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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michel Thomas V Paul Noble?
Michel Thomas and Paul Noble use similar methods to teach French and they are both very effective. They both have benefits and disadvantages.

I found Paul's CD easier to follow. Paul speaks and explains the French language very clearly and he uses a native French speaker to make sure the pronounciation is correct. It is very systematic and straight-forward and...
Published 14 months ago by A.Martin

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I found the Paul Noble course better
Having first tried the Michel Thomas course I found the other students very annoying especially the american who kept getting everything wrong. I didn't like having to listen to their errors. I found his accent also started to wear on me after a while. There was no native speaker to show clearly how it should be pronounced. The method is good though and gets you speaking...
Published 13 months ago by Kim


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michel Thomas V Paul Noble?, 13 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Total French (Learn French with the Michel Thomas Method) (Audio CD)
Michel Thomas and Paul Noble use similar methods to teach French and they are both very effective. They both have benefits and disadvantages.

I found Paul's CD easier to follow. Paul speaks and explains the French language very clearly and he uses a native French speaker to make sure the pronounciation is correct. It is very systematic and straight-forward and by the end of the course I felt I had a decent understanding of basic French.

On the negative side, it did at times feel a little slow-paced and Paul sometimes repeats explanations which are unnecessary and become a little annoying near the end of the course. I also found that while I could remember the language the way that he taught it, I struggled when hearing the language elsewhere.

Michel Thomas is less systematic but feels more organic. His phraseology is more gritty and down-to-earth. For example, where Paul teaches 'it is not' as 'Ce n-est pas', Michel tells you to pronounce it as 'snay pas' because that is the way it is spoken in France most of the time. Probably the biggest advantage of Michel's course is that once you've finished the basic course, you can continue with more advanced French and then even more advanced French (on more of his CDs). Having said that, there is a free internet course called 'Duolingo' which is better than any of the CDs as it builds up a broader vocabulary and keeps going until you're fluent.

I found that the CDs taught me the basics well but Duolingo has been much more effective. Using both have the advantage of hearing the language spoken by different people and taught in slightly different ways.

I've found learning the French hugely beneficial, opening up an understanding of a part of the world that is limited without knowing the language. Really enjoying it.
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119 of 123 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, but not a complete solution and not for everyone, 25 Nov. 2011
By 
Amazon Customer "Change specialist - coaching... (Manchester, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Total French (Learn French with the Michel Thomas Method) (Audio CD)
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Here's a tip if you're thinking of buying this. Listen to a bit of Michel Thomas first - you've probably got a friend who owns one of his CD sets. Why am I advising this? Because people seem to either love him or hate him. Some learners just don't seem to be able to get along with his voice; no matter how brilliant the teaching method (and it is), it won't help someone who can't bring themselves to listen to it.

I am strongly motivated to learn French; I moved to France a few months ago and don't want to feel like an idiot every time a French person talks to me. The Michel Thomas method is great for getting you to realise how many French words you already know (as thousands of words are the same as in English, just pronounced differently) and for being able to string simple sentences together and make yourself understood.

Where they're not much help, in my experience, is in understanding what French people say back to you, as inevitably they'll be talking fast and there'll be at least one word in there that you haven't come across.

So, assuming you have heard a bit of Michel and get on with his voice, you can buy with confidence - but it won't get you confident in French on your own (and any learning method short of total immersion is going to take more than the 'hours' claimed to reach a level of proficiency). You will also need some other input, ideally lots of conversation with native French speakers, to help you to understand what people say to you.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I found the Paul Noble course better, 9 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Total French (Learn French with the Michel Thomas Method) (Audio CD)
Having first tried the Michel Thomas course I found the other students very annoying especially the american who kept getting everything wrong. I didn't like having to listen to their errors. I found his accent also started to wear on me after a while. There was no native speaker to show clearly how it should be pronounced. The method is good though and gets you speaking quickly.
I have now just bought the Paul Noble course. This is much the same method so gets you speaking quickly. Having just started I have found the native speaker is good to copy except that each word is pronounced rather than blending as native french speakers do. Hopefully this will improve once the course speeds up.
Having tried them both, they both have faults and good points but I prefer Paul Noble.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Really works!!!!, 24 May 2011
By 
rhosymynydd "liz" (west wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Total French (Learn French with the Michel Thomas Method) (Audio CD)
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I speak French moderately well and as my husband and I are considering spending some time in France in the future, I wanted to introduce my husband (who had no French language skills) to the use of basic French to improve his experience in-country. This proved an excellent beginners course, after just a few days, my husband took to it like the proverbial "canard a l'eau!". With 60% of English words having a French stem, the course starts very sensibly with words that have an English stem and the logical progression or similarity of those into French (i.e possible =possible (pron differently), comfortable = confortable etc.) Placing these into extended sentences makes the transition into social conversation remarkably easy. Using a simple combination "L'impression de la situation politique et economique en France a present,....(minus the accents), sentence construction becomes familiar. Verbs are introduced and the process evolves into a really good course. My other half is gradually building up his new found vocabulary and realy enjoying how much he was able to understand from the beginning! I can honestly recommend this course to anyone wanting to be able to converse easily. The introduction and explanation of pronouciation is also very good. This is a course I would recommend to anyone wanting to acquire the basics in French.Total French with the Michel Thomas Method (Michel Thomas Series)
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Effective way to get to grips with the language, 16 Jun. 2011
By 
A John (Uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Total French (Learn French with the Michel Thomas Method) (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Michel Thomas course comprises 7 Audio CD's of lessons with Michel Thomas, and a further 2 audio discs to go over other easy transformation vocabulary from English to French, then a review disc. There is no homework, no learning. The course just requires you to listen, and pause the play to respond to the activities. There are two students with Michel Thomas, and it is gratifying to hear them making mistakes! On the two vocabulary discs, there are French speakers to listen to.

It's very listenable. C'est tres listenable. It's easy to listen to - you don't feel as if you are rushing through, trying to learn. In fact, Michel Thomas insists that you don't try to learn, you simply absorb what you hear and repeat. This is the ideal method for those who learn best through listening.

The down side is that this doesn't really cover the written language, but concentrates on the spoken. But it is the spoken language which most people find the hardest, and this is ideal to boost confidence and have people trying to use the language. I'd recommend this for people going to France, as a great way to tune their ear and boost confidence.

I have learnt French before, so this was a revision for me, although a very useful one. By disc 4 I felt confident enough to start reading through French Magazines and newspapers online. I also tried this with my 11 year old, who is learning French in High School. Pronunciation had been a problem area for him, but this has considerably improved, and he quickly picked up how to put a sentence together in sections, and how to use Voulez vous, or Je voudrais with confidence. He has now finished the first two discs, and I think this has definitely improved his understanding of the language.

Would I recommend this? Yes. It was easy to do, and quite fun. I'd rate this as the best French learning package for home learning that I've come across.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made using a foreign language enjoyable for the first time., 26 May 2011
By 
Prof TBun (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Total French (Learn French with the Michel Thomas Method) (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It is 30 years since I was relieved of having to sit through dreadful school french lessons, which involved no conversational French at all. That experience had put me off having anything to do with foreign languages until now. I was tempted by having the opportunity to try a French course that involved none of the frustrating learn by dictation and vocab revison, that teachers usually torture their students with.

The course begins a longer than necessary introduction to the course and a little speech about how similar French is too English. Once that was out of the way the fun begins.

The first lesson begins with a few words which are the same in English as they are in French, but with a different accent, such as "comfortable" and "possible". You are invited to use them in expressions using "This is", "not", "very", etc. When you have answered, another student on the recording repeats what you have done and the lesson continues. At no point are you asked to repeat anything and you do not need to write anything down. Creating new sentences in your head, with new words and concepts is much easier than you expect it to be and the process is very enjoyable.

Whilst this is a spoken course, there is a writen vocabulary list included with the CD's should you wish to look at it.

Have no illusions, this course is not going to turn you into a French speaking expert, but it is an excellent primer that will give you bags of confidence. You should by the end of the course have a sufficient repertoire to be able to pick up new words and to use them immediately to make yourself understood.

My only critisim is that the inside of the box is not strong enough. The outside of the box is strong Cardboad, but there is a paper frame inside which will tear even before the box reaches you. It is not that important a detail, as the CDs themselves are enclosed in quality plastic boxes inside the outer box, so they will not be damaged.

Very impressed with the course. I would recommend it to anyone learning French.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb., 6 Jan. 2012
By 
S. Brown (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Total French (Learn French with the Michel Thomas Method) (Audio CD)
I am a massive fan of the Michel Thomas method. I did French up to GCSE level at school, but other than that I have no language learning experience. I didn't enjoy learning French at school at all, but this method makes language learning enjoyable and exciting. This won't provide you with vast amounts of vocabulary, but it will give you the basic foundations of the language, which can easily be built upon. The time and hours just fly by when you do this course, it's just so enjoyable. I accept that other people may prefer other language learning tool, but for me, this is brilliant and can be used in conjunction with any other course. I would encourage everyone to learn using the Michel Thomas method, especially as they have now added the visual aspect to the course, to benefit all types of learners. In summary; for the money, this is a terrific course, and I would highly recommend everyone to try it!

This is almost identical to the original version, other than a few visual things added, so nothing new for people who have already used a previous version!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Michel Thomas yes, woman on the other half of the DVD, no., 19 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Total French (Learn French with the Michel Thomas Method) (Audio CD)
I absolutely love Michel Thomas and have improved my confidence in French so much since starting. The way he teaches is patient and calm - you are learning French in a lovely, genuine way. At the end of Total French, however, there is a CD of a woman doing the vocab lessons who takes all the authenticity out of the whole method, and promotes/advertises Michel Thomas SO MUCH with the vocab tutorials that it gets super boring and I had to just turn it off. Having just spent £65 on the next, 'Perfect French', I am disappointed to find that half the set is made up of not Michel Thomas but this other tutor who just rambles on like some kind of bimbo 10th grade teacher, fake laughs and all. If I wanted this I would have paid much less or just gone on duolingo for free.

Having said this I would still recommend it, but advise scouting for cheap ones on different websites.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb french audio learning boxed set! Ces't formidable..., 14 May 2014
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This review is from: Total French (Learn French with the Michel Thomas Method) (Audio CD)
This french learning audio set is just fantsatic!
I listen to it every time I get in the car and blow me, if it isn't sinking in! Brilliant! I was pretty good at O level french and could remember loads of words, but struggled with sentences and structure!
Michel just makes it all so much easier, I even wake up still putting sentences together after dreaming them in French! Every time I hear a word in English that I now know in french, I hear myself repeating in my head in a french accent!
I've just ordered the master class advanced set though I've still loads to learn yet! This is how pleased I am with it.
I have also discovered that the best thing to do (for me at least) is to listen to each CD over and over again in succession! As it's easy to miss important snippets of info and then this way it really sinks in!
I've wanted to learn French for years and nearly gave up after repeated attempts with other audio sets and occasional evening classes.
There no substitute for living in a country to learn it's language, but this CD set goes some way close.
I also like the way michael is quite gruff yet charming and he tells you to say things in a certain way as that's how the French do it. It makes one more understood! And when you realise that french words are so numerous in English, but just pronounced differently; it makes learning seem so much more manageable somehow. It's also very interesting to learn that french is constructed or based around old English, this one fact has had such an impact on me that I feel I will be able to master it after all.
Michels also had the most interesting life bless him! Including surviving concentration camps etc.
Honestly if you're serious about wanting to learn french you can't go wrong with this box set! And at around 40 quid it's a bargain. Ces't formidable!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best way to learn French, 27 Nov. 2013
By 
H. S. Hallam "Sax Hallam" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Total French (Learn French with the Michel Thomas Method) (Audio CD)
Excellent system for learning the language and acquiring a good accent. The course is very cleverly structured so that you are building up the grammar and vocabulary as you progress. It is also fun because there are two other students on the recording, of differing ability so that you have a measure of your ability. It is great when I am better than them. I have tried various courses during my life and I gave up on all of them, but with this I am looking forward to my daily class and seeing dramatic improvement. Michel Thomas was a genius. I highly recomend this course.
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Total French (Learn French with the Michel Thomas Method)
Total French (Learn French with the Michel Thomas Method) by Michel Thomas (Audio CD - 29 April 2011)
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