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Hugo In Three Months: French: Your Essential Guide to Understanding and Speaking French Paperback – 3 Jul 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Do not be surprised if this book challenges you- some chapters seem very difficult and will make you sweat, but stick with it and you'll soon be rewarded by speaking kick-ass French. I'm on week 8 now and my reward for finishing week 12 will be the advanced CD edition so I can pronounce the stuff better.
This book is the best way to learn French solidly, and, at five pounds, an absolute bargain. Oh yes.
I bought this job before taking a job in the European parliament, and found that it greatly improved my knowledge of French. This will be good for A level students and others with an advanced interest in the language who need it significantly "polished" to give it a professional edge.
The book has a number of clear strengths. One is the excellent run down of grammar, from verb tenses to negation to noun genders. Another is the excellent end of unit tests where the previous four chapters knowledge is tested. There are also plenty of exercise questions in each chapter to really drill home the skills learned.
The book does have one major weakness. The exercise questions sometimes are a little unclear: for example you may be asked to translate "you want it" and it is unclear to the reader if it means you (vous) or you as directed at the reader, which would be I (je). This can be a little irritating. Another weakness is the transliteration, where the book attempts to spell out phonetically what certain French words sound like, and this is not always very accurately done. Therefore, be sure you buy the CDs as well.
All in all the book is a good, and having worked in French speaking countries, I can testify that it is a sound investment for those with an advanced interest in the language who need their French fine tuned. For those with a more casual interest in the language or who need a holiday phrases course, then look elsewhere.
The vast majority of people do learn their native language as infants - some more than one language - but this takes several years, twenty four hours a day. Many adults seem to lose this ability and I am certainly one of them. Learning a new language for us is a hard slog which requires learning by rote a vast amount of facts and mostly illogical ones at that.
This course does not remedy this (how can it?): you have trudge through the book learning vocabulary lists (including nouns with those confounded genders), conjugating verbs, trying to make sense of prepositions (there isn't any) and then making the alarming discovery that everything in a sentence has to agree with the gender of the noun it relates to; so blurring 'le' and 'la' just won't do. The course is not helped by book having been written some time earlier, having been produced, I understand, as a 'complete' course; the result of this is that it is difficult to correlate the book and discs so nothing progresses smoothly.
If you, like me, find language learning a trial, start with the Michel Thomas courses: he attempts to teach in a way he believes a child learns so that you can construct simple sentences right away which acts as a confidence as well as a language builder. His courses do have their shortcomings, of course, and is probably an idea to take the Hugo course after the Michel Thomas course to consolidate what was learned there and fill in the several gaps.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good; clear, useful exercises based on interesting, up-to-date texts. An essential tool for advaced students of French.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I love the Hugo language books but still can't speak French!Published 6 months ago by Jane E. Smith
I have been using Hugo's methods for years and I still swear by them.Published 7 months ago by michèle
It turned out to be a lower level than I wanted, but it's still a useful book.Published 10 months ago by Janet Armstrong