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The Standard Deviants - French 1 & 2

The Standard Deviants - French 1 & 2
Title: The Standard Deviants - French 1 & 2

Author: Cerebellum Corp.
Format: DVD
List Price: $35.99
Sale Price: $32.39

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Product Details

Editorial Reviews
If you're looking to really learn the French language, as opposed to briefly memorizing a few phrases to help you find a bathroom or complain to the doctor of your traveler's stomach, the Standard Deviants have the video for you. Their French, Part I is a language lesson for the MTV generation. Short segments, funky graphics, and personable, youthful teachers make watching this tape entertaining, rather like Sesame Street for grownups. Using the "functional approach," making sure people can communicate and accomplish tasks in the new language, the video introduces French with phrases and full sentences, presenting ideas through demonstration. The point is to help you think in French. Dialogue is clearly transcribed on the screen, so you can see what the words look like, and two cards included with the tape give translations of some of the dialogues and useful vocabulary. Note, though, that all of the explanations are given in English, as opposed to an immersion program (meaning all in French, including explanations) such as French in Action. Which style works best is purely a matter of personal preference. Skits put the conversations into context and provide levity. Yet, as is clearly stated in the beginning of the lesson, this series is intended to be a supplement to a class, and French really needs to be practiced through speaking and writing. The benefit, though, of video is you can rewind as much as needed to master pronunciation and to let the concepts sink in. The tape opens with pronunciation, with close-ups of faces as they pronounce the alphabet to help you learn how to shape your mouth around the French letters. It then covers a range of topics including -er verbs, gender, articles, adverbs, ¨ētre, adjectives, pronouns, avoir, numbers, aller, and faire. While the video could benefit from more native French speakers, this is a delightful introduction to the language, and a fun complement to a high school or college French class. Don't miss the flubbed lines during the credits. French, Part 2 is also available. --Jenny Brown --This text refers to the
VHS Tape edition.

All Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars

2 out of 5 stars Poor quality production, January 6, 2005

Reviewer:   Izabella (Southern France) 

Perhaps the DVD would've been easier to follow if it weren't for the poor production quality of the DVD. The colours are way off. First, I thought it had to do with the settings on my PC, but the DVD looks horrible (too much red) also on my new TV.

The pronunciation of some of the French words is off, the scetches are cheesy and the graphics are poor and often incomplete.

All in all, I wouldn't recommend these DVD-series. It's a shame I bought both the DVD's already. --This text refers to the DVD edition

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

5 out of 5 stars Superb for relearners as well as neophytes, August 27, 2004

Reviewer:   Donald Champagne (Mayo, Maryland USA)

I learned French fluently when I was young. But that was more than 40 years ago, and my French has gotten very rusty. I've been struggling to relearn the language for a year, including a two week visit to France last Fall. I took a brief class before the trip, and have tried a variety of tools, including online instruction and tapes. All helped, but none were fully satisfying. Until now. This Standard Deviants program has by far the best pedagogical method I've ever seen for learning French. It is thorough without being monotonous or pedantic. The humor turns some people off, but I found most of it imaginative and helpful. For example, the tape illustrates the importance of accents by noting that the phrases for "Please repeat" and "Please pass gas again" differ by only one accent over the first "e". I have researched this, and they are strictly correct, but their example is far from obvious. My wife, who has little French experience, also enjoyed and profited from the tape. --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition


4 of 14 people found the following review helpful:

2 out of 5 stars Didn't help, June 11, 2004

Reviewer:   A viewer (Colorado)

I saw this in the bookstore and bought it, hoping that maybe my French skills could improve. I was taking French 101 in college and needed some help (if being tutored by a female, I'd get no work done). The humor was so distracting and dumb. Ah, Standard Devients, you're breakin my balls. If you search the web for free French lessons, you'll find tons of em. The Standard Deviants breeze through their lessons, leaving a French-Canadian like myself cross-eyed in the dust. Maybe foreign languages aren't my thing, but I watched the DVD twice (with a twitchy eye the second time) and still got a C in the class, and I paid complete attention. I went to class everyday and did the workbook, too. Maybe some good-looking actresses would help this video, and perhaps somebody who knows about proper video lighting/coloring, or maybe better content organization. It goes over the bare-minimum basics, and unless you're five years old and/or can learn a foreign language easily, I'd stick with searching the Internet and/or buying cassette tapes. As they stated at the beginning of the video, it's just a supplement; you should go to class and blah blah blah. You'd be better off watching some French foreign films-- or maybe watch movies that have French audio-tracks with French & English subtitles. Memorize the movie in English, then re-watch it in French. I learned more using that method than by watching 10 people jack around in a plotless video for 90 minutes.

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful:

5 out of 5 stars Great for those who know zero french, May 12, 2004

Reviewer:   Harry (Chicago) 

I strongly reccomend this DVD for those who are just starting to learn French. This DVD covers the very basics that will be needed to understand anything French. It introduces the viewer to understanding that a verb in French (like "go" in english, "aller" in French) is different based on who is doing the action. If I "go", then "go" is written "vais"; if we "go", then it is written "allons" and pronounced differently. I found this element of learning French painful at the start, that instead of learning one word for "go" I had to learn six. But once I became accostumed to it, learning became much easier. You can also expect to learn a little about numbers and colors, and a few verbs and nouns.

This DVD in no way will leave you knowing enough French to go and speak it. This DVD, and part II, leaves the student with enough basic information so that learning will become much easier. For example, I used the TV series "French in Action". At the start of my studies with lessons 1-6, I had a great deal of trouble understanding what was going on. After watching the Standard Deviants DVD it became much easeir.

One more thing about this DVD. It was entertaining and enjoyable to watch. I did not feel like I was working to learn, rather I felt more like I was watching a show and everything was sticking, that I was remembering what they taught. I highly recommend this for the absolute begenner. --This text refers to the DVD edition

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