Assimil

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Assimil is a French company, founded by Alphonse Chérel in 1929. It creates and publishes foreign language courses, which began with their first book Anglais Sans Peine ("English Without Toil"). Since then, the company has expanded into numerous other languages and continues to publish today.

Their method for teaching foreign languages is through the listening of records or tapes and the reading of a book with the text that you are listening to, one side native language, one side foreign language. This method is focused on learning whole sentences, for an organic learning of the grammar. It begins with a long passive phase of only reading and listening, and eventually adds active exercises. Most books contain around 100 lessons, with the active phase starting on Lesson 50. The word "Assimil" comes from assimilation.

The company publishes several different series:

  • "With Ease" series, which teach basic rules of grammar and a vocabulary of 2000-3000 words;
  • "Perfectionnement" series, which teaches more advanced idiosyncrasies and idioms of the target language;
  • Business series, which focuses on vocabulary related to international business;
  • Idioms series, which teaches common idioms;
  • "On the Road" series, which serves as a travel companion;
  • Slang series, for contemporary slang usage;
  • "For Kids" series, which is meant to introduce a language to 3-year olds.

Languages[edit]

Arabic base[edit]

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
English Yes No No No No No
French Yes No No No No No

Dutch base[edit]

For the Dutch reader, the following languages are available: (as of July 2012)

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
Afrikaans No No No Yes No No
American English Yes No No Yes No No
Arabic Yes No No Yes No No
Brussels Dialect No No No Yes No No
Chinese Yes No No Yes No No
Czech No No No Yes No No
Egyptian (hieroglyphics) No No No Yes No No
English Yes Yes No Yes No No
Flemish No No No Yes No No
French Yes Yes No Yes No No
German Yes No No Yes No No
Greek (Modern) Yes No No Yes No No
Hindi No No No Yes No No
Indonesian No No No Yes No No
Italian Yes No No Yes No No
Japanese No No No Yes No No
Norwegian No No No Yes No No
Polish Yes No No No No No
Portuguese Yes No No Yes No No
Russian Yes No No No No No
Spanish Yes Yes No Yes No No
Swedish Yes No No No No No
Thai No No No Yes No No
Turkish Yes No No Yes No No
Walloon No No No Yes No No

English base[edit]

For the English reader, the following languages are available: (as of July 2012)

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
Arabic Yes No No No No No
Chinese Yes No No No No No
Dutch Yes No No No No No
French Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
German Yes No No Yes No No
Hungarian Yes No No No No No
Italian Yes No No Yes No No
Japanese Yes No No No No No
Russian Yes No No Yes No No
Spanish Yes No No Yes No No
Yiddish Yes No No No No No

French base[edit]

The selection of available languages for French readers is much more complete: (as of September 2010)

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
Afrikaans No No No Yes No No
Albanian No No No Yes No No
Alemannic (German-Speaking Swiss) No No No Yes No No
Alsatian Yes No No Yes No No
American English Yes No No Yes No No
Arabic Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Armenian Yes No No Yes No No
Auvergnat No No No Yes No No
Basque Yes No No Yes No No
Brazilian Portuguese Yes No No Yes No No
Breton Yes No No Yes No No
Brussels Dialect No No No Yes No No
Bulgarian Yes No No Yes No No
Caledonian No No No Yes No No
Canadian French No No No Yes No No
Catalan Yes No No Yes No No
Chinese Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Chtimi No No No Yes No No
Corsican Yes No No Yes No No
Creole (Guadeloupean) No No No Yes No No
Croatian Yes No No Yes No No
Czech Yes No No Yes No No
Danish Yes No No Yes No No
Dutch Yes No No Yes No No
Egyptian (hieroglyphics) Yes No No Yes No No
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Esperanto Yes No No Yes No No
Estonian No No No Yes No No
Finnish Yes No No Yes No No
Flemish No No No Yes No No
Franco-Provençal No No No Yes No No
Gascon No No No Yes No No
Georgian No No No Yes No No
German Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Greek (Ancient) Yes No No No No No
Greek (Modern) Yes No No Yes No Yes
Hebrew Yes No No Yes No No
Hindi Yes No No Yes No No
Hungarian Yes No No Yes No No
Icelandic No No No Yes No No
Indonesian Yes No No Yes No No
Irish No No No Yes No No
Italian Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Japanese Yes No No Yes No Yes
Kabyle No No No Yes No No
Korean Yes No No Yes No No
Languedocien No No No Yes No No
Lao No No No Yes No No
Latin Yes No No No No No
Latvian No No No Yes No No
Lingala No No No Yes No No
Lithuanian No No No Yes No No
Lorrain No No No Yes No No
Luxembourgish No No No Yes No No
Lyonnais No No No Yes No No
Malagasy Yes No No Yes No No
Maltese No No No Yes No No
Maori No No No Yes No No
Marseillais No No No Yes No No
Norwegian Yes No No Yes No No
Occitan Yes No No No No No
Persian Yes No No No No No
Picard No No No Yes No No
Polish Yes No No Yes No Yes
Portuguese Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Provençal Yes No No Yes No No
Romanian Yes No No Yes No No
Romany No No No Yes No No
Russian Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Sanksrit Yes No No No No No
Serbian No No No Yes No No
Slovak No No No Yes No No
Slovenian No No No Yes No No
Spanish Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Swahili Yes No No No No No
Swedish Yes No No Yes No No
Tahitian No No No Yes No No
Tamil Yes No No Yes No No
Thai Yes No No Yes No No
Tibetan No No No Yes No No
Turkish Yes No No Yes No Yes
Ukrainian Yes No No No No No
Urdu No No No Yes No No
Vietnamese Yes No No Yes No No
Walloon No No No Yes No No
Welsh No No No Yes No No
Wolof No No No Yes No No
Yiddish Yes No No No No No
Zulu No No No Yes No No

German base[edit]

(as of July 2012)

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
American English Yes No No No No No
Arabic Yes No No No No No
Brazilian Portuguese Yes No No No No No
Bulgarian Yes No No No No No
Chinese Yes No No No No No
Corsican No No No Yes No No
Czech Yes No No No No No
Danish Yes No No No No No
Dutch Yes No No Yes No No
English Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Finnish Yes No No No No No
French Yes Yes No No No No
Greek (Modern) Yes No No No No No
Hindi Yes No No No No No
Hungarian Yes No No No No No
Italian Yes Yes No No No No
Japanese Yes No No No No No
Latin Yes No No No No No
Norwegian Yes No No No No No
Polish Yes No No No No No
Portuguese Yes No No No No No
Russian Yes No No No No No
Spanish Yes Yes No No No No
Swedish Yes No No No No No
Turkish Yes No No No No No
Vietnamese Yes No No No No No

Hungarian base[edit]

(as of February 2014)

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
Arabic No No No Yes No No
Croatian No No No Yes No No
Czech No No No Yes No No
Danish No No No Yes No No
Dutch No No No Yes No No
English Yes No Yes Yes No No
French Yes No No Yes No No
German Yes No No Yes No No
Greek (Modern) No No No Yes No No
Hebrew No No No Yes No No
Italian Yes No No Yes No No
Japanese No No No Yes No No
Portuguese No No No Yes No No
Slovak No No No Yes No No
Spanish Yes No No Yes No No
Swedish No No No Yes No No
Turkish No No No Yes No No

Italian base[edit]

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
American English No No No Yes No No
Arabic Yes No No Yes No No
Brazilian Portuguese Yes No No Yes No No
Catalan No No No Yes No No
Chinese Yes No No Yes No No
Croatian No No No Yes No No
Dutch No No No Yes No No
English Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
French Yes Yes No Yes No No
Friulian No No No Yes No No
Genoese No No No Yes No No
German Yes No No Yes No No
Greek (Ancient) Yes No No No No No
Greek (Modern) Yes No No No No No
Hebrew Yes No No No No No
Japanese Yes No No No No No
Latin Yes No No No No No
Piedmontese No No No Yes No No
Polish Yes No No No No No
Portuguese Yes No No Yes No No
Romanian Yes No No Yes No No
Russian Yes No No No No No
Slovenian No No No Yes No No
Spanish Yes Yes No Yes No No
Swedish Yes No No Yes No No
Wolof No No No Yes No No

Japanese base[edit]

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
French No No No Yes No No

Polish base[edit]

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
Chinese Yes No No Yes No No
Croatian No No No Yes No No
Czech No No No Yes No No
Dutch No No No Yes No No
English Yes No No Yes No No
French Yes No No Yes Yes No
German Yes No No Yes Yes No
Greek (Modern) No No No Yes No No
Italian Yes No No Yes Yes No
Japanese Yes No No Yes No No
Portuguese No No No Yes No No
Romanian No No No Yes No No
Russian No No No Yes No No
Spanish Yes No No Yes Yes No
Swedish No No No Yes No No
Turkish No No No Yes No No
Vietnamese No No No Yes No No

Portuguese base[edit]

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
Cape Verdean Creole No No No Yes No No
English Yes No No No No No
French Yes No No No No No
German Yes No No No No No
Italian Yes No No No No No
Spanish Yes No No No No No

Russian base[edit]

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
English Yes No No No No No
French Yes No No Yes No No
German Yes No No Yes No No
Italian Yes No No No No No

Spanish base[edit]

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
American English Yes No No No No No
Arabic No No No Yes No No
Basque Yes No No No No No
Catalan Yes No No No No No
Chinese Yes No No Yes No No
English Yes Yes No Yes No No
French Yes Yes No Yes No No
German Yes No No Yes No No
Greek (Modern) No No No Yes No No
Italian Yes No No Yes No No
Japanese Yes No No No No No
Portuguese Yes No No Yes No No
Russian Yes No No No No No

Turkish base[edit]

Language With Ease Advanced Business On the Road For Kids Dictionary
English Yes No No No No No
French Yes No No Yes No No
German Yes No No Yes No No

Influences[edit]

The first sentence of the original English course, "My tailor is rich," has been frequently parodied, as, for example, in the Asterix comic book Asterix in Britain (Astérix chez les Bretons), as well as Stephen Clarke's book "A Year in the Merde". It is also mentioned in the French language television series course French in Action.

The austere and often unnatural dialogues used in early courses inspired Eugène Ionesco to write his absurdist theatre piece The Bald Soprano.

See also[edit]

References[edit]