Cover Image: Unlocking French with Paul Noble

Unlocking French with Paul Noble

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Member Reviews

Reading and using this book  was a great way to get into a new language. The techniques are simple and straightforward, the phonetic breakdown of words was really useful and it took the tension out of learning.  A great resource for anyone learning the language from children to adults. I highly recommend this book!!!
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I am currently in the process of trying to learn French, and this is the perfect book for beginners like me. I found it accessible, which is something language books can struggle to be. Highly recommended.

Thanks to Netgallery for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review.
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I am in the process of learning French using one of the well-known phone apps, and I found that this book supplemented that perfectly.

It is a useful way to teach yourself a new language, and I really found the phonetic manner of showing the correct pronunciation to be very useful.
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Having read many books with snippets of French sandwiched between English, I have become interested in French for some time. I have learnt some French in Duolingo, but I was interested to see what it would be like to read a book like this one that has an emphasis on getting a basic grasp of the language in a simple manner. 

What I liked best was the simple pronunciations under the French words that made them easier to pronounce. Repetition of basic French phrases also gave enough space to practice and remember said phrases without memorising them. 

The straightforward and non-cluttered layout of the book also made it easy to concentrate and read through. This book is a nice introduction of useful French phrases for beginners. Even so, I would recommend listening to some French audio of sorts to immerse yourself in the language and to learn how to pronounce certain French words more accurately.
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This book is absolutely fantastic, a must for those wanting to learn French!

Learning another language is something that I have wanted to do for a while. After having to do a language at GCSE, and meeting a range of people who are multilingual, I was finally able to get around to some serious studying in lockdown.

However, as much as the plethora of apps available are fun and accessible, staring at a screen got tiring and I found it too easy to just put my phone in a  different room and ignore the persistent green birds notifications and mild threats.

Enter this book on NetGalley. A fun and intriguing approach to language learning, this really worked for me. The sections are excellently separated to make learning easier and everything is relevant to a new learner - no random unnecessary details. I also love the relaxed approach, from the start pressure memorisation is discouraged in favour of a learn it by passive repetition approach, something which makes learning much less stressful, and actually increases the amount of knowledge that you are able to learn and rertain.

An overall fantastic book, highly recommend.
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I’m in the process of learning French with a well known app and as great as that is I felt I needed something else to help with the learning process.

Unlocking French has been great, I hated learning French in high school but this book doesn’t lecture at you, it takes you through everything step by step and goes over everything several times and in different ways to show you how phrases are constructed.  It is a fab resource.

If you are just starting out with the language I’d recommend this.
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This is a great companion for those who are looking to learn French. I have been using this alongside an online course and was lucky to grab a copy from NetGalley for a review, finding it is good to use as a reference point for a beginner and helps build on what you have learnt as you progress through the book.
Well recommended for any beginner or intermediate who is looking to learn a new language.
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This book uses a really clever and novel approach to learning a language. Paul Noble quickly gets you speaking useful phrases in French rather than the not so useful phrases you may have learnt on a traditional French course.

The book starts with explaining to you just how many words are very similar in French to English and how we can use simple rules to move from one language to another (in most cases).

This is a book you have to work through from the beginning, page by page, it's is structured in particular way to aid learning. Each chapter slowly builds up a multicomponent phrase. As you go through the chapter, the author asks you to cover the answers written in blue with a bookmark or piece of card, to get your brain working and so that you actually work through the multiple micro-tasks. Each answer in French has a pronunciation guide as well as the actual written answer. There's no active memorisation required but the use of spaced repetition gets you effortlessly remembering how to say all sorts of different phrases. 

At the end of each chapter are increasingly long word/phrase lists that the author encourages you to keep going through until you only get 3 wrong. That sounds hard, but the way you're taught to put phrases together and the spaced repetition actually makes this much easier than it sounds. Noble also reminds you to not try and do too much and that if it takes all week to get through the word list, that's ok.

You start learning how to put together the phrase "I spent the weekend in Paris and it was lovely" and end with being able to hold a conversation including things like "Yes, I feel like going back to Paris but  I’m scared of flying, so I’m planning to take the Eurostar." Unusually you actually start using the past tense before the present one, but it makes sense when you think about the kind of things you usually want to talk about.

There are no long verb conjugation tables instead there are really useful tips like how to make an educated guess if a noun is feminine or masculine, and ways to remember how French phrases are put together. For example, "when your letter arrived" in English is "when your letter is arrived" if you literally translated the French. Similarly, "I need" in English, is literally translated from the French as "I have need of".

The book ends with ideas on where to go next as this book really is just a stepping stone to further learning although a really useful one. It definitely builds confidence and makes you realise learning a new language does not have to be as difficult as many courses make it. School may have you put off learning languages for life, but this book shows it doesn’t have to be that dull and difficult! I will definitely look up Noble’s audio course as this way of learning does seem much more sensible and useful than the usual ways!

Whether you are totally new to French, learnt a little at school but not used it since, or know some French but don’t feel like you know anything actually useful, this is a great little book to get you going and feeling confident about learning and starting to Speak in French.
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Magnifique! What a brilliant new method for learning French. Paul guides and encourages the reader though different grammatical points whilst reassuring them that they already know plenty of French. I studied French at uni so perhaps had a bit of a head start but I’ve definitely never come across such a lovely and easy to understand textbook. Thanks Paul!
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I’ve listened to Paul Nobles audiobooks and wanted to try en ebook too to see how I fared with the different format. He makes things easy and I find his approach to languages logical and easy to take on, I’m nowhere near conversational yet but feel like I can grasp things better and I understand what I’m saying and the sentence structure.
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What a lovely way to teach French. Many years ago I did my first year university French and hated it, i have to say that I enjoyed this book . And right the way through I could almost here Paul actually standing in front of me teaching me. The book is so personable, so easy to follow and does not start in the typical manner of rote learning verbs and decomposition. The method is to use a slow, but very methodical , repetitive sentences to show how easy it is to learn French. The beginning is not daunting by saying how many words an English speaker already knows . The reader starts in a very positive approach which continues throughout. 
I look forward to seeing my French friends next and demonstrating how much more confident I am now. However I will go through this book once more before I go visiting. A book and method that would highly recommend to anyone who wants to refresh their language skills or simply learn French anew.
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A very useful book. I wanted to refresh my French and I found this book very useful.
It's recommended to whoever want to learn some French or refresh their knowledge.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Really useful source for studying and refreshing French knowledge. Useful for both children and adults studying the language and as a refresher for those who studied it a long long time ago!!
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An awesome book, easy to read, understand and follow. I love learning languages and will definitely use this to improve my language skills!
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Unlocking French With Paul Noble is a book I have noticed many times on Amazon and have always been intrigued to read but never ended up getting as I didn't think it would be that effective. 

I have tried learning French on and off since leaving school but got more serious in the past few years. I know from experience many ways of teaching French, whether it's books, apps, websites etc., tend to start with the obvious followed by the most useless phrases. Everyone knows how to say hello and I've yet to find a situation when I've needed to say cat, dress or tea with no other French knowledge. 

Through a wide range of free language methods online I managed to get myself to a fifty percent understanding or written or spoken French if I have kept up with doing I think daily at the time, otherwise it drops and I understand less, but I've still always struggled to construct a sentence and that's where this book came in to help!

I was really pleased to see when I read the book that there was no sight of the word cat, apple, dress in the first page or anywhere throughout the book. The book began by slowly introducing you to simple but useful sentences and showing how you could easily change them for other similar sentences that you could actually use. 

I like how it read as if the teacher was actually there teaching you as it felt more personal and easy to read as some books make it seem like you should know what they're teaching already but this was written in a kind and understanding way. I think the way the book is set out with the blue words needing to be covered is a great method to get you thinking about what will come next but at times it's tricky to not see the blue writing as you turn the page. I liked how the words in each chapter were put in a table for practicing and that it was put in both English to French and French to English as it was a great way to practice and see progress gradually growing and showing just how much has been learnt. 

I thought the tips between the chapters were great and made it a lot easier to learn certain things like, for example, masculine and feminine words. This has always confused me about the French language and I tend to use the same method I used to in school even today, I'll just put whatever I feel like in front because there's too many to learn but now I have a more effective way to work out which each word belongs too!

I really like the idea of the word robbery as it makes learning all the words seem less daunting and if you can work out 13,000 words in that way alone that's incredible. It is also so easy to understand, as is everything in this book. Nothing complicated leaving you wondering what it means but all simple and effective explanations of what and why it is that way. The building blocks are also very helpful as it is a great way to play around with the words and new language and they give so many more sentences than you originally think they will. 

I particularly liked the end pages and where to go next as often when you complete a language on, an app for example, you are just left wondering what to do next as until you get to that point you don't realise an app is not going to teach you an entirely new language on its own! I liked the tips and although I have not tried watching dubbed TV as I always thought native content would always be better I will now try that method and see how it works.

I really enjoyed making my way through this book and although I knew what most of the words were in the book it gave me the much needed help to actually construct a useful sentence with little effort and had great tips throughout. I think this is a fantastic book for any beginners in learning French and I'd definitely look to buy other languages in the future as I know it would give me the best start to learning the language!
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This was a great book for anyone who is struggling to learn French and feels like giving up. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning French.
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Once I started reading this book I realised it is for absolute beginners (and it's not my case). My own fault for not reading more carefully the description. I was intrigued by the method, which might suit me for other languages I know nothing about, but it does not seem well fitted to the e-book format version, at least judging by the ARC copy I got. It requires you to have physical pages in front of you and to cover one side, so I think this will work better as a paperback or a hardback. 
As I say, I cannot comment on how well it works as a method because I'm not its intended audience, but I might check others in the same series.
It is for absolute beginners.
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Brilliant and easy to follow little book.......Unlocking French with Paul Noble is.
Just hope I can understand french more now.  A must book for anyone trying to learn French.

5 stars 

Thank you to Netgalley.
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As a languages student, I was so excited to find this book on NetGalley and absolutely had to read it! I have studied French for 17 years, and whilst I am at a fairly advanced level, I'm rubbish at studying and because of being a part-time student am unable to devote as much time as I would like to my languages, so this book sounds perfect for me! 

I started reading this book almost as soon as I got a copy, and I found it so engaging and easy to get into the flow of. Each chapter is of a reasonable length and doesn't try to cram in too much. I like how the book emphasises the importance of not having to learn everything you read off by heart and instead it uses repetition to help you remember words and phrases.

Unlocking French is yet another fantastic addition to the Collins language collection, and it's one that I will be thoroughly recommending to people wanting to improve on their language learning. It's such a unique take on learning a language that really explains why you're doing a certain exercise and focuses more on how we naturally learn a language rather than expecting you to remember everything you learn.
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This is a great book for anyone who is struggling with French and feels like giving up. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in improving their skills.
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