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Assimil Deutsch by Bettina Schödel

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Senior Member
Joined 3924 days ago

507 posts - 1098 votes 
Studies: German

 Message 1 of 1
22 February 2024 at 7:10pm | IP Logged 
About a year ago, whilst waiting around for my wife at a local bookstore, I picked
up a copy of the Book/CD package of the latest edition of Assimil Deutsch (circa 2021).
Although the images on the package and on the book cover bear a strong resemblance to
those of the prevision generation (circa 2012?), as there was also a copy of the course
manual lying next to the package, with a view to keeping myself busy while my wife dug
through the stacks, I picked it up, flipped through it and, ultimately, made the
decision to purchase the package (from a French base, this is Québec, after all).

I was initially disappointed with the dialogues. The author’s short biography suggests
that she has spent part of her career as a contributor to those awful for-classroom-
study course materials and the initial dialogues of this latest edition seemed to
resemble the former. Gawd, I thought to myself, has Assimil succumbed to the
temptation of serving up this manner of rubbish to the masses?   Dismayed, I continued
to work through the course manual. Despite my initial reaction and although my German
is in the area of C1, I purchased this latest offering of Assimil Deutsch for review
and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working through the course.

The dialogues which Frau Bettina Schödel penned for Assimil are the most refreshing
that I have come across in a very long time, indeed. They are lively, up-to-date, they
emphasize informal and idiomatic speech, and they seem to have be written for an
audience of twenty-somethings. In my opinion, the average young person, having
completed this course of study, would be well-prepared to go about their essential
business in Germany and would be in a much better prepared to strike up an informal
conversation with the local youth than had they studied a previous generation of
Assimil or similar materials.

As to the recordings, they are typical Assimil, slow at the beginning, increasing in
cadence throughout the course. The only complaint that I have has to do with the
female voice-actor’s delivery. Although she is a native speaker, her voice sounds like
that of someone who is concentrating so hard on reading the text that she has lost the
natural fluctuations of regular speech. That is no reason to condemn an otherwise

Although the notes on grammar are the habitual Assimil garble destined for insiders
only, those touching upon current use and idiomatic speech are worth their weight in

Koodo's to Frau Schödel for her refreshing dialogues!

Slight modification to the text.

Edited by Speakeasy on 22 February 2024 at 9:18pm

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