I've been wanting to do a review on Assimil for awhile now since I believe this is the number one course for learning a new language. If you live in the US, you might not have heard of it. It's way more popular in Europe and the rest of the world. I have no idea why though, as this is the best language course I have used and more people should know about it.
If you're tired of sub-par courses and are looking for the best, this is it.
How does Assimil work?
You might be wondering what makes this course so special. Assimil teaches you in a way that is unique, but very effective.
Basically, the method of learning is like this: listen to the audio, repeat what is being said and read along - then afterwards, go back and read the translation on the right side. The first section of every lesson is laid out with the target language dialog on the left and the English translation on the right. Assimil focuses more on teaching you whole sentences instead of grammar rules. This helps to teach you grammar naturally. The sentences you learn are usable everyday conversation sentences too, not just tourist phrases.
You start off the first 50 lessons with a long "passive" phase where you just listen and read. After lesson 50, you begin the active phase where you begin to do exercises. There are usually a total of 100 lessons in each course.
What to Anticipate:
You might be asking yourself, does this actually work and how long will it take to complete?
Assimil works, plain and simple. I don't usually hype products like this but I really think it's something special. Whether you are a visual or audio learner, you will find great use and be amazed at what it can do for you. You can expect to come out of an Assimil course knowing a lot of the language and how it works.
It's also a course you can finish in a fairly short time. If you do one lesson a day, you should only spend around 3 months going through it. I would recommend, however, going over the same lesson two times on separate days before moving on. This will help solidify what you learned. Each lesson usually takes me an hour, but I go over the audio multiple times.
- Cheap when compared with other courses
- Teaches everyday language and not just tourist phrases
- The actors talk at a native speed so you get used to how the language should sound
- Plenty of lessons (around 100) with each page packed with content
- No annoying grammar rules or lessons since it teaches it organically through sentences
- Sometimes it's hard to repeat what is being said as the conversation carries on too quickly
- You need the book to know what is being said, audio only will not work very well
Is it worth the money? You bet. You can expect to pay somewhere around $20-$80 depending on where you get it from. Compared to other courses, that is dirt cheap. This is easily worth $200. I would recommend this to anyone looking to learn a language and have no problem promoting it. They did a fantastic job with this product and hope to continue to see future language products from them.
Zach, the "languageholic"