Using Assimil together with Anki

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jeff_lindqvist
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Re: Using Assimil together with Anki

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:34 pm

neumanc wrote:I think you are right. If I remember correctly, he advocates shadowing the last 10 or so lessons, each of them in a different stage of his shadowing method, beginning with blind shadowing. In his own words, he "peels the language like an onion." I have tried this with less than optimal results. Perhaps he has an especially musical mind that allows him to learn languages mainly through his ear. Or maybe I didn't observe "proper form"?


I have shadowed all of my Assimil content in... five languages, some more than others and some probably with better result than others (that is, better prosody and better timing). While I'm not sure I (back then) could quote lessons entirely from memory, chunks had definitely stuck, and one sentence led to another. My feeling is that it's related to the way you pick up a piece of music (or lyrics).

Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with reviewing the Assimil content in Anki. A good chunk is a good chunk. Content can be used in a number of ways. I'm pretty sure that learners who use Michel Thomas' courses do their best to memorise stuff too, even if he repeatedly says that they shouldn't try to remember.
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Re: Using Assimil together with Anki

Postby Stefan » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:09 pm

It seems Assimil has screwed up big time. No issues in the first two lessons but in lesson three, I discovered that two sentences were merged into one mp3 on three separate occasions. I did a quick check and five out of six random lessons had this issue.

How it should be:

Code: Select all

S03 Ah... vous êtes Anglais?
S04 Oui, je suis de London, pardon, Londres.
S05 Mais vous parlez bien le français.
S06 Merci, vous êtes gentil.
S07 Nous, les Français, nous sommes tous gentils!

What it's like:

Code: Select all

S03 Ah... vous êtes Anglais? Oui, je suis de London, pardon, Londres.
S04 Mais vous parlez bien le français. Merci, vous êtes gentil.
S05 Nous, les Français, nous sommes tous gentils!

This felt like a huge blow because I didn't expect the extra work.

It only takes a few minutes to write down 10-14 sentences but finding errors, splicing mp3s, renaming files and editing meta data... Not to mention that Assimil skipped all the written sentences when naming the files so it's all wrong anyway. In lesson three, S08 says (Le garçon, à une autre table) but Assimil disregard this and name the next sentence S08 because there's no audio for it. It's almost like they had a software automatically search for silence and then splice the mp3 and name the files S0x based on the order.

I like the convenience of Anki, especially that I can go crazy on the repeat button but I didn't expect this extra work.

This can't be a new issue. They are using the same CD for all of their courses teaching French and the CD has 2008 printed on it even though this edition of the course was released in 2015. I will contact Assimil about it, asking if they have a revised edition but I already know what the answer will be.
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Re: Using Assimil together with Anki

Postby scivola » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:17 pm

The mp3 files correspond to the numbered lines in the text, not literally sentences. So for example, my book contains the following sequence:

3 - Ah... vous êtes anglais?
- Oui, je suis de London, pardon, Londres.
4 - Mais vous parlez bien le français.
- Merci, vous êts gentil.

So the mp3 file corresponding to line 3 would contain two spoken sentences, and likewise for the one corresponding to line 4.

And it is true that there is no audio for lines such as "(Le garcon, à une utre table.)". That is because such italicized lines are just stage direction, or comments to explain what is happening in the scene. No character in the dialog speaks those lines.
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Re: Using Assimil together with Anki

Postby Stefan » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:52 pm

scivola wrote:The mp3 files correspond to the numbered lines in the text, not literally sentences. So for example, my book contains the following sequence:

3 - Ah... vous êtes anglais?
- Oui, je suis de London, pardon, Londres.
4 - Mais vous parlez bien le français.
- Merci, vous êts gentil.

So the mp3 file corresponding to line 3 would contain two spoken sentences, and likewise for the one corresponding to line 4.

This isn't the case in the German book. I had a look in the English pdf from 1998 which is similar to your version and the audio made sense there. In my book, not so much. I genuinely don't know what to think.

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Re: Using Assimil together with Anki

Postby scivola » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:23 pm

Wow, that's crazy. I can't imagine why they would number the lines differently in different editions.
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neumanc
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Re: Using Assimil together with Anki

Postby neumanc » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:27 pm

scivola wrote:Wow, that's crazy. I can't imagine why they would number the lines differently in different editions.

Assimil does this quite often. At least some of the newer generation books with German as base language are numbered differently than their French counterparts. Most often, longer sentences or passages are just cut in half, supposably to make it easier for the learner, because they have to learn smaller passages at once.
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Re: Using Assimil together with Anki

Postby scivola » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:26 pm

neumanc wrote:
scivola wrote:Wow, that's crazy. I can't imagine why they would number the lines differently in different editions.

Assimil does this quite often. At least some of the newer generation books with German as base language are numbered differently than their French counterparts. Most often, longer sentences or passages are just cut in half, supposably to make it easier for the learner, because they have to learn smaller passages at once.


Maybe it is a result of historical decisions? I can see that in the past when they sold simple audio CDs where each track contained the entire lesson dialog that it would not have mattered if they numbered sentences differently in different editions of the book. But when they introduced the mp3 CDs and made the decision to include files broken down to the "sentence" level it would have made logical sense to number all book editions the same way so there would be a direct correspondence with the filenames. But perhaps the editing costs would have been high enough that it would not have made financial sense to do so.
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Re: Using Assimil together with Anki

Postby Stefan » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:13 pm

I received their reply today:
Assimil wrote:Thank you for your message.

Indeed, the German book has a completely different numbering system and we are sorry for that.

This is to confirm you that you have to adjust the number of the sentences but your learning won't be blocked.

We remain at your disposal for any further information.

My first impression of Assimil workbooks for false beginners was bad and this is just more of the same. The content seems great but it comes of as amateurish. At the same time, I shouldn't blow it out of proportions. The course is stilly fully usable although it's frustrating and more demanding than I expected.
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Re: Using Assimil together with Anki

Postby schlaraffenland » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:30 am

Starting on Monday, I'm going to try using Anki with Assimil... but purely for the SRS algorithm, not as a framework for storing and presenting the course media. Anki will give me the daily kick in the pants so that I learn the day's self-assigned lesson and review it at the intervals deemed appropriate by the SRS algorithm.

I know this sounds weird, if not downright superfluous. I created a card for each of the hundred lessons. Each card has "passive" and "active" notes. Each note simply displays the name of the lesson, e.g., "Lesson 24," that I should be learning or reviewing on that day. I immediately suspended the "active" notes, which I will un-suspend once I have come through Lesson 50 of the passive wave. In the meantime, Anki will feed me one new "passive" note per day, plus whatever reviews happen to be due. I'll learn new lessons according to the guidelines laid out by Assimil in the much-discussed introduction. For review cards, I'll simply shadow what I hear a couple of times and use my own judgment as to whether I feel my encounter with the review material was good, hard, easy, etc.

In other words, Anki will function something like a clunky, fancy SMS calendar for me. I won't put the Assimil text or audio in my cards; I'll simply review out of the book and off the CD. But Anki will keep track of when I will go over the material. It feels a bit like using a power sander to file my nails, but when I thought about keeping track of these things myself the old-fashioned way, I had a look at SuperMemo on paper and got a headache. So this is my clunky workaround until a self-adjusting, algorithm-dictated Hobonichi Techo printed on Tomoe River e-paper comes onto the market ;)
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Re: Using Assimil together with Anki

Postby scivola » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:06 pm

schlaraffenland wrote:Starting on Monday, I'm going to try using Anki with Assimil... but purely for the SRS algorithm, not as a framework for storing and presenting the course media.


I think it sounds like an interesting experiment. I'm curious how well the scheduled reviews work out, in the sense of whether they will pile up so you have 10 reviews scheduled for a single day, or whether it just stays at just one or two. Definitely worth a try, though.
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