive materials.
1 person has voted this message useful





newyorkeric
Diglot
Moderator
Singapore
Joined 4547 days ago

1598 posts - 2174 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian
Studies: Mandarin, Malay
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 Message 188 of 278
22 October 2009 at 6:52am | IP Logged 
The Assimil Malgache course is not a full course. It is in the On the Road series. The regular Assimil courses typically have 3 hours or so of audio. test

Edited by administrator on 22 October 2009 at 11:14am

1 person has voted this message useful



fanatic
Octoglot
Senior Member
Australia
speedmathematics.com
Joined 5314 days ago

1152 posts - 1814 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, French, Afrikaans, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Dutch
Studies: Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Modern Hebrew, Malay, Mandarin, Esperanto

 
 Message 190 of 278
22 October 2009 at 9:20am | IP Logged 
JuanM wrote:
Hello everyone.

I've been trying to track down any of the second generation Assimil books (in English and Spanish, for now) which reputedly are their best, but have not been able to find too many with late 1960s or early 1970s publication date. Most are either from the 40s and 50s, from 1965, o far newer ones, which I gather are not very good by comparison. I was wondering though if those listed as 1965 could fall into the second generation? I would immensely appreciate it if someone could clarify this for me.

Thanks in advance!

Bye.


I have books from the 40s and 50s and the text is essentially the same as the 60s and 70s. The cartoons are different and prices in the text have been revised. That is, the cost of a newspaper or a cup of coffee or the amount given as a tip have been revised to reflect the rise in inflation. The recordings are good for both. I would recommend any of the Assimil courses produced before the 1980s.


3 persons have voted this message useful



habadzi
Super Polyglot
Senior Member
Greece
Joined 3742 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 191 of 278
22 October 2009 at 11:40am | IP Logged 
newyorkeric wrote:
The Assimil Malgache course is not a full course. It is in the On the Road series. The regular Assimil courses typically have 3 hours or so of audio. test

1 person has voted this message useful



habadzi
Super Polyglot
Senior Member
Greece
Joined 3742 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 192 of 278
22 October 2009 at 11:41am | IP Logged 
Tahnks. How do I know which one is which? full vs. short course? Incidentally Pimsleur is awfully confusing on the same issue.

newyorkeric wrote:
The Assimil Malgache course is not a full course. It is in the On the Road series. The regular Assimil courses typically have 3 hours or so of audio. test



1 person has voted this message useful



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