Amazon.com Product Description
Discover how enjoyable, easy, and effective learning French can be. Included are a games CD-ROM, accompanying guidebook, audio CD-ROM, user's manual, and direct access to SmartStartonline.com. Start speaking, listening, and reading right away. There are 32 games and activities with three skill levels to keep you involved and learning while you play. Progress through 48 lessons based on the interactive CD-ROM conversations. Clear and simple explanations of grammar points are provided along with exercises that help you successfully put your new language skills to use in the real world. Take the self-correcting quizzes to check out your progress. Or stop by the Cultural Café for a relaxing break and find out about a great French film to rent or a new recipe to try out. Correlated to the guidebook exercises, this CD-ROM provides listening and speaking opportunities that get you talking. Great for practice on the go. ... Read more
Not what I had expected
This course while extensive in activities, was not what I had expected. The course did not start out basic such as learning basic communication between two people. I think this course is better for someone who is some-what fluent in French already. In addition, this course is however good for refreshment or learning more where it comes to things such as ordering dinner or renting an apartment.
If you know any French, skip this product
The graphics are nice and clear, and it does teach minimum skills for communicating as a tourist; if you want practice with very simple conversations, try it. You'll learn to say and understand things like " I would like to rent an apartment". But if you can conjugate verbs, write, read or speak a little in French, don't bother. I can't understand French movies or conversations at regular speeds, so I thought this might help. It did'nt.
Not what I was hoping for............
I was disappointed in this package. There was no rhyme or reason, no direction, no coaching on where to begin. I was hoping to use it for my teenager and she was completely lost. If you want to learn the mechanics of the language, don't buy this package. If you simply want to memorize a bunch of phrases and words in French, I guess its ok. Definitely not what I expected for software in todays interactive environment
A great supplement
This is a cleverly put-together set of resources for learning French. The games are thoughtful and even fun and the speaking section does recognize words pretty well.
The drawback is that while this is excellent, it is an excellent *supplement* to other instruction in French. What there is on grammar is limited, and there isn't a lot on why things are the way they are.
As a vocabulary-builder, though, it is excellent and I would highly recommend it.
Spiffy French Software
I've tried several French software packages (and wasted a great deal of money), including Learn French Now!, Instant Immersion French, and others. This software, Smart Start French, is honestly the spiffiest of the lot. Unlike the others, this software gives a comprehensive approach--you do writing, reading, and listening. (And speaking, if you're brave!) Plus, you get a cassette, an audio CD, *and* a CD ROM, plus the grammar workbook thingie. Other software packages seem to overhype themselves and claim they will teach you more than they realistically can. This software, by contrast, is a lot of work precisely because it is comprehensive--but I really think you can learn some French from it. And, it's fun. It's more expensive than other packages, but I honestly think it's worth the extra money. (It's cheaper than a $400 class at the community college in any case.) That's my two centimes' worth.
... Read more