Editions of Assimil Perfectionnement Espagnol/Using Spanish

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Ug_Caveman
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Editions of Assimil Perfectionnement Espagnol/Using Spanish

Postby Ug_Caveman » Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:49 am

I did try the search function but wasn't able to find exactly what I was looking for (although it's quite late here so maybe my brain is missing the obvious when I scroll...)

I've recently acquired a copy of Assimil Using Spanish, English based with cassette audio - 60 lessons and published in the late 1990s.

I've seen a chance to buy a copy of Perfectionnement Espagnol with CD audio online (it appears to be the most up to date edition). As I initially understood it, for Assimil these courses were the same, but the version with the CDs states that it has 70 lessons, and I suspect that the incongruity of the number of lessons means they are not in fact the same.

If anyone could shed some light here and confirm or deny? It would be much appreciated (as I'm not sure I have the time or patience to muck around trying to get a cassette tape to record onto my laptop :lol: )
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Re: Editions of Assimil Perfectionnement Espagnol/Using Spanish

Postby jonm » Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:46 am

Hi Ug_Caveman, you're right, there are two different editions of Perfectionnement Espagnol. The current edition is copyright 2015 and has 70 lessons, and the previous edition is copyright 1988 and has 60 lessons, and that's the one that corresponds to Using Spanish. The Assimil site has the audio for Using Spanish and the older Perfectionnement here as an mp3 CD and here as a regular CD. (With the mp3 format, each sound file also contains the corresponding text, which can be handy depending on how you like to use the audio.) Also, on the pages I linked to, you can see the names and ISBNs of the different translations of the course that all use the same audio, so if you spotted a good deal on any of them, that would work too. Hope that helps!
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Re: Editions of Assimil Perfectionnement Espagnol/Using Spanish

Postby ilmari » Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:28 am

There is also one older edition, at least in French: La pratique de l'espagnol, 1962, 78 lessons.
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Re: Editions of Assimil Perfectionnement Espagnol/Using Spanish

Postby PeterMollenburg » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:58 pm

jonm wrote:Hi Ug_Caveman, you're right, there are two different editions of Perfectionnement Espagnol. The current edition is copyright 2015 and has 70 lessons, and the previous edition is copyright 1988 and has 60 lessons, and that's the one that corresponds to Using Spanish. The Assimil site has the audio for Using Spanish and the older Perfectionnement here as an mp3 CD and here as a regular CD. (With the mp3 format, each sound file also contains the corresponding text, which can be handy depending on how you like to use the audio.) Also, on the pages I linked to, you can see the names and ISBNs of the different translations of the course that all use the same audio, so if you spotted a good deal on any of them, that would work too. Hope that helps!


Hi jonm,

Thanks for the clarification here on the different editions of the more advanced courses Assimil offers for Spanish. I've tidied up my wish list of various editions of the Assimil courses across several languages a little more now.

This older audio that seems to be available via the Assimil website, to which you've provided a couple of links above is new to me. 'New', in that I've not noticed that Assimil sold older products before. I've not seen this option before on their website with other language courses and am guessing that it's like this with the advanced Spanish courses given that the new version of Perfectionnement Espagnol has not been translated into all other base languages that the older edition was available in. Therefore keeping the old audio as an item for sale on their website makes sense for the other base languages not yet available with the newer edition. Any thoughts/confirmation from your perspective?
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Re: Editions of Assimil Perfectionnement Espagnol/Using Spanish

Postby jonm » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:42 am

Hi Peter, yeah, I think you're right about how it works. It seems like most often the French-base course comes out first (sometimes it's a different initial base language, as with the old Catalán sin esfuerzo, but it's usually French), and then translations into other languages follow, sometimes years later. So it often happens that the most recent course for certain base languages is a generation older than the current French-base course. And it seems like in that situation, Assimil usually continues to offer the audio for both editions.

The older audio is sometimes a little tucked away on the web site and hard to find. If you can get the ISBN for the audio and put that in the search bar, then it should come right up. And you can usually find that ISBN on the page for any corresponding book that's also offered on the web site (on the page for the book by itself, not for a whole pack that already includes audio). For example, I got the ISBN for the Using Spanish audio on this page for the German-base book (since the Using Spanish book doesn't seem to be available).

It's a bit roundabout. You can also get to the Using Spanish audio by going to the "Learn a language" menu at the top of the main page and choosing Spanish, though you then have to find it in lots of pages of results.

On the other hand, it looks like if you do a search and specify any base language, even a base language like English or German where this particular audio is still the most recent, the audio by itself won't come up in the results.

Anyway, I'm glad the audio for these previous-generation courses is mostly still available, even if it takes a little poking around to find it.
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Re: Editions of Assimil Perfectionnement Espagnol/Using Spanish

Postby Ug_Caveman » Thu Feb 25, 2021 1:26 am

Figured I'd hijack my own thread with a similar question:

Was curious about editions of Assimil's first stage Spanish course. I've seen a version of Spanish with Ease that has 109 lessons and a version of just Spanish with 100 lessons. Does anyone have any insight as to how these courses compare?
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Re: Editions of Assimil Perfectionnement Espagnol/Using Spanish

Postby Skynet » Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:59 am

Ug_Caveman wrote:If anyone could shed some light here and confirm or deny


Here are the advanced Spanish editions that I own and the ones with an asterisk are the ones that I have used:

Assimil: La Pratique de l'espagnol (1962) - 78 lessons*
Assimil: Perfectionnement Espagnol (1988) - 60 lessons*
Assimil: Using Spanish (1996) - 60 lessons (Has dreadful English translations!!!)


Ug_Caveman wrote: Was curious about editions of Assimil's first stage Spanish course. I've seen a version of Spanish with Ease that has 109 lessons and a version of just Spanish with 100 lessons. Does anyone have any insight as to how these courses compare?


My opinion: the older (109 lessons) one is better despite having some outdated vocab. Buy it.
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Re: Editions of Assimil Perfectionnement Espagnol/Using Spanish

Postby jmar257 » Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:32 pm

Skynet wrote:
Ug_Caveman wrote: Was curious about editions of Assimil's first stage Spanish course. I've seen a version of Spanish with Ease that has 109 lessons and a version of just Spanish with 100 lessons. Does anyone have any insight as to how these courses compare?


My opinion: the older (109 lessons) one is better despite having some outdated vocab. Buy it.

I can't compare to the newer Spanish, and I've heard Spanish Without Toil is great as well, but the 109 lesson Spanish With Ease is outstanding and I highly recommend it as well. I know Skynet has used SWOT and can speak on that as well.

As a general point, I've been wondering about Assimil's newer courses and how they compare to older ones--there are some languages where I don't have older Assimils (or at least, only have the book) and will eventually be tempted to buy the new editions that they have now. I imagine there's some decline in quality but the usefulness of a parallel text with audio is still there.
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Re: Editions of Assimil Perfectionnement Espagnol/Using Spanish

Postby Skynet » Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:43 pm

jmar257 wrote:I can't compare to the newer Spanish, and I've heard Spanish Without Toil is great as well, but the 109 lesson Spanish With Ease is outstanding and I highly recommend it as well. I know Skynet has used SWOT and can speak on that as well.


SWOT is the best beginner Spanish book ever, just as FWOT and GWOT are the best French and German books. Yes, the learning curves are much steeper than the contemporary editions, but it's worth it. SWE is a great book too (I did the French version).
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