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French For Dummies: with CD Paperback – 30 Aug 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Revised edition edition (30 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118004647
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118004647
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 2 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 221,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product description

From the Back Cover

The fast and informal way to learn to speak French

Bonjour! If you′re looking to reach a comfort level in conversational French, this hands–on, friendly guide gets you up and running with the language. Here, you′ll find expanded coverage of the necessary grammar, major verb tenses, and conjugations that beginners need to know. Plus, you′ll get a fully updated and expanded audio CD that includes real–life conversations, a refreshed and expanded mini dictionary, exercises, practice opportunities, and more.

  • French 101 learn how to pronounce the French alphabet, numbers, and common words, and get a handle on the basic grammar you′ll need to know to speak French

  • Voila! start practicing your French–speaking skills in everyday situations, like asking for directions to the Eiffel Tower or expressing your love for fromage

  • Start talkin′ the talk get the know–how to confidently navigate public transportation, find a hotel room, exchange money, and handle an emergency on your excursion to France or any other French–speaking country

  • The power of dix discover ten ways to pick up French quickly, ten things never to say in French, ten favorite French expressions, and ten phrases that′ll make people think you′re a local

Open the book and find:

  • How to make sense of basic French grammar

  • Tips to improve your pronunciation

  • Strategies to get a handle on verb conjugations

  • Idioms and popular expressions

  • Advice on getting around in France and other French–speaking countries

  • Fun games and activities to reinforce learning

  • Dialogues throughout the book and on the accompanying CD

Audio CD Includes Real–life dialogues in French that reinforce lessons from the book

Learn to:

  • Speak French quickly and effectively

  • Master basic grammar, verb conjugations, vocabulary, and pronunciations

Take your skills to the next level with real–life conversations on the accompanying CD

About the Author

Berlitz has taught languages to millions of people for more than 130 years.

Dodi–Katrin Schmidt, Michelle M. Williams, and Dominique Wenzel are highly regarded French instructors and writers.

Zoe Erotopoulos, PhD, teaches in the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Doc Barbara TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 April 2012
Format: Paperback
... it has not decided its focus. It is neither a phrase book nor a grammar nor a true learning tool. French is not a language easy to transcribe in sounds and the attempt to do so clutters up the pages by having the phrases spelled out in English-type sounds throughout. The grammar is barely analysed and when it is, the instructions are somewhat laborious. The book, as a whole, is quite difficult to navigate so that, if you want to find a particular point that you have forgotten, it takes a while to find the appropriate place. There is a useful list of "faux amis" (words which look as if they mean the same in French as English but don't) but it is placed at the beginning where you are unlikely to need it. For example, the word "actuellement" is one which you will use when you are more advanced in conversation. I also find the book slightly awkward to handle and believe that there are many better manuals on the market, all available from Amazon. I have reviewed many of them (see under the tag Learning French on my Profile Page) but would recommend Breakthrough French, Teach Yourself French, Practice Makes Perfect (written only grammar)or Michel Thomas way ahead of this rather clumsy book. Many of these have CD's or are entirely audio (Michel Thomas). If all you want is a holiday phrase book, then it is better to buy a pocket one and if you want to learn the language to talk to French people further, be prepared to buy a series which will take you through the various stages. Listen to French radio (a bit to the left of Radio 4 long wave) to get a feel for the accent as this book does not give a sense of nasals or clipped vowels. As one who has recently brushed up my rusty French I really cannot recommend this book as there are so many preferable methods, whether you are polishing or learning from scratch.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THIS BOOK IS GREAT BECAUSE IT HAS ALL THE PRONOUNCIATIONS FOR ALL THE WORDS SO THAT YOU ARE ABLE TO TELL IF YOU ARE SAYING THE WORDS CORRECTLY
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I lost this original book and CD I bought at Waterstones and wanted to replace it with another one. If you want to learn French, have no GCSE French and want to learn from scratch then this book is for you. Starts with alphabet, phonetic explanations, sentences and then gradually conversations. The CD is really helpful for pronunciation etc. You can listen to it in your car on the way to work and it's very easy to read and to understand. Definitely better than other books I've picked up!
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Format: Paperback
I found the book very useful; it helped me at no end with pronunciation in French.

The words are spoken by native French speakers and the pauses are long enough, so that the reader can repeat and engage with the questions.

However, French for dummies will not teach you French. After listening to the course and going through the exercises; the most you can hope for is to remember 10-15 phrases. Alor!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a solid introduction to the French language; I would recommend this for anyone who wants to have a good grasp of the language and how to construct sentences rather than to survive a holiday and France. If your holiday is in a few months this book will give you a firm grasp of french to hold conversations, though the lack of a CD or audio download for Kindle does mean you reliant of the phonetic guide and your own interpretation of how words should sound.

I am quite a visual person so the lack of diagrams or assistive imagery is an issue for me, but if you are not a visual person then this book will be brilliant; it has full textual descriptions and helpful tables for singular and plural words.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good, especially for helping with pronunciation. The only problem is that the text tables do not format properly when downloaded to a kindle, they do not fit on the kindle page so you can only read part of them. Altering the font size and margins on the kindle does not seem to help this problem.
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The 'dummies' guides are well known and for good reason. This one is engaging and makes the topic easy to get into - something not easy to achieve in a textbook / language manual. Cheap price.
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This book is ok for beginners but not for intermediate or advanced level.
It would have been nice if they had included some useful websites or resources to help learn French...
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