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Conversational French Dialogues*

Not Sure If You’ll Learn…

This is the first time I have been introduced to this way of language learning done by Lingo Mastery. I was put off from the start by the English mastery of the writer. I found that the English in the introductory section as well as the English translation of the French conversations to be odd and somewhat stilted. Occasionally, wrong words were used. Does anyone in an English-speaking country refer to teeth cleaning as descaling or plaque as calculus? The poor English made me question how good the conversational French part would be. If there are so many issues in the English sections, would there be such issues in the French parts that I wouldn’t really have enough knowledge to know? I did take French in high school and college, but I still can’t say whether the French is correct. I would definitely be leery of trusting the French to be accurate, though, given what the English is like. I thought some choices for the conversational topics were odd. Some make complete sense, like ordering food and drinks or asking for directions. But how often would an English speaker going to France need to ask about pet grooming or pest control?

This book definitely is not for a beginner learning French. You certainly have to have a background in French to appreciate some of the nuances. I can’t imagine this being someone’s first (or even second) introduction to the French language; it would be akin to reading gibberish. And, of course, you would have no idea how to pronounce these French words unless you bought the audiobook version as well—or had previous knowledge of French. There is no pronunciation guide given. I wonder, too, if the book would have been better organized if it had each sentence in the conversation in both French and English one right below the other, so you can more quickly assimilate new words as well as associate phrases between the languages. It can be a pain to flip back and forth between Kindle pages. All in all, I found myself disappointed in this book, though I would probably refer to it if I was planning to go to a French-speaking country. Although, I would not be reading about dog grooming!

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