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Assimil Icelandic: we got to bring it up!

  Tags: Icelandic | Assimil
 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
53 messages over 7 pages: 1 24 5 6 7  Next >>
Senior Member
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Speaks: English*, Spanish

 Message 17 of 53
20 March 2008 at 9:51am | IP Logged 
Well in my email to Assimil I did also request an Afrikaans course with a Dutch base, but right now Icelandic is the main priority. I just received this response. I have left out the name on who replied to me.

"Dear customer,

We thank you very much for your e-mail concerning icelandic course. Unfortunately, until today we don't have enough requests concerning an icelandic course in order to edit it. By now, we sell a phrasebook "L'Islandais de poche" but a method needs a lot of investment and time (about 3 years of redaction) and we need to be sure to sell it to a large number of customers.
Nevertheless, we may decide to edit this method in a near future."

"The German and dutch bases are adapted by our foreign agents (Assimil Germany, Assimil Benelux, etc.) once we have edited the french base, and we do not have nor an icelandic method neither an afrikaans method in french base."

The petition looks like it might be working. A couple of days ago Franzi had a response of no plans in the future for Icelandic. Now it might be of consideration depending on demand of course. Keep sending those requests everybody! :)

Edited by alang on 20 March 2008 at 12:06pm

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Senior Member
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 Message 18 of 53
21 March 2008 at 1:46pm | IP Logged 

I have contacted about 25 Icelandic/ Scandinavian clubs and organizations from North America and possibly one in England informing them of the petition. Who knows what will happen? I have to inform the other members here of my restriction of just speaking English. If others that speak different languages contact clubs in other countries it would dramatically help. I contacted by phone and email. I still have to send some through normal/snail mail.

If anybody remembers Prof. Arguelles suggestion on The Germanic tree, was to study German first, then Icelandic second. Assimil would make it easier.
Exhausted is the word to describe myself, so I will take a break and continue next week.

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Senior Member
PolandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 19 of 53
22 March 2008 at 5:16am | IP Logged 
I'm not really going to learn Icelandic in the near future (to many other language plans) but I've sent the request. Hopefully, it will eventually work.
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Senior Member
New Zealand
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 Message 20 of 53
22 March 2008 at 5:53am | IP Logged 
Great work, alang!

3 years of redaction is a long time, though...
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Senior Member
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 Message 21 of 53
22 March 2008 at 11:47am | IP Logged 
And now I have done my duty as well! But I gave them a false city and street. I don't want to receive advertisements for the rest of my natural life.
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Super Polyglot
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 Message 22 of 53
27 March 2008 at 10:18pm | IP Logged 
Thank you Gamma for inviting me to this discussion as I don't regularly visit this site, although it is a very exciting place -- I have work to do and I have a list of sites to avoid because I spend 48 hours at a time on them. Haha, forgive me. So I have to promptly leave after writing this ^_^

I've studied many languages myself and may have an advantage over others as I'm an entrepreneur with a profitable business. I've noticed the trouble the average language learner has with learning languages and I market to the "86% solution" part of the world (you can read the business book by that title). Especially this part of the world where education levels and access to education vary widely from what's accessible in the west. But even in the developed west, there is still a huge lack of efficient language-learning solutions. I have made it my goal to turn language education around.

I have never personally used Assimil. I remember seeing it about 20 years ago but I didn't buy a course as it looked very small and meager and I wasn't sold at the time on the very small amount of packaging that it could be an effective method. After many years of my own research and testing in language training, if I came back to it, I might like it. I have no idea -- anybody want to send me an old copy of yours? I certainly can't get my hands on one here.

Right now I'm developing series of language courses in multimedia format including video and MP3. My primary goal is efficiency in language learning -- and being able to guarantee that an idiot can learn it, because even idiots -- like the rest of us --can also speak at least one language, and so I believe anybody can do it as it's human nature. But my job is to make language learning possible even for the laziest of learners. So paramount to me is how to decrease the number of hours necessary and the amount of memorizing or homework required so that the only job of the student is to simply use my lessons and repeat along and I do all the work preparing what's to be taught. Even if the student does "nothing" but watch my whole series of videos, I believe they will walk away with at least some speaking ability. I've had a lot of success with this already and I'm ready to expand to new languages.

I've filmed / recorded over 1000 lessons of English for the Chinese-speaking market, where I teach and train the language gradually weaning them off Chinese and into English from the very basic to very advanced business conversation. I just recently launched a similar site for learning Chinese using the same method. In my repertoire are more than 25,000 phrases in over a hundred categories so I have a large amount of material to build courses from. Although my Chinese is just about as native as my English, I still hire Chinese people in my videos and recordings as I feel this is necessary to deliver the best possible results.

Like the first post in this thread, I absolutely agree that Icelandic is a most wonderful and beautiful language. I'm willing to develop a course for this language as I would like to develop courses for many hard-to-reach languages. The people I use to train using my method are not required to be experts or teachers of language since I've greatly systematized the approach--all I need to do is find a native speaker who's good-looking and willing to be filmed and can sign a contract to finish a series plus bonus upon completion. I can rely on heavily popular languages like English and Chinese for my source of profitability for my company. And although I've already invested several thousand Euro in developing the Chinese course, I just launched the site last week and it is not profitable yet. If you're interested in a multimedia way to learn a language, and Chinese listening/speaking is of interest to you (I will make a character recognition video series later), please visit my site. I have several projects on the table right now and the only drawback is TIME, and although I have staff, I still spend about 18 hours a day working on this stuff.

Primary goals at this time is to get several highly sought after languages profitable so that I can also develop courses for hard-to-find languages. I'm in discussions with the Taiwan government to get funding for developing local language courses for Southern Min, Hakka, and perhaps one of the indigenous languages like Atayal, Paiwan, Rukai or what have you. It takes me about 2 months to develop a new language course and another 6 months to get it filmed and recorded including website setup. I would like to develop courses for all the major Chinese languages including Wu, Yue, Gan, Xiang, Hui and Jin as well, but this will obviously take several years to develop. I think I'm the only person who has a "Learn Taiwanese" MP3 course being sold out there, and I'm using those sales to eventually expand and develop a full video course as well.

I have bought courses online for hard to find languages from a German man in Munich, his website is sprachenlernen24. His courses are taught from German but I'm sure you'd probably appreciate that if wanting to learn Icelandic. I doubt strongly the origin of his rather questionable recordings and quality but he does offer several Icelandic courses. I haven't bought the Icelandic course from him, but I bought the full set of a few other languages and there are lots of dialogues all in an HTML interactive set. It takes a lot of work sitting at the computer using his system which is not my preference, but if it's the only one available then so be it.

I don't know if Assimil wants to make a course for a language like Icelandic that only has 300,000 speakers. Most casual language learners avoid it because it's notoriously difficult (good excuse for me to learn it, haha!!!). I'm sure Assimil's interested in their bottom line, which means they probably need to make so many number of sales in order to make it worth the while. Unlike you and me, they're probably not proponents of developing cultural diversity. If you guys like my cause and support my business, I can make this possible.

Mike Campbell

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Senior Member
Russian Federation
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 Message 23 of 53
29 March 2008 at 4:32pm | IP Logged 
I won't probably use an Assimil course unless I get it for free, but I wrote to them too :)
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nita onno
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 24 of 53
30 March 2008 at 6:03am | IP Logged 
I have added my request for an icelandic course also. My preferred method so far, however, has been Michel
Thomas and now there is a set of people continuing to use his method to develop it in other languages, it might be
worth trying to get them to create an icelandic version for English speakers? I wil email them anyway

best wishes

Nita Onna

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