Here is my review of Fluenz French. Lets put aside the funny name and take a closer look. In order to put some perspective on this review, I feel it is worthwhile to outline my experience with French courses and my current proficiency with the language. I've been studying for just over 6 months. All self study, no less than 350 hours. Of that time almost 200 hours were devoted to the Fluenz course, including its audio and podcasts, as well as online flashcards. I own all 5 levels, and have completed 3.5 of them. Fluenz was my first step into learning French. More recently I've progressed about 75% of the way through Assimil NFWE, completed Hugo French in 3 Months, spent a few hours with Living Language, some time with French in Action, and completed a couple of levels of FSI. Fluenz is very structured and progressive. It is comprised of 5 levels, with 30 lessons in each. Each lesson has the same sequence of events as the previous one, although growing in complexity and taking more time to complete as they go along. The course itself is completely computer based, and may be done with a locally installed copy or using an online version, both are the same. A typical Fluenz lesson starts with a video of the instructor giving a short overview of the lesson. It is followed by spoken dialogs, with controls to page forwards or backwards though a conversion. It is presented with the options to include text, or exclude it. At it's conclusion, the instructor comes back and spends 10 - 15 minutes going over the dialog, talking about grammar or other aspects of the conversation. She may also talk about some cultural aspects of the language or general insight. Next its time to do a number of exercises. The exercises are designed to expand upon the spoken dialogs, increasing the scope of understanding. They may also review or tie into earlier lessons. The exercises are always conducted in the same order. This is all done with some nice optional background music. They go in the progression of: Repeat the words you read. You can listen any number of times to the word. Phrase matching French to English. This is done by dragging French to English. Image to word matching. Write the French equivalent to English words. Write the French equivalent to English phrases. Write French words you hear. Write French phrases you hear. Play the role of one of the speakers in the dialog, record and listen to it. Read a question, and select an answer that fits. Write the conversation dialog you hear. Phrase matching French to English. Repeat phrases. These tend to be related to the current lesson or review. Once the exercises are done, the instructor comes back on and briefly gives an overview of what was covered. The next lessen is rinse and repeat. And thus the grind begins. Thanks to the aforementioned music, all is good. Lets look at the good, bad, and the ugly. Imagine Clint saying that (in French). First the good: I really enjoyed my time with Fluenz. It was fun and challenging. It's easy to get into the rhythm of doing it every day. What Fluenz teaches gets ingrained well. Plenty of repetition and the pace is good for an absolute beginner. I enjoyed the efficiency of the computer based program. It's easy to click several times to repeat an interesting or difficult word or phrase, save progress, repeat sections, etc. All without having to flip through a book. Due to the nature of the program, ie; lots of typing, word gender and spelling get lots of practice. The ability to words and phrases repeated at will, help with pronunciation. I repeated out loud everything. When I shifted to Assimil, I noticed my pronunciation weakening. This is based on my own self analysis without outside confirmation. And the bad: Sonia teaches the first 2 levels, and then Caroline takes over. Sonia is not a native French speaker and it shows. It was not long before I started noticing that she has, for lack of political correctness, poor French pronunciation, at times very poor. Caroline on the other hand is a native and is great. The time and depth of instruction give by Sonia during the first 2 levels are brief and often not sufficient, leaving many question unanswered. Sure they can not predict all student questions, but the effort is lacking in my opinion. I feel more time should have been spent on many of them. At level 3 when Caroline takes over, things improve substantially. Apparently there was a gap of months between the production of levels 1 and 2 which were first released, and then at a later date the last 3 levels. The approach taken starting at level 3 is much more detailed and helpful. The individual lessons take too long to complete starting around level 3, give or take. To complete a level takes at least 2 hours, more if you do the flash cards. That's too long for me. I would have rather had more shorter lessons, instead of fewer long ones. It was a real grind trying to do one a day. This may not be a fair criticism since it is easy enough to save and resume the next day. The ugly: Podcasts and audio are provided to supplementing the course. They have too much English and far too much unnecessary talk. Listening more than once is painful due to that. The CD's supplied with the program are the worst offenders, the downloadable podcasts are better, but not good. They could have been good resources to re-enforce the lessons, but ended up being a wasted opportunity. I see this is a common complaint. The bottom line for me: Overall, I think Fluenz is a good staring point. It is engaging, fun, and it builds a solid foundation. A good choice for new French learners, even with its flaws. For serious and determined learners, like I consider myself, there are other resources that might be a better starting option. Resetting the clock, I think I'd start with French in Action, and jump into Assimil after a couple of months. But for a person that wants to have a single package, with guidance, fun to use, and with a strong foundation in what a tourist may need - Fluenz is probably hard to beat.