Assimil “Brochure d’essai” and "Leçon d'essai" 45 tours

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Speakeasy
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Assimil “Brochure d’essai” and "Leçon d'essai" 45 tours

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:56 pm

Digging Around in the Stacks
Recently, while reviewing an online seller’s list of books in search of a specific item, I came across a listing for “Assimil l’allemand sans peine, Brochure d’essai” for which the description was rather vague. As I am quite fond of the Assimil method, and as the price for this item was very attractive, I yielded to my curiosity and included it in my order.

Assimil l’allemand sans peine, Brochure d’essai
The 52-page booklet, the width and height of which are identical to the full Assimil course manuals, contains the first seven lessons of the "Assimil l’allemand sans peine" course.
Assimil Brochure d'essai 1.JPG
Assimil Brochure d'essai 1.JPG (50.13 KiB) Viewed 300 times

The image below depicts the first and last pages of the booklet. Although there is no date of publication, it is clear that this booklet was from the first generation, or A. Chérel period. The last page contains a list of several (perhaps all of) the Assimil courses either of the “sans peine” or the “pratique de” series (Allemand, Anglais, Italien, Espagnol, Néerlandais, Russe) accompanied by the notation “Un specimen existe pour chacun de ces ouvrages” which I interpret as meaning that brochures, similar to this one, were available for all of these courses. It is not clear to me whether these brochures were freely-available to the public as promotional items (which seems most likely) or whether they were offered for purchase.
Assimil Brochure d'essai 2.JPG
Assimil Brochure d'essai 2.JPG (69.71 KiB) Viewed 300 times

For those of you who might have a complete copy of the “Assimil l’allemand sans peine” course in their collections of vintage materials, here is an image drawn from the brochure. As you can see, it is identical to the regular course manual.
Assimil Brochure d'essai 3.JPG
Assimil Brochure d'essai 3.JPG (68.57 KiB) Viewed 300 times


EDITED:
Typos, of course.
Last edited by Speakeasy on Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jeff_lindqvist
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Re: Assimil “Brochure d’essai”

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:41 pm

It's the same dialogue as in lesson 1 in my edition of German with Ease. I wonder if they kept more lessons...

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Speakeasy
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Re: Assimil “Brochure d’essai”

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:36 pm

@jeff_lindqvist, thank you for your post. Distinguishing the “generations” of the Assimil courses is as much an art as it is a science! The “Brochure d’essai” shown above was an extract of the Assimil German course, by A. Chérel, for which I have several editions from 1939 through the 1970’s. It is possible that there was a previous generation by A. Chérel, introduced in the late 1920’s, having different dialogues; it is also possible that the A. Chérel never revised the dialogues and simply kept issuing new editions. I also have two copies of the Assimil German course, by Hilde Schneider, which followed the A. Chérel series, for which you posted an image of the book cover.

I have compared the dialogues of the A. Chérel editions to those of the Hilde Schneider editions and confirm that the dialogues are quite different, one from the other. There is, indeed, a similarity between the “Lesson 1” dialogues of the two editions and I suspect that this was not a coincidence. Rather, this might have been a gesture on the part of Hilde Schneider to render homage to the originator of the Assimil method. I have prepared, below, a comparison of the dialogues for Lessons 1 and 2 from the two generations.
Dialogues Lesson 1.JPG
Dialogues Lesson 1.JPG (67.15 KiB) Viewed 229 times
Dialogues Lesson 2.JPG
Dialogues Lesson 2.JPG (89 KiB) Viewed 229 times
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Re: Assimil “Brochure d’essai”

Postby ilmari » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:16 am

It seems the whole concept of "brochures d'essai" was ahead of its time, like many things Assimil. It is interesting to note that the newest Assimil apps also offer the first seven lessons as a free trial.

By the way, in the old days you could also order a free sample "disque d'essai" with a recording of lessons 1, 6 and another more advanced one. This is the order page you could find in the 1971 edition of "Le russe sans peine".
Attachments
Assimil Disques Recto.jpg
Assimil Disques Recto.jpg (36.94 KiB) Viewed 210 times
Assimil Disques Verso.jpg
Assimil Disques Verso.jpg (36.05 KiB) Viewed 210 times
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Speakeasy
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Re: Assimil “Brochure d’essai” and "Leçon d'essai" 45 tours

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:26 pm

Assimil Leçon d’essai 45 tours
A couple of days following my report on the Assimil “Brochure d’essai”, I came upon an offer on eBay.FR for a “Leçon d’essai” 45 rpm record for the Assimil L’allemand sans peine course; I snapped it up. The paper envelope reads (translated from the French): “The floppy disk offered here is not similar either in dimensions or in materials to the ‘normal’ 45 rpm or 78 rpm records of the complete Assimil courses …” Indeed! The floppy disk is the slimmest plastic phonograph record that I have ever encountered.
Assimil Leçon d'essai 45 tours.JPG
Assimil Leçon d'essai 45 tours.JPG (69.44 KiB) Viewed 110 times
The roughly 3-minute-long recording opens with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 in C minor, Allegro con brio, with a voice-over drawn from the final audio tracks of Assimil L’allemand sans peine (1st generation) course. The male presenter, speaking in a clear, highly-articulated Parisian accent, comments “of course you didn’t understand anything” and goes on to extol the merits of the Assimil method. An extract of the audio recording for Lesson 1 of this course is then presented, followed by an invitation to the listener to purchase the complete set of audio recordings at one’s local bookstore or record store.

It seems likely to me that the “Brochure d’essai” and the 45 rpm record “Leçon d’essai” were offered as free sets of promotional materials to interested, but as yet uncommitted, potential customers of the Assimil courses.
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