Assimil Persian: opinions?

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n_j_f
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Assimil Persian: opinions?

Postby n_j_f » Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:57 pm

Hi all

I have noted in the forum (and elsewhere) the poor reviews for the Assimil "Arabic With Ease" course. Dominique Halbout is the author of both "Arabic . . . " and "Le persan sans peine" and I was interesting in purchasing the latter at some point.

If anyone has completed or reviewed the Persian course, I would be interested in hearing your opinions.

Thanks
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Re: Assimil Persian: opinions?

Postby Thunter » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:12 pm

The Arabic Assimil Course is not bad at all, it's just difficult to learn, because all words seem to be similar and grammar is different.
That's why FSI says that's one of the most difficult languages.
To say, not the course is bad but the language is difficult and Assimil tried their best to make it esay.
The only bad Assimil course i know is Hindi.
They put too much in 55 lessons.

However if you learn half an hour a day you will need about a year to finish the book, in other european language 6 month might be possible, but you can't expect to learn such a language in the same time as Spanish or Portuguese.


(I have worked through all lessons, so i'm not only guessing how the course might be)
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Re: Assimil Persian: opinions?

Postby Elisac » Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:28 am

Thunter wrote:The Arabic Assimil Course is not bad at all, it's just difficult to learn, because all words seem to be similar and grammar is different.
That's why FSI says that's one of the most difficult languages.
To say, not the course is bad but the language is difficult and Assimil tried their best to make it esay.
The only bad Assimil course i know is Hindi.
They put too much in 55 lessons.

However if you learn half an hour a day you will need about a year to finish the book, in other european language 6 month might be possible, but you can't expect to learn such a language in the same time as Spanish or Portuguese.


(I have worked through all lessons, so i'm not only guessing how the course might be)


What's you opinion about the listening part in Assimil Arabic? I read bad reviews...
And after you went through the book(s), what was your level of comprehension of the news? Written and let's say Al Jazira news?
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Re: Assimil Persian: opinions?

Postby Thunter » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:44 pm

The quality of the records are really good, the audio is clear and you have different speakers, however they do not differ to much, which makes it possible to follow and repeat it.

But for understanding television well need to know more words.
Nevertheless, with this course you a managable amount of works and if it would be longer it would be too difficult.
If you want to continue after this there is an Arabic for advanced from Assimil.
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Re: Assimil Persian: opinions?

Postby druckfehler » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:23 pm

I've studied up to lesson 34 of Le Persan sans Peine. It's my first Assimil experience. I don't know French, so I'm not sure how good the grammar instructions are, but I do like the structure. It's great for learning vocabulary gradually. I also like the succession in which they introduce grammar points.

Although I didn't use it for this purpose, I don't think I would want to learn writing through Assimil. It would be better to use another source for that which focuses on pronunciation of the letters and how the letters are connected. This one did a good job at teaching the alphabet: http://www.lemmapers.de/buch_persian_language_course.html. It's probably best to combine Assimil with other sources, such as http://www.chaiandconversation.com/lessons, http://www.persianlanguageonline.com/ or http://www.persiandee.com/. There are a lot of very good free resources out there to supplement Assimil.
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Re: Assimil Persian: opinions?

Postby Speakeasy » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:25 am

@n_j_f,
Long time, no post?

Assimil Le Persan
The eight customer reviews of “Assimil Le Persan” that currently appear on Amazon.FR average 4.5 stars and, as to be expected, most reviewers were quite satisfied with the course. Nonetheless, one reviewer complained of a number of typographical errors in the presentation of the Persian/Farsi alphabet at the beginning of the course book, whereas a second reviewer, who was quite fond of the course, complained about the explanations of grammar (are we surprised by this?). One reviewer remarked that the latest edition was a reprint of the previous edition. I executed a “G-search” of the HTLAL using “Assimil Le Persan” as my search criterion and it yielded 25 results. Generally speaking, the comments are positive.

Other HTLAL Discussion Threads
Although I have never studied Farsi/Persian and have no plans to do so, the last time that questions were raised as to the availability of materials, I took note of the following HTLAL Discussion Threads:
Persian (Farsi) overview http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=69
Beginning Persian: how and where to start http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=37610&PN=11
Latest Persian resources http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13737&PN=16
Persian/Farsi materials http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=30178&PN=15

Audio-lingual Persian/Farsi courses
If you respond well to the audio-lingual method, be advised that there are several older Persian/Farsi courses virtually all of which are freely available.
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Re: Assimil Persian: opinions?

Postby n_j_f » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:25 pm

Speakeasy wrote:@n_j_f,
Long time, no post?

Assimil Le Persan
The eight customer reviews of “Assimil Le Persan” that currently appear on Amazon.FR average 4.5 stars and, as to be expected, most reviewers were quite satisfied with the course. Nonetheless, one reviewer complained of a number of typographical errors in the presentation of the Persian/Farsi alphabet at the beginning of the course book, whereas a second reviewer, who was quite fond of the course, complained about the explanations of grammar (are we surprised by this?). One reviewer remarked that the latest edition was a reprint of the previous edition. I executed a “G-search” of the HTLAL using “Assimil Le Persan” as my search criterion and it yielded 25 results. Generally speaking, the comments are positive.

Other HTLAL Discussion Threads
Although I have never studied Farsi/Persian and have no plans to do so, the last time that questions were raised as to the availability of materials, I took note of the following HTLAL Discussion Threads:
Persian (Farsi) overview http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=69
Beginning Persian: how and where to start http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=37610&PN=11
Latest Persian resources http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13737&PN=16
Persian/Farsi materials http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=30178&PN=15

Audio-lingual Persian/Farsi courses
If you respond well to the audio-lingual method, be advised that there are several older Persian/Farsi courses virtually all of which are freely available.


Great to hear from you again, Speakeasy. I have been a bit slack the last three or four months with posting and such like — I still haven't started my language log — but do check the forum a couple of times a week. Hope you've been well and had a great Christmas/New Year. Thanks for the HTLAL links.

I had to put Persian on hold for a couple of months but have re-started a couple of weeks ago. I took the plunge and bought the Assimil course. My initial impressions are that its a great introduction to the Perso-Arabic script, perhaps the best I've seen along with the first edition of Teach Yourself Persian by John Mace. About five letters are introduced in the first few lessons, then one or two letters per lesson after that. It is not until about the fourteenth lesson that the full alphabet has been taught.

The audio, as always with Assimil, is excellent — perhaps too 'affected', but this could just be that my ear is not yet tuned to the Persian language — but it is too early for me to give any in-depth review. Like Thunter, I have never come across a "bad" Assimil course; the only one that didn't make a great impression on me was the Roehmer (2nd Generation? 3rd?) edition German With Ease but I still think it is far better than most German courses on the market.

Thanks for the link to Persian Language Online. I have been working through a couple of lessons from a similar website called Easy Persion which has also been useful.
http://www.easypersian.com/

When I was learning Russian, I made the mistake of working my way through too many courses at the same time. With Persian, I'm restricting myself to Assimil Le persan sans peineand Pimsleur Farsi of which there are only thirty lessons it seems. I was considering working with the Pimsleur Dari for an additional thirty lessons but was advised against this by another contact of mine. Anyone have any thoughts on that? I have some other materials — Spoken Language Services (same as FSI apparently), Teach Yourself Persian, Routledge Introductory Persian, etc. — to continue with if and when I work through these.

I would love to hear any opinions people have of the strength or weakness of various courses. What audio-lingual courses are there apart from SLS/FSI? I have heard mention of a University of Michigan course with several hours of audio. Is the course the same as Modern Persian by Gernot Windfuhr?
http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Persian-El ... 0916798550
I couldn't locate any audio for this.
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Re: Assimil Persian: opinions?

Postby Speakeasy » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:36 pm

Hello n_j_f,

It's great to hear from you again!

Modern Persian by Gernot Windfuhr
In answer to your question, yes, the University of Michigan archived audio files, that are now freely available subject to specific requests, were recorded to accompany the textbook Modern Persian by Gernot Windfuhr. You can request that UoM send you a LINK to files via their website: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/lrc/sales. Should their reply be slow in coming, here is the DOWNLOAD LINK, as provided by another member: https://umich.app.box.com/UM-FLACS-Persian/1/4008980133 which I retained, somewhat obsessively, as I am language-materials packrat.

Audio-Lingual Persian/Farsi Courses
As you already have the FSI and Spoken Language courses and are considering the Modern Persian course, then, as far as I understand, that leaves the DLI Persian/Farsi courses. There are some (incomplete) materials available on the JLU-Archives website: https://jlu.wbtrain.com/sumtotal/language/DLI%20basic%20courses/ and there are a few offers of "DLI Persian" on EBay: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xdli+persian.TRS0&_nkw=dli+persian&_sacat=0, but it is not always clear what is being offered; that is, at times, the seller has merely downloaded the materials from the JLU-Archives website whereas at other times, they might have something that is not presently available of the website. This is something of "buying a pig in a poke", but at least the prices are low.

I do not really follow the Persian/Farsi threads (except as a packrat) and I get the impression that members daristani or peterbeischmidt and perhaps others would be in a better position to advise you.
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Re: Assimil Persian: opinions?

Postby Marah » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:56 pm

Thunter wrote:The Arabic Assimil Course is not bad at all, it's just difficult to learn, because all words seem to be similar and grammar is different.
That's why FSI says that's one of the most difficult languages.
To say, not the course is bad but the language is difficult and Assimil tried their best to make it esay.
The only bad Assimil course i know is Hindi.
They put too much in 55 lessons.

However if you learn half an hour a day you will need about a year to finish the book, in other european language 6 month might be possible, but you can't expect to learn such a language in the same time as Spanish or Portuguese.


(I have worked through all lessons, so i'm not only guessing how the course might be)



I don't agree. I have Assimil Hindi and it's quite good.

Even if Assimil says you have to go through a lesson a day it doesn't mean you have to. I try to stick to ~10 new words/phrases per day so, sometimes, it takes me 2-3 days to finish an Assimil lesson but that's okay, I think the new words stick better, I don't get discouraged by the list of words that keep piling up and I don't have to go through the Assimil book once again. Which I used to do. I used to read my Assimils 4-5 times back in the day.

Too much content is not what makes an Assimil book bad. In my opinion it's rather the kind of vocabulary they teach you. In some Assimils they teach you words like "ferry" or "terrace" very early on. I think they should rather stick to more frequent vocabulary. That's what made me momentarily give up on learning Greek: their Assimil is too full of these unnecessarily infrequent words.

Assimil Arabic doesn't fare that bad on that level. It's not perfect, but anyway, MSA is more of a "formal" language, ie: you would rather find it in books, newspapers, etc... and then there's the dialect thing so, yeah!

I also happen to have Assimil Persian but I haven't delved into it yet, if you want I can browse it and tell you if I think they teach too much "useless" vocabulary?
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Re: Assimil Persian: opinions?

Postby A Callidryas » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:49 pm

The Assimil Persian course is okay. The grammar explanations are clear and the CDs have good sound quality.

However, before you spend a lot of money on it, you might want to check out these resources.

Radio Iran has a program called 'Persan sans peine'. It consists of 166 conversations in Persian and French. You can download the audio as MP3s. The sound quality is good. A1-A2
http://frenchold.ws.irib.ir/programmes/ ... ?start=160

Persian Language Online also has lots of conversations and passages in Persian and English. Again, the sound quality is good and you can download the material as MP3s. There are also practice exercises. Beginner to Intermediate.
http://www.persianlanguageonline.com/

PersianDee is a good overview of all the basic grammar.
http://www.persiandee.com/view/showLess ... ntLesson/0

For more grammar, you could also get the John Mace book .

The Assimil Persian book is pretty good, but if I had known about these resources earlier, I wouldn't have bought it.
Taken together, the Radio Iran dialogues and the Persian Language Online expose you to about five times as much language and vocabulary as the Assimil course.
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