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Learn French with Victor

Did you just get home from an after party, but don’t feel like going to bed? Are teletubbies and late-night infomercials just not doing it for you? Do you want to learn French along with a cartoon boy and a menacing disembodied interrogator who forces him to watch videos of French people performing dull tasks?  Yes? Well then, “Learn French With Victor” is for you.

In my brief quest (i.e. two pages of google search results) to find out the origins of this chef d’oeuvre, I came across the following description:

“The well known language learning method is now finally arriving in America! Using an enjoyable audiovisual technique, the learning experience is made both quick and pleasant. The method taught by the Victor Ebner Institute has proven itself for millions of students.”

The date of this arrival was 2009.  That’s right, 2009. I don’t know when this was filmed (the 70s perhaps?), but this is how I imagine Victor finally made his way across the Atlantic:

Victor braving the waters

(apologies to Kon-Tiki)

I looked up the Victor Ebner Institute to see what other amazing products they offer. These happy stock photo people sure seem to be enjoying themselves:

happy Elber people

Learning is Fun!

The bottom of the page includes a sample of their “anglais américain” series. That animated opening is money well spent indeed. Enjoy!

Sadly, we can’t produce such hi-tech, hi-budget, professionally acted, video goodness. Maybe some day. For now, we only have our 223 page interactive beginning and intermediate iBook What The French?! (for $9.99 on the iBookstore). Once you’re lucid again, check it out. Or read our FAQ section right now to learn more. We also liked to be liked on our Facebook page.

France in an alternate universe

Google Books is always good for some interesting light reading. The biggest set of free books are the ones that have fallen out of copyright (meaning that they’re old). And, as I was skimming through a book from 1901, written by an Englishman and entitled The French People, I realized just how many different ways the past could have gone.

french people

Whoa. “Representative institutions are unsuited to the French people”. The French people in the early 20th century must have been desperate for a dynasty of Napoleons who would dominate Western Europe. When the last vestiges of the Revolution finally fizzled out, rejected as much for their abuse of power as their failure to govern effectively, Napoleon VI would rally the nation from its depression and poverty, call for a new nationalist French movement, and lead the people on to a glorious new future where la patrie would rule the world. The year would be 1932. Rallies would be held, the streets lined with Jeunes Légionnaires in uniform, saluting as the Emperor’s convoy passed. The United Kingdom, still believing in appeasement, would barely bat an eye when l’Empire began to annex its neighbors. But eventually, they would have to face the truth when bombing raids began to fly over their own island.

Long story short: France could have been the bad guy in the world war of an alternate universe.

Oh, and here’s the link to that book.

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