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Language learning series video reviews

  Tags: Linguaphone | Video
 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
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Zorndyke
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 5144 days ago

374 posts - 382 votes 
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: Czech

 
 Message 9 of 64
21 March 2008 at 8:07pm | IP Logged 
I have already posted it somewhere, but as far as I know there are 3 Assimil Arabic courses:

1. Assimil - Arabic With Ease, 1 volume, 42 lessons

2. Assimil - L'Arabe sans peine, no English counterpart, 2 volumes, 100 lessons

3. Assimil - L'Arabe, no English counterpart, 1 volume, 77 lessons


I have heard solely bad things about Arabic With Ease, however, there were persons here on the forum who had positive remarks about L'Arabe sans peine.
The only review I know about L'Arabe is from zorglub who says it is an obscure mix of MSA and Classical Arabic. He also says the speed of the audio is unnaturally slow even in the advanced lessons, which I can confirm.

Edited by Zorndyke on 21 March 2008 at 8:12pm

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ProfArguelles
Moderator
United States
foreignlanguageexper
Joined 5442 days ago

609 posts - 2100 votes 

 
 Message 10 of 64
23 March 2008 at 8:12pm | IP Logged 
Mr. Button, I do not know how to explain the difference between the 488/514 pages in the older editions, but I imagine they are the same. In any case, you definitely want the course by Bratousse/Balakhonov and NOT the one by Dronov. The former is the excellent one I extol; the latter such an overtly inferior edition in every respect that I can only fantasize about the editorial meetings involved in the production: “All right, our marketing has determined that the public has been dumbed-down so much in the past 30 years ago that we have to cut our content by 50% in order to continue to sell…”

This segues to the first part of Jakub W.’s question, namely whether there has ever been an instance in which the newer version of an Assimil course has surpassed the previous one in terms of quality. Well, yes, historically, some of the “2nd” generation were certainly better than the “1st” generation; however, I suspect that you are asking about the current “4th” editions in regards to their predecessors, and in that case, unfortunately, the answer is no: every single 4th edition that I have seen has been inferior in quality to the “3rd/2nd” edition in terms of overall content, substance, and quality (though again, as I hope I made clear in the video, Assimil is not uniquely afflicted—the modern mind is, and their marketing is in tune with that fact. An Assimil course from 2008 is most likely superior to any other course from 2008, but it will also unquestionably be inferior to an Assimil product from 1968).

As for Arabic, the 1 volume Arabic With Ease is a translation of the 1st volume of the 2 tomes of L'Arabe sans peine. The pronunciation on the recordings is indeed almost syllabic, which can be frustrating if it is your only material for shadowing, but it can play a useful role in your learning if you confine it to pure phonetic training. Volume 2 of L'Arabe sans peine, while not one of their more sterling productions, is still a valuable didactic tool, and I would recommend including it in one’s repertoire of materials. As for the current offering of L'Arabe, well… read the preceding paragraphs again.

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Budz
Octoglot
Senior Member
Australia
languagepump.com
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118 posts - 171 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, Russian, Esperanto, Ukrainian, Mandarin, Cantonese, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Persian, Hungarian, Kazakh, Swahili, Vietnamese, Polish

 
 Message 11 of 64
23 March 2008 at 8:39pm | IP Logged 
I think the same phenomenon can be observed with the Teach Yourself Series. The early editions were very logical with their presentation of the grammar. The more recent editions focus on every day expressions (which the others neglected, I must admit. I think you could go for chapters before learning how to say hello.). But the grammar is presented in a more haphazard way so it's harder to get a good overview of the grammar.
1 person has voted this message useful



Makrasiroutioun
Quadrilingual Heptaglot
Senior Member
Canada
infowars.com
Joined 4292 days ago

210 posts - 236 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Armenian*, Romanian*, Latin, German, Italian
Studies: Dutch, Swedish, Turkish, Japanese, Russian, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 12 of 64
27 March 2008 at 10:40pm | IP Logged 
Thank you very much for your two new videos.

It is very unfortunate that they have not continued to produce books along with their audio materials. I get the feeling that Linguaphone is (at least nowadays) far less popular than Assimil, both in terms of reputation and sales. Older linguists and polyglots refer to Linguaphone a lot... and to tell you the truth, I have never seen one on sale at any bookstore, whereas I think I have seen most if not all of Assimil's 60 or so languages.
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Budz
Octoglot
Senior Member
Australia
languagepump.com
Joined 4559 days ago

118 posts - 171 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, Russian, Esperanto, Ukrainian, Mandarin, Cantonese, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Persian, Hungarian, Kazakh, Swahili, Vietnamese, Polish

 
 Message 13 of 64
06 April 2008 at 10:48pm | IP Logged 
Makrasiroutioun wrote:
Thank you very much for your two new videos.
and to tell you the truth, I have never seen one on sale at any bookstore, whereas I think I have seen most if not all of Assimil's 60 or so languages.


I don't think they've ever been for sale in shops. Though in Hong Kong they did have their own linguagphone shop. But apart from that I thought they were basically always a send away for it thing. Well, I suppose London has a linguagphone shop too.
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Budz
Octoglot
Senior Member
Australia
languagepump.com
Joined 4559 days ago

118 posts - 171 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, Russian, Esperanto, Ukrainian, Mandarin, Cantonese, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Persian, Hungarian, Kazakh, Swahili, Vietnamese, Polish

 
 Message 14 of 64
06 April 2008 at 11:00pm | IP Logged 
Yes, what a pity. The Teach Yourself Books used to be a treasure trove of information, but what possessed them to do away with the translations or texts with translation?! It is so annoying. Basically, if you misunderstand something... then you'll just keep learning the incorrect form.

Yes, and way too much English on the recordings. It's so boring... you put on the recording and you have to wait forever to hear the language.
1 person has voted this message useful



ChristopherB
Triglot
Senior Member
New Zealand
Joined 4502 days ago

851 posts - 1074 votes 
2 sounds
Speaks: English*, German, French

 
 Message 15 of 64
06 April 2008 at 11:34pm | IP Logged 
If you edit out all the English and gaps as I do, you can obtain around 40-50 minutes of continuous audio in the target-language which, as in the case of TY Swedish, is a good start (I'm working with the Assimil course as well).

Unforunately their Icelandic offering seems to have far too few dialogues which is really quite a shame. Routledge's offering, by contrast, is far better.
2 persons have voted this message useful



TheElvenLord
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4266 days ago

915 posts - 927 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: Cornish, English*
Studies: Spanish, French, German
Studies: Portuguese, Mandarin

 
 Message 16 of 64
08 April 2008 at 2:10pm | IP Logged 
I like the look of Assimil, but there is only a limited number of versions available.

If i did the French course, do you think it would not be too unreasonable to learn, lets say one of the other courses that are not in English but are in French, via French??

To those who have the experience of using the course

Does it use complicated grammar and vocabulary, or is it rather straightforward.

What i am ultimatly trying to ask, would i be able to listen to the other language courses IN French (not my native language) after doing maybe the Assimil French and/or other courses of French??

Thank you
TEL


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