Reviews - What do customers think about German With Ease (Assimil Language Learning Programs, English Base)?
Very impressive May 11, 2007
The best method for learning foreign languages on your own - it will take you to a a level where you'll have a very solid base in German in a matter of few months. You can take it from there by yourself to become perfectly fluent. The Assimil method contains everything - reading, writing, understanding, grammar, listening comprehension, speaking. And it's actually quite fun. The dialogues are witty, the exercises useful, the grammatical explanations perfectly timed and clear.
The Easy Way to Learn a Language Sep 23, 2006
I used the Assimil German course for six months before travelling to Germany. I had never studied German before so my knowledge was nil when I began.
I studied one lesson per day, spending a total of around 20 minutes broken up into chunks of five or ten minutes at a time. I would read the text of the lesson through in the morning, taking note of the meanings of new words and reading the explanations and grammar notes. Then I would play the recording several times until I understood it. Then I read the text several times through the day in coffee breaks or during lunch, then play the recording and read the text in the evening.
I didn't worry about memorising vocabulary or grammar. Any words I forgot would be reviewed tomorrow and for the next week of review. I reviewed each lesson for a week. I picked up most of the grammar by usage.
I was able to converse with my German friends after two months using Assimil and I spoke good German after completing the course in six months. I got a job in Germany as a technical translator, translating from English to German. I had to negotiate in German on behalf of my company and I taught in a German school. After a year I did a lot of public speaking. I wrote reports in German and did a fair amount of correspondence in German.
I was so pleased with my Assimil German program I bought Assimil courses for French, Russian, Dutch, Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic, Polish and Italian. I have used them all except for Hebrew and Arabic. Assimil was not my primary program for Russian and Polish but I highly recommend them.
Assimil takes the hard work out of learning a language. Learning becomes fun. Assimil texts are friendly and humorous. Each lesson has a cartoon to illustrate the lesson. Some of the older courses have a central person who visits the country where the language is spoken and you follow his adventures as he comments on customs and the people. You feel you get to know the characters.
I am looking at tackling more languages and Assimil will be my first choice.
It works, but you have to follow the method Mar 16, 2006
The Assimil method is a great way to build up your language skills in an easy and relaxed manner. But in order to make it work, you have to follow the rules explained in the book. This means that you have to learn on a daily basis and without conscious memorization (not to mention drills).
I write this mainly because I got the impression that one previous reviewer misunderstood the concept completely or didn't give it the time it deserves. The course isn't at all limited to listening and writing skills. On the contrary, it encourages you to practise pronunciation from the very first day and focuses strongly on speaking skills later on.
But there is indeed an extended period of passive learning which to my knowledge is unique to the Assimil method. For several month you simply listen and read and then repeat aloud what you've just heard and read (and check your progress with the exercises). Only after two or three month (depending on your schedule) of passive learning you enter the second phase where you are asked to formulate sentences on your own.
By this time, you have already amassed so much knowledge that speaking (simple) German will be an amazingly easy task for you. Plus, it takes a lot of pressure from the first phase of learning. Here's a tip from my own experience: Don't go too fast, never learn more than three lessons a week. The material will sink in better this way.
To sum up, this method works fine for me and I can recommend it wholeheartedly. But then again, there are always people who love to sweat...
Mediocre at Best Dec 4, 2005
I made it two-thirds of the way through this program before switching to Barron's Mastering German. My only regret is that I didn't give up Assimil earlier.
Assimil isn't bad if you seek to build passive skills such as listening comprehension, vocabulary and reading. If you want to learn how to speak German, it is highly inadequate. This is due to the lack of extensive drills such as the ones in the Barron's series.
Learning a language is both an intellectual and a physiological task. Understanding the rules intellectually is just the beginning; employing them physically--using your tongue, lips and throat--is a physical task that has to be repeated until it becomes automatic. Assimil, due to its scant drills, does a poor job of imprinting the patterns of the spoken language on the mind.
Assimil claims that you can "assimilate" a second language the way you assimilated your mother tongue. This is true, but keep in mind that it took you years to learn how to speak your mother tongue, and that even then you were making all sorts of cute "kiddie" mistakes ("He gaved them fishes!"). Adults may not be able to master a native accent, but they can learn a language must faster than children, especially if they are taught grammar patterns explicity through drills.
A very good language learning system Sep 5, 2004
I highly recommend all the Assimil products for aids in learning a new language. I have used Assimil to learn both Hungarian and German, with very good results. The key to this system is assimilation, so be sure to practice a little bit every day for best results. This system will teach you a foreign language, but I have a suggestion to help you along with the process. There is a very good website with radio streams from all over the world, at http://www.live-radio.net/info.shtml where you can find radio broadcasts from the country of your target language. Spend some time every day listening to native speakers speaking the language you are trying to learn, the news stations are best. This way, as you progress in your studies, you will be surprised at to how fast you will be able to follow along to broadcasts and start to understand the native speakers. This is truly assimilation, and the more time you spend studying the Assimil tapes and listening to the foreign radio, the faster you will learn, the more fun you will have, and the more motivated you will become to stick with it. Don't give up! Leaning a foreign language can be a very rewarding and stimulating undertaking.