French Level 1

  • by Pimsleur
  • Narrated by Pimsleur
  • 16 hrs and 21 mins
  • Speech

Publisher's Summary

The Pimsleur® Method: the easiest, fastest way to learn a new language. Completely portable, easily downloadable, and lots of fun. You'll be speaking and understanding in no time flat!
French Level 1 includes 15 hours of spoken language practice and one hour of reading instruction in thirty 30-minute lessons. In the first 10 lessons, you'll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more. You'll be able to handle minimum courtesy requirements, understand much of what you hear, and be understood at a beginning level but with near-native pronunciation skills.
In the next 10 lessons, you'll build on what you've learned. Expand your menu, increase your scheduling abilities from general to specific, start to deal with currency and exchanging money, refine your conversations, and add over a hundred new vocabulary items. You'll understand more of what you hear and be able to participate with speech that is smoother and more confident.
In the final 10 lessons of level one, you'll be speaking and understanding at an intermediate level. In this phase, more directions are given in the target language, which moves your learning to a whole new plane. Lessons include shopping, visiting friends, going to a restaurant, plans for the evening, car trips, and talking about family. You'll be able to speak comfortably about things that happened in the past and make plans for the future.
Reading lessons begin in unit nine and provide you with an introduction to reading the French alphabet. These lessons (approximately one hour) are designed to teach you to sound out words with correct pronunciation and accent. A reading booklet to be used with the audio lessons is also included in PDF format.

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What the Critics Say

"Pimsleur programs provide plenty of positive reinforcement that will keep learners on track, and we found that Pimsleur gave us more proficiency and confidence in speaking the new language than any of the other language programs we reviewed." (AudioFile magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Best Way To Learn French, and with Audible!

Pimsleur is great. I've spent a lot of time learning various languages in my life, German, Italian, Swedish, Spanish, Biblical Greek and Hebrew, I've attempted Latin a few times. I've managed to become quite proficient in a few of these too. Unfortunately, Pimsleur doesn't have a Latin program. I've had to use different methods for the different languages, high school, and college courses, flash cards and self study, but anymore if I want to learn a language the first thing I do is look for Pimsleur. I've used it with Spanish, and I've reviewed German with it, now I'm learning French with it. It's not only the easiest way to learn a language, it is hands down the best, and most proficient I have used. (I think Rosetta has tried to build upon the Pimsleur approach by incorporating computer visuals. I haven't yet used Rosetta. I like Pimsleur because I'm not bound to a computer or visuals, which means you can practice in the car, on walks, or while doing the dishes. The only reason I would use Rosetta is if I couldn't find the language in the Pimsleur inventory.)
Most lessons will only require a half hour from your day. At times you may find it useful to review the lesson. Some are put off by the business nature of Pimsleur. Don't let that bother you. It teaches you the language well. It has an emphasis on business, but that basis you get there will allow you to explore your other interests. Taking the time with these lessons will also improve your experience travelling if your only interest is being a tourist. In my past use of the language programs I have found that I could read what ever literature desired in the language, but perhaps needed a dictionary with which to expand my vocabulary. It teaches you to think, hear and speak in the language, and embeds the structure of the language into your mind. I've caught myself answering people with languages I've learned with Pimsleur, before even realizing I was speaking a different language. It works that well!
I recommend this particular program for anyone struggling with the language in high school, or college. You will learn more with this program, and the half an hour it requires will improve your grades. Really, what ever your reason for wanting to learn French, I wholeheartedly recommend this program.
Some have complained about the price on Audible. It is, in fact, the cheapest I have seen it. I have to say, the list price may be a bit expensive compared to others, but here is the thing, become a member and you get credits every month, save up five credits and you have this program cheaper than any other way of purchasing it. Of course this means you have to wait a few months in between phases, but that gives you ample time for review. If you don't want to do that, you can purchase different program packages with Audible, some give you up to 20 credits all at once. For $230 dollars you can by the platinum annual membership that gives you 24 credits upfront which is enough to purchase five phases of Pimsleur French of Audible. I haven't found a better price. And frankly, you will spend a lot more on college credits and learn a lot less with a lot more effort. Do this and then take a CLEP Test. Also, by purchasing the membership, you will find many other books to listen to dirt cheap. Some of them in very simple French, Spanish, German etc. That you can use to practice what you have learned with Pimsleur. And this allows you to listen to the language which is a great plus over merely practicing through reading. They also have more advanced books in foreign languages, and the membership with audible cuts the price you pay greatly. Don't fool yourself, this is an incredible deal!
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- Bror Erickson

An excellent product

Would you consider the audio edition of French Phase 1, Units 1-30 to be better than the print version?

I used the Pimsleur French méthode audio (1-3) during my 30-minute commute for two years prior to traveling to Languedoc and Provence. My language skills were basic, but I was able to communicate with people, which greatly enhanced my enjoyment of vacationing in France. FYI, I was even complimented for my accent.

After returning to Hawai'i, I eventually took first semester French in college, which helped me begin to write French and better understand French grammar, but I was way too advanced for first semester. I should have started with second semester French.

I have a BA in Spanish, so I understand the language-aquisition process, and Pimsleur is effective for dedicated learners. It is by far my favorite méthode audio.


What other book might you compare French Phase 1, Units 1-30 to and why?

Instant Immersion: French and Behind the Wheel French.


What about the narrator’s performance did you like?

The pacing is excellent. One has an appropriate amount of time to response to prompts.


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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-01-2010
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio