Review: French Reader Series by Yves Thibault
January 30, 2014 | 2:25 pm
By Joanna Cabot
I found a great little series on the Kindle store that I think will really help me in my quest to read more French this year. I consider myself a high intermediate in reading (my spoken French is much more fluent) and while I can muddle through with a real book competently if somewhat slowly, I think my ability to improve via lessons has peaked. At this point, I will only improve via practice, practice practice!
Enter this great little series. Each book features three short stories written in modern, colloquial French. The stories are chunked so that English translations are interspersed between the paragraphs, rather than via appendix at the end (as the Delphi Classics people do) or via hyper-linked footnote. This means that on a screen the size of an iPad, you can see both the French and English versions on the same page!
I found this useful. I still get tripped up sometimes on the long compound verb tenses, and both my Kobo Glo and my Kindle tablet app do too. They translate the verb back to its infinitive, which I usually can figure out, instead of the tense, which is usually what I am not quite sure about. Having the English translation of the whole phrase is a crutch that is still helpful to me. I am hoping these books will help me grow out of that!
At about 3 bucks apiece, I felt the books were maybe a tiny bit over-priced given their brevity. A handful of freebies were in the range of 20-25 pages. But the books really are a useful little gimmick, and if I take my time and work through them thoroughly, I can probably make one last at least a week.
I’d also like to see a website where I could buy the whole lot of them in a bundle, but a Google search didn’t turn one up. So I guess we’ll see how long it takes me to work through the free ones. After that, I may have to violate my no-spending ban and pick up the rest of these. This is admittedly a niche ebook. But if it is YOUR niche, you’ll appreciate these books a lot.