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Ranking of Assimil courses

  Tags: Hit List | Assimil
 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
64 messages over 8 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next >>
Senior Member
Joined 5018 days ago

160 posts - 247 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Russian

 Message 1 of 64
15 April 2011 at 4:45am | IP Logged 
I think it is a well known fact among language learners that the different Assimil
courses are not equal in quality or depth.

Independently of the "difficulty" of the target language, I found that some of their
courses offer a much more deep understanding not only of the language itself
(vocabulary, grammar, etc.) but also of the culture.

I am looking to determine which course can be characterized as the "best": the one that
offers the most complete and comprehensive learning experience. How would you rank the
different Assimil courses you've taken? I am not looking for a random score, but only
for a ranking, in declining order of quality. For example, in my case :

1. Russian with ease (Nouveau Russe sans peine)
2. German with ease (Nouvel Allemand sans peine)
3. Chinese with ease (Chinois sans peine)

3 persons have voted this message useful

Lucky Charms
Senior Member
Joined 5637 days ago

752 posts - 1711 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: German, Spanish

 Message 2 of 64
15 April 2011 at 5:37am | IP Logged 
1. German with Ease
2. Spanish with Ease

I'm not very far along in Spanish with Ease, but I hate the fact that some of the lessons
(at least the early lessons) aren't stories or dialogues at all, just disjointed
sentences meant to illustrate a grammar point. To me, this isn't "with Ease" at all, but
just like grammar drills. I've actually had to skip a few because they're so boring! And
flipping ahead, it seems that there are more dialogues later on, but they're not as
humorous and charming as the German ones. I've been wondering if anyone who's gotten
further along in the Spanish course feels the same way I do.
2 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 5127 days ago

4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 Message 3 of 64
15 April 2011 at 5:50am | IP Logged 
Good: German, Italian, French, Dutch.
Ok: Persian, Polish, Japanese.
Avoid: Esperanto, Arabic.

9 persons have voted this message useful

Winner TAC 2011
Senior Member
Joined 4830 days ago

2150 posts - 3229 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian, French, Greek, Italian
Studies: Russian, Swedish, Persian, Turkish, Japanese

 Message 4 of 64
15 April 2011 at 6:20am | IP Logged 
I'm not sure about the comprehensiveness of the learning experience, but I'll order the ones I have enough experience with according to how much I liked working through them.

1. Dutch with Ease
2. Romanian with Ease (Le Roumain Sans Peine)
3. Persian with Ease (Le Persan Sans Peine)
4. Swedish with Ease (Le Suédois Sans Peine)
5. Japanese with Ease

I wouldn't say that any of these are bad though, it's just that I didn't like the Japanese course as much as, say, the Romanian one. Note that the only one I have completed is Dutch with Ease, maybe because I enjoyed it so much.

I've also used Assimil somewhat for Polish (Le Polonais Sans Peine), Swahili (Le Swahili Sans Peine), and Dutch again (La Pratique du Néerlandais) but haven't worked through them enough to make an accurate judgment on them.

Edited by ellasevia on 15 April 2011 at 6:21am

5 persons have voted this message useful

Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4496 days ago

402 posts - 512 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish*
Studies: Portuguese, Italian, French
Studies: German

 Message 5 of 64
15 April 2011 at 6:26am | IP Logged 
I remember reading a post of Professor Arguelles' saying that their "El Catalan Sin
Esfuerzo" (Catalan for Spanish Speaking People) was their best work.

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3788 days ago

411 posts - 639 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: German

 Message 6 of 64
15 April 2011 at 12:41pm | IP Logged 
I hope someone will grade French Without Toil. I haven't tried any others so I have nothing to compare it with.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 4917 days ago

693 posts - 1328 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Galician
Studies: Hungarian, Vietnamese, Modern Hebrew, Norwegian, Persian, Arabic (Written)

 Message 7 of 64
15 April 2011 at 1:05pm | IP Logged 
I would bet you could set up a formal survey on (or a similar survey site) where people could
rank the Assimil courses and maybe give a weight to "comprehensiveness", humor/enjoyability, audio quality and
general usefulness of the courses.   Then the data would be in one place for everyone to see. My own experience:

Assimil Hungarian with ease - good
L' Nouveau L'Arabe sans Peine - fairly good
Le Serbo-Croate sans peine - pretty bad
8 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 5060 days ago

528 posts - 772 votes 
Speaks: English*

 Message 8 of 64
15 April 2011 at 1:52pm | IP Logged 
1. Hungarian, Dutch, French, Spanish, German, Norvegien, Suédois, Danois, Portuguais,
2. Chinese, Russe
3. Japanese
1=Excellent, 2=Good, 3=Fairly good
I own Assimil: Hungarian, Dutch, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Japanese. They
are all great but the Japanese one is a little worse than the others due to too many
boring irrelevant words for a beginner and the over stressed Japanese voices. But it's
still usable and better than practically any other Japanese course out there. The best?
I'm not sure. They are all pretty wonderful. The European language ones are definitely
the best and quite comprehensive. On my computer I have older electronic copies of
Assimil: le Norvegien, Suédois, Danois, Portuguais, Italien, and Russe. They all seem
as good as my hard copies but the Russian one is a bit older and appears to cover less
and go a bit slower. I think that's because it's considered a bit harder than the
others languages. The only courses that compare are old linguaphone courses and this
1950's Japanese course I found in my university library. Five word books with word
lists, five books full of L1 text lessons, three Kanji books, and an explanation book.
Of course, no recordings. It's ridiculously comprehensive. It does seem to me that
language courses were better in the past. Exception being we now have audio easily

Edited by zerothinking on 15 April 2011 at 1:59pm

9 persons have voted this message useful

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