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Generations of Assimil

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YnEoS
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United States
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472 posts - 893 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Russian, Cantonese, Japanese, French, Hungarian, Czech, Swedish, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 1 of 55
01 February 2014 at 5:09am | IP Logged 
I've noticed there have been several past attempts to Catalog all the Assimil courses and their various generations but none have really gotten off the ground. It's probably not possible for one person to do on their own, but I've attempted to put together as comprehensive a list as I could with the information I could find. Hopefully people will let me know of any errors or additional courses they find so I can update the list.

I also haven't seen a complete consensus on how many total generations for Assimil there are. I have settled on 3 because most languages have no more than 3 and I was able to identify 3 main formatting styles, though one could argue there are more than 3. I have categorized all the courses ranging from 1929-197ish as 1st Generation, because they all have a very similar formatting. My theory is that a lot of the old courses got re-printed and had new audio recorded for them. The only course I have seen that could arguably have 4 variants is Russian, but the re-print has a lot of lessons in common with the original version so I've decided it would be simpler to call it Updated 1st Generation. If people find more exceptions or take issue with this I can edit this list to be a 4 generations list.

I've tried to group courses into generations based on their content and layout, because the naming and covering conventions seem inconsistent. For example many of what I consider "2nd Generation Courses" have been repacked and renamed to look like 3rd generation courses, without any change in content. Although each course seems unique and very few follow any specific template 100%, I have tried to group them to the category they most closely match. I've list below the unique characteristics I think best identify each generation


1st Generation
-Usually have between 100 and 140 lessons
-Usually have songs every lesson before the review
-Lessons usually follow a character on a trip to the country
-After the exercises there may be supplementary grammar exercises and idioms in later lessons

2nd Generation
-Usually have between 70 and 100 lessons
-Fill in the blank exercises
-Lessons can often be much longer than the average 1 minute of other courses

3rd Generation
-Almost all of these courses have exactly 100 lessons
-Fill in the blank exercises
-Early lessons tend to be shorter than usual
-Review lessons have a "final dialog" that reviews vocabulary and grammar of past 6 lessons
-Each lesson may have an additional few paragraphs of cultural notes

I'm unsure how the different generations of the advanced courses vary, but I do know that there are 3 generations, the 1st generation is usually called "La Pratique" while 2nd and 3rd generations are called "Perfectionnement". The 3rd Generation seems to have standardized the advanced level at 70 lessons.

Let me know if you think of anything to add to the above lists. Of course the quality and layout of courses can vary wildly even within each generation, so if you've used a course it would be really helpful to post reviews here of what you think of the course and how it compared to other courses you've used. It would also be worthwhile to try and identify any courses with unique or uncommon features.

Here's the list of courses by language, I'll try and keep it updated if people contribute any interesting information about specific courses.

Key:
Language
Generation # - Course Title (# of Lessons): Description and Notes



Alsatien
2nd - L'Alsacien Sans Peine (79 Lessons)

Antillean Creole
1st? - Le Créole Guadeloupeén sans peine (50 Lessons)

Arabic
2nd - L'Arabe Sans Peine (100 Lessons)
2nd - Pour mieux connaître l'Arabe (16 Lessons)
3rd - L'Arabe (77 Lessons)
3rd - Perfectionnement Arabe (70 Lessons)

Armenian
2nd - L'Arménien Sans Peine (85 Lessons)

Basque
2nd - Le Basque Unifé (Intiation) [50 Lessons]

Breton
1st - Initiation au Breton sans peine (42 Lessons)
1st - Le Breton Sans Peine (77 Lessons)
3rd - Le Breton (100 Lessons)

Bulgarian
3rd - Le Bulgare Sans Peine (100 Lessons)

Cantonese
3rd - Le Cantonais (100 Lessons)

Catalan
1st - El Catalán Sin Esfuerzo (70 Lessons)
3rd - Le Catalan (100 Lessons)

Corsican
1st - Le Corse Sans Peine (77 Lessons)

Chinese Mandarin
2nd - Le Chinois Sans Peine (105 Lessons)
2nd - Pour mieux connaître le Chinois (?? Lessons)

Czech
2nd - Le Tchèque Sans Peine (92 Lessons)

Danish
2nd - Le Danois Sans Peine (64 Lessons)

Dutch
1st - Le Néerlandais Sans Peine (??? Lessons): German Edition has 1 different lesson.
1st - La Pratique du Néerlandais (75 Lessons)
1st - La Pratique du Néerlandais (81 Lessons): Alternate 1st Gen course, completely rewritten.
2nd - Le Nouveau Néerlandais Sans Peine (84 Lessons)
2nd - Le Néerlandais des Affaires (51 Lessons)
3rd - Le Néerlandais (100 Lessons)

English
1st - L'Anglais Sans Peine (154 Lessons)
1st - La Pratique de l'Anglais (??? Lessons)
2nd - Le Nouvel Anglais Sans Peine (146 Lessons)
2nd - L'Américain Sans Peine (105 Lessons)
2nd - Perfectionnement Anglais? (63 Lessons): *Could be same as 1st Generation
2nd - Les Nouvel Anglais des Affaires (40 Lessons)
2nd - L'Anglais des Sciences (63 Lessons)
2nd - Apprenez L'Amérique (40 Lessons)
2nd - L'Anglais Par L'Humour (90 Lessons)
3rd - L'Anglais (110 Lessons)
3rd - Perfectionnement Anglais (70 Lessons)
3rd - L'Anglais des Affaires (50 Lessons)

Esperanto
1st - L'Esperanto Sans Peine (98 Lessons)

Finnish
2nd - Le Finnois Sans Peine (100 Lessons): *Same course as current one???

French
1st - French Without Toil (140 Lessons): More grammar notes are given in French as course continues
2nd - French with Ease (100 Lesson)
2nd - New French with Ease (113 Lessons): Updated 2nd Generation with additional lessons
2nd - Using French (70 Lessons)
2nd - Business French (40 Lessons)

German
1st - L'Allemand Sans Peine (126 Lessons): No songs or supplementary exercises; older editions transition to using Gothic script.
1st - La Pratique de l'Allemand (40 Lessons) - Entirely in Gothic script.
1st - La Pratique de l'Allemand (47 Lessons) - Updated course, Gothic script removed, new lessons added.
2nd - Le Nouvel Allemand Sans Peine (100 Lessons)
2nd - Perfectionnement Allemand (56 lessons)
2nd - L'Allemand des Affaires (48 Lessons)
3rd - L'Allemand (100 Lessons)
3rd - Perfectionnement Allemand (70 Lessons)

Greek
1st - Le Grec Sans Peine (101 Lessons)
2nd - Le Nouveau Grec sans peine (92 Lessons)

Greek (Ancient)
2nd - Le Grec ancien (101 Lessons)

Hebrew
1st - L'Hebreu sans peine (120 Lessons)
3rd - L'Hébreu (85 Lessons)

Hieroglyphics
3rd - L'Égyptien Hiéroglyphique (101 Lessons)

Hindi
2nd - Le Hindi Sans Peine (55 Lessons)

Hungarian
2nd - Le Hongrois Sans Peine (85 Lessons)

Indonesian
2nd - L'Indonésien Sans Peine (100 Lessons): *Same course as current one???

Italian
1st - L'Italien Sans Peine (140 Lessons)
2nd - Le Nouvel Italien Sans Peine (105 Lessons)
2nd - Perfectionnement Italien (94 Lessons)
3rd - L'Italien (100 Lessons)
3rd - Perfectionnement Italien (70 Lessons)

Japanese
2nd - Le Japonais Sans Peine (99 Lessons)
2nd - Pour mieux connaître le Japonois (13 Lessons)
3rd - Le Japonais (98 Lessons): *Same as 2nd Gen course converted to 3rd Gen format with some lessons updated. Last lesson removed.

Khmer
3rd - Le Khmer (100 Lessons)

Korean
2nd - Le Coréen Sans Peine (71 Lessons)

Latin
1st - Le Latin Sans Peine (101 Lessons)
1st - Lingua Latina sine molestia (101 Lessons): *Update of 1st Course
3rd - Le Latin (100 Lessons)

Malagasy
3rd - Le Malgache (100 Lessons)

Norwegian
2nd - Le Norvégien (100 Lessons): *Same as Current Course?

Occitian
1st - L'Occitan Sans Peine (77 Lessons)
3rd - L'Occitan (100 Lessons)

Persian
2nd - Le Persan Sans Peine (86 Lessons)

Polish
2nd - Le Polonais Sans Peine (100 Lessons)
3rd - Le Polonais (100 Lessons)

Portuguese
1st - Le Portugais Sans Peine (101 Lessons)
2nd - Le Nouveau Portugais Sans Peine (100 Lessons)
2nd - Le Bresilien Sans Peine (101 Lessons)
3rd - Le Portugais du Brésil (100 Lessons)

Romanian
2nd - Il Romeno Senza Sforzo (101 Lessons)
3rd - Le Roumain (100 Lessons)

Russian
1st - Russian Without Toil (100 Lessons)
1st - Le Russe Sans Peine (100 Lessons) - Updated 1st Generation, some lessons changed
2nd - Le Nouvel Russe Sans Peine (70 Lessons)
3rd - Le Russe (100 Lessons)
3rd - Perfectionment Russe (70 Lessons)

Sanskrit
3rd - Le Sanskrit (100 Lessons)

Serbo-Croatian
1st - Le Serbo-Croate Sans Peine (116 Lessons)
3rd? - Le Croate (100 Lessons): *Not Confirmed

Spanish
1st - Spanish Without Toil (112 Lessons)
1st - La Pratique de l'Espagnol (78 Lessons)
2nd - Le Nouvel Espagnol Sans Peine (109 Lessons)
2nd - Perfectionnement Espagnol (60 Lessons)
2nd - L'Espagnol Des Affairs (40 Lessons)
3rd - L'Espagnol (100 Lessons)

Swahili
2nd - Le Swahili Sans Peine (100 Lessons)

Swedish
2nd - Le Suédois Sans Peine (100 Lessons)
3rd - Le Suédois (100 Lessons)

Tamil
3rd - Le Tamoul Sans Peine (100 Lessons)

Thai
2nd - Introduction au Thaï (50 Lessons)

Turkish
2nd - Le Turc Sans Peine (71 Lessons)

Ukranian
3rd - L'Ukrainien (80 Lessons)

Vietnamese
2nd - Le Vietnamien Sans Peine (63 Lessons)

Yiddish
3rd - Le Yiddish (85 Lessons)


Non-Language
2nd - La Guitare sans peine
2nd - Le Solfège sans peine
2nd - Le Bridge sans peine

Edited by YnEoS on 21 August 2014 at 10:41pm

28 persons have voted this message useful



YnEoS
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2886 days ago

472 posts - 893 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Russian, Cantonese, Japanese, French, Hungarian, Czech, Swedish, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 2 of 55
01 February 2014 at 6:16am | IP Logged 
[Reserved for Future Expansion]
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renaissancemedi
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Senior Member
Greece
Joined 2990 days ago

941 posts - 1308 votes 
Speaks: Greek*, Ancient Greek*, EnglishC2
Studies: French, Russian, Turkish, Modern Hebrew

 
 Message 3 of 55
01 February 2014 at 9:55am | IP Logged 
Wonderful post!
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luke
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Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 4 of 55
01 February 2014 at 10:19am | IP Logged 
There was a predecessor to New French with Ease called French with Ease. As I understand it, it's the same, except NFWE added 13 lessons at the end of the course.

Using French 1985
New French with Ease 1998
Business French 1998

I notice my Using Spanish book has the printed date (1985), rather than the published date. I've seen that in French Without Toil as well.

3 persons have voted this message useful



YnEoS
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2886 days ago

472 posts - 893 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Russian, Cantonese, Japanese, French, Hungarian, Czech, Swedish, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 5 of 55
01 February 2014 at 3:38pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for the information. To me it makes sense to call the French with Ease 2nd Generation and New French with Ease an Updated 2nd Generation course since the methodology remains the same and is similar to other 2nd Generation courses.


Not sure if the Using series generations match up with the generations of the basic courses, but to me it makes sense to try to match them up the the equivalent 3 generations of Using German, it seems sensible to call the Using Spanish and Using French courses 2nd Generation. I don't really know the history and extent of the Business series, but Business French seems like it came out around 2nd Generation, so that should be a suitable label for now.
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
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 Message 6 of 55
01 February 2014 at 5:42pm | IP Logged 
Hebrew is 3rd generation
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luke
Diglot
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Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 7 of 55
01 February 2014 at 9:03pm | IP Logged 
YnEoS wrote:
To me it makes sense to call the French with Ease 2nd Generation and New French with Ease an Updated 2nd Generation course since the methodology remains the same and is similar to other 2nd Generation courses.

Not sure if the Using series generations match up with the generations of the basic courses, but to me it makes sense to try to match them up the the equivalent 3 generations of Using German, it seems sensible to call the Using Spanish and Using French courses 2nd Generation. I don't really know the history and extent of the Business series, but Business French seems like it came out around 2nd Generation, so that should be a suitable label for now.


I agree with all your sentiments.

Having done New French with Ease and Using French as well as French Without Toil, it seemed to me there were a couple of reasons behind Using French.

1) French With Ease and NFWE didn't quite hold up to the standard set by French Without Toil. They didn't take the student as far.
2) Marketing. Instead of extending NFWE a third time, create a brand new course with a different focus and content.

Business French is a somewhat different animal, in that it assumes the student is not learning French per se. E.G., there are no grammar or fill in the blank exercises. The exercises in Business French are more practical, such as create a CV. There are also Translation exercises in each chapter, which is a bit of a throwback to at least 1/2 of the Grammar Translation method. These translation exercises are different that those one might get from the Active Wave in the other Assimil courses, in that the student has never heard the translation. The translation is in the book, so they didn't leave the student without a proper answer though. Business French is good, if you can put up with the subject matter and do everything in the course.

Edited by luke on 01 February 2014 at 11:14pm

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Elexi
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United Kingdom
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Speaks: English*
Studies: French, German, Latin

 
 Message 8 of 55
01 February 2014 at 10:24pm | IP Logged 
I have a couple more - L'allemand des Affaires (Business German) and Le néerlandais des
Affaires (Business Dutch) the former printed in 1979 and the latter in 1981. They are
both definite '2nd Generation' courses.

In addition - Le Néerlandais Sans Peine/Dutch Without Toil has been released twice - by
the 1970s it is billed as having 'Nouvelle orthographe'. The German version has 1
different lesson from the French and English version.

Edited by Elexi on 01 February 2014 at 10:30pm



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