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on 1 April 2015
This book is for the level usually termed intermediate as it requires a good working knowledge of French. There are articles on a variety of topics grouped under headings such as: Culture; Voyages; Tradition; Celebration; Biographie; Coutumes; Les Arts; Histoire; Geographie and Gastronomie with a glossary down the side of the page. I found the inclusions here hard to fathom as they sometimes give quite ordinary words whilst omitting more obscure ones. The passages are full of the names of places which are of limited interest for a learner. There are no explanations of grammar such as why the subjunctive is used in a particular clause (or why some examples take a pleonastic "ne") or when the tense suddenly becomes the literary Past Historic. Nor is there a dictionary at the back - or verb tables. Sometimes the translations of vocabulary need further comment such as why "une annee de vaches maigres" means "lean years" or they fail to be accurate: "Vous l'aurez bien compris" cannot be truly rendered as: "you have understood." At times I felt the book was produced by some tourist organisation and I would not recommend it for private study although it is quite useful for a class. To learn on your own you would do better to use the Breakthrough French or Teach Yourself series for the level you reckon you are at. Alternatively you could read a collection of short stories, perhaps in a dual language version, and then you would have knowledge of proper literature.
2 people found this helpful
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on 13 December 2013
This is an excellent learning tool and I recommend it highly, but it is very frustrating for two reasons:

Firstly, it was a bit of a faff trying to find out how to download the audio part. Secondly, I would really appreciate having all the stories read aloud and would have been happy to pay more to get that.
11 people found this helpful
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on 29 June 2013
Brilliant idea to help learners acquire more French. Interesting articles to read, and if you only have time, to listen to on CD in the car. Would be great if you could buy further CDs to go with the book that include all the other articles (there are many reading articles, but not all of them are put onto the CD) I would definitely buy more if I could. There are a couple of tracks by a lady speaker (different speakers to help you get used to different accents) who is painstakingly slow and overpronounces everything. I think she is trying to help people understand better, but I just find it frustrating, so fast forward those tracks. Otherwise a good and interesting way to learn about the French language and its culture - not just France but other French-speaking countries.
5 people found this helpful
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on 7 February 2016
This is an excellent book and has so many necessary every french words . It is also very interesting on all aspects of french culture and customs . I wish I had found it earlier. The dictionary /explanation column on the left side of each page makes it easy to look up the meaning of words and expressions on the same page. I suggest this book and CD is for all levels and can be repeated again and again as there is so much to get out of each topic. Would highly recommend.
One person found this helpful
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on 12 May 2017
Our U3A French group spotted this publication and we all decided to get it. The book is very good, text clear, translation of 'difficult' bits very useful. It's not for beginners, just those 'brushing up' their french. It comes with a CD as well, but most of the 'lessons' are not on it, just some of them.
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on 3 May 2014
I found this book and cd package very helpful, most books deal with beginners level French, it took a lot of searching to find a book aimed at the next level. Do not buy this book if you are a complete beginner, but if like me you want to improve your intermediate level French then this is the package for you.
4 people found this helpful
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on 31 May 2014
I bought this copy with my French Conversation Group in mind. They liked it so we have a copy each now. It's quite topical and easy to understand - there is an accompanying CD which has some of the articles recorded - I actually wish there had been more. There are a few typing and grammatical errors in the book which I am surprised at in view of the interesting content and style of the book. I think on the whole that it is very well presented and the vocabulary lists at the side of each article make life easier too!
2 people found this helpful
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on 1 February 2016
Arrived very promptly - well before advised date. Brand new book and CS.
This book contains plenty of interesting articles about France, introducing a wide vocabulary. The CD does not contain all articles, but has a wide selection, and is very helpful for improving my understanding of spoken French (generally, I find it easier to understand written French than spoken).
A good value, interesting way to improve French language.
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on 17 January 2014
A wonderful way to get used to reading text and I LOVE the highlighted parts with the expainations to the side of the page. Really interesting articles and as for being able to listen to the text on the audio cd - this is fantastic!! The speed with which the local person speaks is ming boggling BUT to have the text in front of you is great and any words you don't know how to pronounce you can listen out for.
I would highly recommend this to anyone on my Open University Bon Dèpart French Course!!!
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on 11 October 2015
Very informative and helps to improve language skills. Some people mention problems with down load - not so for me, click the link from the about this book pages within your kindle - this takes you to the publishers download site - copy in the ISBN number and your email address and away you go. Just make sure you follow the instructions to carry out the download on your PC an then transfer to your device. This worked perfectly on iPad mini. No extra payments necessary
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