#1 Best Assimil Review: A Century-Old Language Learning Method

A pretty smiling Asian girl doing a thumbs up sign behind the Assimil review texts.

Hi there! If you’re like me, you’ve probably tried a handful of language-learning methods. Some work, some don’t, and some are just… well, let’s say they’re not for everyone. 

Today, I’m going to talk about Assimil, a language-learning method that’s been around for almost a century. Yes, you read that right – a century!

You might ask, “What makes Assimil stand out in the crowded field of language learning apps out there?” That’s a great question, and it’s exactly what we will discuss. 

We’ll look at what Assimil is, what it offers, and who it’s for. We’ll also talk about the pros and cons, how it’s used, and the user experience.

By the end of this Assimil review, you’ll clearly know whether Assimil is the right fit for you. So, let’s get started, shall we?

A photo of Assimil's logo with a blue, white, and red color.

What Is Assimil?

Assimil, from the word ‘assimilate,’ if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a language-learning method that’s been around since 1929. It was founded by Alphonse Chérel, a Frenchman who envisioned making language learning accessible to everyone. 

His method? It has stood the test of time and is based on two main phases: passive and active.

In the passive phase, you’re simply absorbing the language, much like a child does when they’re learning to speak. You listen, you read, and you understand without worrying too much about the rules of grammar.

Then comes the active phase. This is where you start to apply what you’ve learned. You begin to construct sentences, speak, and truly communicate in the language.

What’s unique about Assimil is that it doesn’t just focus on one aspect of language learning. It’s not just about vocabulary, or grammar, or pronunciation. 

It’s about all of these things and more. It’s about understanding the culture behind the language, the nuances, and the idioms.

In a nutshell, Assimil is more than just a language-learning app. It’s a comprehensive method that aims to give you a deep understanding of the language you’re learning. But enough about what Assimil is. Let’s talk about what it offers in this comprehensive Assimil review.

What Is Assimil For?

Assimil is not your typical language-learning app. It’s a platform, a tool for those who’ve moved past the basics. 

You know, when you’re not a beginner anymore but not quite fluent either. That’s where Assimil comes in. 

It’s great for brushing up before a placement test or pushing your proficiency up a notch. It even creates a study plan for you and uses quizzes to help you practice.

Languages Offered By Assimil

Assimil doesn’t limit itself to just a few languages. It offers a wide range, from Assimil French and English to Dutch and Turkish. 

And it doesn’t stop there. Assimil also covers less common languages and dialects. To be more specific, below are the Assimil languages offered for English readers:

ArabicWith Ease
Chinese (Mandarin)With Ease, Phrasebook
DutchWith Ease
FrenchLearn (A2), With Ease, Using (Advanced), Phrasebook, For Kids
GermanWith Ease, Phrasebook, For Kids
HebrewWith Ease
HungarianWith Ease
ItalianWith Ease, Phrasebook, For Kids
JapaneseWith Ease, Phrasebook
KoreanWith Ease, Phrasebook
Portuguese (Brazilian)With Ease
RussianWith Ease, Phrasebook
Spanish (Cuban)Phrasebook
Spanish (Spain)Learn (A2), With Ease, Phrasebook, For Kids
YiddishWith Ease

Levels Available On Assimil

No matter where you are in your language-learning journey, Assimil has something for you. Whether you’re a beginner, an intermediate learner, or an advanced speaker, Assimil has resources to help you level up.

Who Is It For?

Assimil is perfect for those who’ve dipped their toes into a new language. If you’ve got the basics down and are looking for the next step, Assimil could be just what you need. It’s also a great resource for anyone gearing up for a language proficiency test.

Assimil uses both text and audio, making learning more engaging.Repeating audio might feel boring for some.
Lessons get harder as you go, so you’re constantly challenged.You might want more guidance initially if you’re new to the language.
Most lessons take about an hour, fitting into busy schedules.If you speak English, there aren’t as many course options.
You’ll learn phrases and words you can use in everyday life.Assimil might be too fast-paced for complete beginners.
Assimil gets you into the language fast, with no lengthy introductions.The courses come on CDs, which might not be convenient for everyone, but there’s a USB option.
Grammar is introduced slowly, so it’s not overwhelming.The way Assimil writes some languages might be different from what you’re used to.

How Does Assimil Work?

Ever wondered how the language learning program of Assimil works? It’s a two-stage process: passive and active. Each stage has its own focus and purpose. 

Together, they form a comprehensive approach to language learning. But what does that look like in practice?

Stage One: The Passive Stage

Imagine starting a language course with no tests, no AI. Just you, a book, and some audio. That’s the passive stage with Assimil. 

You’re given a dialogue in your target language and a translation. You read. You listen. You absorb. But what happens as you progress?

Stage Two: The Active Stage

As you move forward, things get more challenging. Dialogues get longer. Sentences are more complex. 

New words and grammar points start to appear. Thankfully, you’re not alone. Helpful notes guide you through the tricky parts.

Then, you hit the active stage. Now, you’re not just reading and listening. You’re translating dialogues back into the language. 

It’s tough but rewarding. You start to think in the language. To use it actively. But how do you reinforce what you’ve learned?

Exercises And Reinforcement

Throughout the course, there are exercises. They’re not flashy quizzes, but they do the job. 

Assimil reinforces what you’ve learned. They show you where you need more practice. But what sets Assimil apart from other language learning methods?

The Assimil Approach

Assimil’s approach is a breath of fresh air in language learning. It’s not about spoon-feeding you the language. It’s about immersing you in it. But what does that mean?

When you learn with Assimil, you’re not just memorizing vocabulary lists or drilling grammar rules. Sure, those things are part of the process. 

But they’re not the main focus. The main focus is understanding. Understanding the language. The culture. The way of thinking.

You see, Assimil believes that to truly learn a language, you need to get a feel for it. You need to understand how it works, flows, and fits together. And the best way to do that is through immersion.

That’s why Assimil’s courses are dialogue-based. They give you real, authentic language in context. They show you how the language is used in real life, not just in a classroom.

But Assimil doesn’t stop there. 

It also introduces you to the culture behind the language. The customs, the traditions, the way of life. Because language isn’t just about words and grammar. It’s about people, about communication, about connection.

So, is this approach effective? Well, that depends on you. If you’re the kind of learner who enjoys a challenge, Assimil could be very effective for you. But if you prefer a more guided, structured approach, you might find Assimil a bit overwhelming.

A bearded man with his phone and laptop on a table reading Assimil review on Ling's website.

How Is The User Experience & Feel Of Assimil?

When it comes to using Assimil, the first thing you’ll notice is its simplicity. It’s not flashy or overly complicated. 

It’s straightforward and to the point. But don’t let that fool you. There’s a lot going on under the hood. Let’s take a closer look.

Getting Started with Assimil

Starting your language learning with Assimil is a breeze. You simply download the app from the App Store or Google Play, or log into the desktop version. 

Then, you create an account or sign in if you already have one. You’re then presented with a list of languages. 

You pick your target language, select your current language proficiency level, and voilà! You’re immersed in your first lesson. 

There’s no lengthy setup or profile creation. Assimil gets you started on your language journey swiftly and efficiently.

Time Commitment With Assimil

Assimil understands that your time is precious. It doesn’t demand hours of study each day. Instead, it asks for a manageable 20–30 minutes. 

The focus here is daily consistency, and Assimil fits seamlessly into your routine.

Assimil Experience Across Devices

Whether you’re an Android user, an iPhone enthusiast, or a desktop devotee, Assimil delivers a consistent, user-friendly experience. 

The interface is clean and uncluttered, making navigation a breeze. Lessons load quickly, audio plays without lag, and the text is displayed in a clear, readable format. 

And for those moments when you’re away from a stable internet connection? Assimil has you covered with the option to download lessons for offline use. 

Assimil’s Physical Products

Are you the type who enjoys the feel of a book in your hands? Or do you appreciate the convenience of a CD? 

If so, Assimil has something for you. They offer physical products that go hand in hand with their digital Assimil courses.

The books, priced at $29.99, are a delight to hold. Printed on high-quality paper, they’re built to last. The binding is sturdy, making for a comfortable reading experience.

Then there are the CDs, available for $39.95. They deliver clear, high-quality audio. This means you can listen and repeat phrases as often as you need, perfecting your pronunciation and deepening your understanding of the language.

But what if you want both? Assimil has thought of that too. They offer a bundled package for $49.99, which includes both the book and CDs. It’s a great option if you like having all your learning materials in one place.

Who Is Assimil For?

Now let’s go into the specifics of who might find Assimil a perfect fit for their language learning journey. Is Assimil for you? Let’s find out.

The Traditionalist

Do you have a soft spot for traditional learning methods? Assimil’s range of physical products, including books and CDs, could be just what you’re looking for. 

There’s a certain satisfaction in flipping through a book or listening to a CD that digital platforms just can’t replicate.

The Busy Bee

If your schedule is packed, but you can spare 20–30 minutes a day, Assimil is worth considering. The emphasis here is on regular, manageable study sessions rather than long, intensive cramming periods.

The On-The-Go Learner

Are you always on the move? With Assimil, you can learn wherever you are. The platform is accessible across devices, and you can download lessons for offline use. 

Whether you’re commuting, traveling, or just away from a stable internet connection, your language learning doesn’t have to pause.

The Beginner Or Intermediate Learner

Assimil caters well to beginners and intermediate language learners. The method is designed to build a strong foundation in the language and then expand on it. This makes it an excellent choice if you’re in the early or middle stages of your language-learning journey.

The Indo-European Language Learner

If you’re learning an Indo-European language, Assimil’s method could work particularly well for you. 

The approach focuses on identifying and understanding similar patterns and structures across these languages, providing a unique angle to your studies.

The Pattern Learner

Do you prefer learning through patterns rather than grammar drills? Assimil’s emphasis on lexical chunk acquisition means you’ll learn whole phrases, not just individual words. 

This approach can help you understand the language more naturally and intuitively.

An Assimil male user paying online with his credit card for a month of subscription.

Assimil Free Vs. Assimil Subscription

When it comes to language learning platforms, one of the first questions that often comes to mind is, “What do I get for free, and what do I have to pay for?” 

It’s a valid question and one that Assimil answers quite clearly. Let’s break it down.

The Free Version Of Assimil

Just like stated in our Duolingo review, Assimil also offers a taste of its method for free. You can access the first seven lessons of each course without spending a dime. 

It’s a no-strings-attached way to dip your toes into the Assimil experience. But what does this free version entail?

The free version of Assimil is a great way to kickstart your learning. But it’s worth noting that it’s just a taste of what Assimil offers. If you want to dive deeper, you’ll need to opt for a subscription.

As with most things in life, there are a few drawbacks:

  • Limited content: The free version only includes the first seven lessons of each course. To access the full course, you’ll need to subscribe.
  • No interactivity: The free version is a self-study method, so you’ll need to be self-motivated to make progress.

So, is the free version of Assimil worth a shot? If you’re curious about the Assimil method and want to see if it’s a good fit for you, I’d say go for it. It’s a risk-free way to explore a new language-learning approach.

The Subscription Version Of Assimil

If you’ve tried the free version of Assimil and found it to your liking, you might consider upgrading to the subscription version. But what does this paid version offer?

The subscription version of Assimil unlocks all the lessons in your chosen course. But it doesn’t stop there. It also offers a range of additional features designed to enhance your learning experience.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Full content: You get access to all the lessons in the course.
  • Audio recordings: These help improve your listening comprehension.
  • Translations: These ensure you understand the lessons correctly.
  • Notes: You can add your own notes to the lessons.
  • Review: This feature lets you practice and reinforce what you’ve learned.

But, as always, there are a few potential drawbacks:

  • Cost: The subscription version of Assimil is more expensive than the free version.
  • No interactivity: Like the free version, the subscription version is a self-study method, so you’ll need to be self-motivated to make progress.

As for the pricing, Assimil currently offers three packages:

Subscription PlanPrice
Monthly Subscription$14.99/month
Yearly Subscription$99.99/year
Lifetime Subscription$299.99

So, is the subscription version of Assimil worth the investment? If you’re serious about language learning, it could well be. It provides a comprehensive set of tools to help you succeed.

Which One Is For You?

If you’re considering the subscription version of Assimil, I’d recommend trying the free version first. 

This will give you a feel for the Assimil method and help you decide if it fits you well. 

If you enjoy the Assimil approach and want to delve deeper, you can then opt for the subscription version to access the full course.

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Use Assimil

Curious about how to use Assimil? Let me walk you through the process. Whether you’re using a desktop or a mobile device, Assimil makes it easy to get started.

Desktop Version

  • Start by heading over to the Assimil website. Just type “Assimil” into your web browser and click on the first result that pops up.
  • Once you’re on the site, click the “Courses” tab. You’ll find this at the top of the page.
  • Now, it’s time to select the language you want to learn. Assimil offers various languages, so you’re likely to find one that piques your interest.
  • After selecting your language, you’ll see a list of all the available Assimil language learning programs for that language. Choose the one that suits your learning goals.
  • Ready to dive in? Click on the “Buy Now” button. This will take you to the checkout page.
  • If you’re new to Assimil, you’ll need to create an account. If you already have one, simply log in.
  • Next, enter your payment information. You can use your credit card or PayPal.
  • Click on the “Pay Now” button to complete your purchase.
  • Once your payment has been processed, you can download the course. Just click on the “Download” button.
  • The course will be downloaded to your computer. Now, you’re all set to start learning!

Mobile Apps

If you prefer learning on the go, Assimil got it too. The steps for downloading and using the apps are pretty much the same as for the website. Here’s how you do it:

  • Open the App Store or Google Play and search for “Assimil.”
  • Select the Assimil app for the language you want to learn.
  • Click on the “Install” button to download the app.
  • Once the app is installed, open it.
  • Create an account or log in to your existing one.
  • Select the Assimil course you want to learn.
  • Now, you’re ready to start learning!
A male language learner sitting on a couch while using his laptop and taking down notes.

My Personal Experience With Assimil

Honestly, while using Assimil, I found myself looking forward to each lesson. Let me share my personal experience with you.

Getting Started

The day I downloaded the Assimil app on my phone, I was excited and curious. I chose Spanish, a language I’ve always wanted to learn, and wrote a detailed Assimil review. 

The app asked me to select my proficiency level. As a beginner, I chose the lowest level. And just like that, I was ready to start my first lesson.

My Daily Routine

Every morning, over a cup of coffee, I’d spend about 20–30 minutes on Assimil. The lessons were engaging and manageable. 

I found myself looking forward to this daily routine. It was a great way to start my day, and I could feel myself making progress.

The Lessons

The lessons were a mix of text and audio. I’d listen to a dialogue, then read the translation. 

I appreciated the cultural notes that came with each lesson. They gave me a deeper understanding of the language and the people who speak it.

The Challenges

Of course, learning a new language is not without its challenges. There were times when I struggled with certain grammar explanations or vocabulary. 

But Assimil was there to guide me. The explanations were clear, and the exercises helped reinforce what I’d learned.

The Progress

After more than a week, I could see my progress. I understood more and more Spanish. 

I was even starting to think in Spanish, which was a thrilling experience. 

The active phase, where I translated dialogues back into Spanish, was challenging but rewarding.

3 Things I Like

After using Assimil, I’ve come to appreciate certain aspects of it. Here are three things that stood out to me:

  • Immersive Learning: Assimil throws you into the language right from the start. It’s not about rote memorization. It’s about understanding the language and its culture. This approach made learning feel less like a task and more like an adventure.
  • Flexible Learning Time: Assimil asks for just 20–30 minutes of your day. It’s a small commitment that fits into a busy schedule. This flexibility made it easier to stick with it and stay motivated.
  • Comprehensive Content: Assimil covers all bases – vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and cultural context. The lessons are well-structured and gradually increase in complexity. This ensured a steady progression in my learning.

3 Things To Improve

However, Assimil isn’t without its shortcomings. Here are three areas that could use some improvement:

  • Interactivity: Assimil’s self-study method might not appeal to everyone. Adding interactive elements like games, quizzes, or a community forum could make learning more engaging.
  • Guidance for Beginners: Assimil can be a bit daunting for complete beginners. A more guided approach in the early stages could help ease beginners into the language.
  • Visual Appeal: While the interface is clean and easy to navigate, it could use a bit more color. Adding some graphics or animations could make the learning experience more visually stimulating.

Wrapping Up Assimil Review

So, here we’re at the end of our Assimil review. It’s been quite an adventure, hasn’t it? We’ve explored its unique features and examined its strengths and weaknesses.

What’s my takeaway? Assimil is a robust tool for language learning. It’s immersive and thorough, and it pushes you to engage actively. 

But let’s be real. Language learning isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.

Assimil, with its immersive and comprehensive approach, might be just the ticket for some. For others, a different path might be more fruitful. 

It’s all about finding what resonates with you, keeps you hooked, and makes learning a joy, not a chore.

What I appreciate about Assimil is its dedication to providing a deep understanding of the language. 

It’s not just about cramming words or grammar concepts but about truly grasping the spoken language and its culture. 

This might be particularly appealing if you’re aiming to go beyond a superficial understanding.

But if Assimil doesn’t quite hit the mark for you, don’t lose heart! There’s a whole world of language resources out there.

Perhaps you might want to check out our Babbel review or explore other apps. You just need to keep exploring until you find the one that clicks.

Learn 60+ New Languages With Ling!

Speaking of exploration, let’s talk about the Ling app. It’s a language learning app that offers a whopping 60+ language courses. Yes, you heard that right, over 60 languages, including Tagalog, Korean, Cantonese, and more!

Now, if you found Assimil’s self-study method challenging, the Ling app might just be what you need. 

It’s designed to be interactive, providing exercises that give you immediate feedback. It’s like having a personal tutor right in your pocket, guiding you through the intricacies of your chosen language.

Did I mention it’s available on different platforms? Whether you’re an Android user, an Apple aficionado, or a desktop devotee, Ling has got you covered. 

You can download it from Google Play and App Store or simply use it in your desktop browser.

So, if you’re ready to explore new linguistic horizons, why not try the Ling app? It might just be the perfect companion for your language-learning adventure.

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What makes learning with Ling special

Interactive exercises

Improve your pronunciation by starting a conversation with our app’s interactive chatbot

Engaging activities

Practice your skills with mini-games and track your progress with fun quizzes

Mix of languages

Choose from over 60 languages, both big and small, and listen to audio from native speakers

Proven results

Backed by linguistic research, our learning methods can help you achieve fluency in record time