I’ve used Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, and LingQ in the past, but Assimil is the best for learning a language from scratch. I’ve been learning French (French with Ease) for the past week, and though I have fifteen weeks to go still, I am so far amazed by the results.
I just went into Starbucks for a hot chocolate and an asiago bagel, with cream cheese. Please don’t criticize me for going to Starbucks. This was a last minute decision made after sitting in the sauna at my gym for thirty minutes, which included twenty minutes extra for the one shower with hot water, because the woman using it did not recognize that while she was wasting our very valuable resource, I was slowly dehydrating, losing precious minerals in the process into an evaporating puddle on the sauna floor, and I simply had no other recourse than to go to Starbucks and refuel, lest I pass out on 4th Street with no one to save me.
Well, while I was waiting in line for Starbucks, there was a woman behind me speaking French into her cell phone. And I have to say, it was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard, especially now that I understand nearly 80% of it. And this is after only one week!
Here is what she was saying:
What do you mean you have to work late tonight? You son of a bitch, you’re always working late! It’s because of her, isn’t it? That dragon lady, Genevieve? Don’t lie to me! There is something going on, I know it! Did you say you wanted one shot or two?
What is amazing about this program is that so far, my vocabulary list has been the following:
le frommage — cheese
la fontaine — fountain
un briquet rouge — a red lighter
deux bières blondes — two light beers
Où est le mètro San-Michel ? — Where is the San-Michel metro?
So I had to do a lot of filling in the blanks, especially considering her conversation did not contain a single vocabulary word, but I know that that is more or less what she said.