Difference between two Assimil French editions...?

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TrioLinguist
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Difference between two Assimil French editions...?

Postby TrioLinguist » Mon May 15, 2017 9:58 pm

The most recent edition for Assimil French was "New French with Ease" but this seems to have recently been superseded by another with a new cover: "French S.P.".

https://www.amazon.ca/New-French-ease-C ... ch+assimil (old)

https://www.amazon.ca/French-S-P-Anthon ... b_image_bk (new)

I am unfamiliar with this new edition, so can anyone tell me what the differences are? The information provided in the pictures of the cover is the same, but French S.P. has 636 pages, whereas New French with Ease has 591. What's taking up the extra 45 pages?
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Re: Difference between two Assimil French editions...?

Postby DaveBee » Mon May 15, 2017 10:24 pm

TrioLinguist wrote:The most recent edition for Assimil French was "New French with Ease" but this seems to have recently been superseded by another with a new cover: "French S.P.".

https://www.amazon.ca/New-French-ease-C ... ch+assimil (old)

https://www.amazon.ca/French-S-P-Anthon ... b_image_bk (new)

I am unfamiliar with this new edition, so can anyone tell me what the differences are? The information provided in the pictures of the cover is the same, but French S.P. has 636 pages, whereas New French with Ease has 591. What's taking up the extra 45 pages?
A customer review on Amazon UK says its the same as the old course.
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Re: Difference between two Assimil French editions...?

Postby Speakeasy » Mon May 15, 2017 11:06 pm

Variants of this question (What are the differences between the “editions” of the Assimil courses?) are posed with astoundingly high frequency on this forum and on the previous one, the HTLAL. For very good reasons, the Assimil courses have been very well-received by many members of the forums. Some members, like myself, develop a “fetish” (le terme étant employé grâce à notre collegue Elexi) for the brand and embark on obsessive attempts at collecting the various “generations” of these courses. Unfortunately, the publisher’s practice of issuing “new editions” -- replete with new ISBN’s for variants of packaging, recording media, et cetera -- leaves the buyer in doubt as to the “genuine differences” between the editions. That is, it is not at all uncommon for this publisher to publish as many as four sequential “new editions” for which the differences in content (the text and the audio recordings) are either nil or merely cosmetic. The following discussion thread was opened in August, 2015, following the release of “latest edition” of the Assimil courses:

Assimil – New courses, new look?
http://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1061
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Re: Difference between two Assimil French editions...?

Postby n_j_f » Tue May 16, 2017 6:53 am

Personally I hate the new editions with a passion. The covers just look like some high-school level digital collage and the red type is absolutely hideous. Wherever possible, I get the older editions before this new line came out and I dread that the day comes when I have no choice but to buy one of these editions (like in the unlikely event that Assimil released a Malayalam With Ease or Old Church Slavonic With Ease, etc.)

The editions from, presumably, the mid-2000s on-wards were just perfect book-design with the glossy paper and blue text. I also love the old Without Toil series in hard-back and the vinyl soft-cover books were nice as well. I wasn't only fond of the soft-cover books with the line of asterixes to separate the lessons like in Using French.

But in answer to your question, I have looked at the new French With Ease at the bookstore previously and although I haven't checked word for word, lesson for lesson, the content is the same. The difference in the number of pages is probably due to differences in the font and margins, etc. although I vaguely recall mention of some additional notes with the new editions.
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Re: Difference between two Assimil French editions...?

Postby kensor » Tue May 16, 2017 7:12 pm

Perhaps the Assimil organization has acquired an MBA (Master of Business Administration) or a Maîtrise en administration des affaires who has suggested that publishing the same material in less page space, thus using less paper, as a method to save money on product costs. Comparing the two books, one notices that the newer version utilizes a sans serif font rather than the former serif font, that the line widths are longer in the newer books, that the cartoons illustrating the newer version are physically smaller, though they may be the same content. Further, attention has been paid to leaving less vertical page space without content, and the pronunciation sections do not have a colored background as in the earlier editions. The typeface appears smaller in the newer version for a combination of reasons: the sans serif font appears narrower, and thus smaller, and the non-emphasized text uses less ink per character than the serif font, so it appears less substantial. The upshot of the layout changes is to put the same content in less space, thus taking fewer pages to present the material. For some readers, using less ink and a burnt orange color, rather than shades of blue, may offer less contrast to their eyes, and thus be less pleasant. The older edition I have is edition 3353, dated August 2014, printed in Italy. The newer edition I have is publication number 3492, dated December 2015, printed in Slovenia. The older version has 648 pages, and the newer one has 624 pages.
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Re: Difference between two Assimil French editions...?

Postby cas_sj » Tue May 16, 2017 7:48 pm

I think I can answer this question from first-hand knowledge now, after having previously posted the same inquiry on another site myself. I have the new edition/French Pack which appears to have been published in January, 2016. I also have access to the New French With Ease 1998 edition/book and recordings. I'm at lesson 73 out of 113, and have followed each lesson both in the new materials and the older version.

So far the content and the recordings are identical - word for word. No changes, additions or alterations whatsoever.

Now the new book does contain more pages - 609 vs 591 in the 1998 edition (not including table of contents, preface and a few blank note pages). I can only assume that the page differences are from font and format changes.

I don't know why Assimil suggests this is a new edition. Perhaps other languages are updated with new content and they just re-published the French as well.

That being said, I'm a fan - the content and approach are fun to work with, and perhaps don't need much update....
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Re: Difference between two Assimil French editions...?

Postby James29 » Tue May 16, 2017 8:10 pm

I have two recent editions. One has red font and the other has blue font. One is slightly shorter. But, the content appears to be identical. No differences other than stylistic font colors, sizes, etc.
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Re: Difference between two Assimil French editions...?

Postby kensor » Tue May 16, 2017 8:36 pm

James29 wrote:I have two recent editions. One has red font and the other has blue font. One is slightly shorter. But, the content appears to be identical. No differences other than stylistic font colors, sizes, etc.


When my editions are together on the shelf, it's easy to identify the older one with its red French in sans serif font printed top to bottom on its spine, and the newer one with its blue French in serif font printed bottom to top on its spine. The older one, with serif font inside, appears to have been printed for the English and North American market, while the newer one, with sans serif font inside, appears to have been printed for the European market, even though both editions have traveled English-speaking the world.
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