French I, Comprehensive: Learn to Speak and Understand French with Pimsleur Language Programs
French is an official language in 44 countries. It is spoken by 55 million people in France, 3 million in Belgium, 1.5 million in Switzerland, 6.5 million in Canada, and 5 million in former French + Belgian colonies. It is also an official language of the U.N.
Comprehensive French I includes 30 lessons of essential grammar and vocabulary -- 16 hours of real-life spoken practice sessions -- plus an introduction to reading. Upon completion of this program, you will have functional spoken proficiency with the most-frequently-used vocabulary and grammatical structures.
In the first 10 lessons, you’ll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more. You’ll be able to handle minimum courtesy requirements, understand much of what you hear, and be understood at a beginning level, but with nearnative pronunciation skills.
In the next 10 lessons, you’ll build on what you’ve learned. Expand your menu, increase your scheduling abilities from general to specific, start to deal with currency and exchanging money, refine your conversations and add over a hundred new vocabulary items. You’ll understand more of what you hear, and be able to participate with speech that is smoother and more confident. In the final 10 lessons, you’ll be speaking and understanding at an intermediate level.
In this phase, more directions are given in the target language, which moves your learning to a whole new plane. Lessons include shopping, visiting friends, going to a restaurant, plans for the evening, car trips, and talking about family. You’ll be able to speak comfortably about things that happened in the past and make plans for the future.
Reading Lessons begin in Unit 9 and provide you with an introduction to reading French. These lessons, which total about one hour, are designed to teach you to sound out words with correct pronunciation and accent. A Reading Booklet to be used with the audio lessons is also included in PDF format.
Excellent but don't expect miracles.
By A Customer - August 13, 2003
I finished all three levels in the series. I originally bought the course because I was about to move to Geneva, Switzerland, and was in a hurry to learn French, having absolutely no knowledge of French previously. This series is a very introduction, albeit expensive. The course alone will NOT make you fluent, and it does not purport to do so. At the end of the second level, I can go to a resaurant and speak to the waiters comfortably, introduce myself, make plans with friends, among other things. Right now, after finishing all three levels, I can make reservations, chat superficially in French with neighbors and friends, and shop without much difficulties. In fact, I find that I can understand a lot if I speak to a person face to face, especially if the spoken words are accompanied by vivid expressions and gestures. Unfortunately, I still cannot understand what goes on on TV or radio, though I find that I can pick up phrases or words here and there. I've taken 3 years of Spanish... read more
Comparative review of three recorded French Courses
By Jonathan B. Spear - March 25, 2007
This review is a comparison of three very different recorded French courses - Pimsleur, Behind the Wheel French 2 and French with Michel Thomas Intermediate/Advanced.
I have tried and failed several times at learning a foreign language but, when I started working for a French company, I decided to try one more time. I was attracted to Pimsleur because of its promise to focus on the basics, and I was not disappointed.
The approach taken by Pimsleur is to introduce you to a word or phrase in English and then have it repeated several times by an expert speaker of French, punctuated with long pauses so you can listen and repeat. In this way, the course takes you through typical basic situations - going to a restaurant, finding a doctor, working in an office, making travel arrangements, buying items with Euros, etc. New words and concepts are gradually introduced along the way and each session loops back to remind you of things you learned on earlier CDs. I... read more
Great course, TERRIBLE price
By C. P. Leroy - March 9, 2005
Over the years I have studied many languages, using several methods and media, and I can say without any reserve that the Pimsleur method is by far the best. The lessons are structured in such a way that promote natural learning & retention of the material. Two things that I love about the Pimsleur courses are (1) Pronunciation is stressed, whereas in most language programs this vital topic is only given cursory coverage, and (2) Repetition, Repetition, Repetition! When you are learning a language, especially when you are eager to move quickly, it is SO easy to fall into the trap on covering a lot of material and fooling yourself into thinking you have it mastered. More likely than not, you're forgetting much, if not most of what you learned previously. In the Pimsleur lessons they repeat new material several times, prompting you in several different ways, so you learn new material better. In addition, all new lessons contain at least some review of previous lessons, so it forces you... read more
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