By Published On: December 6th, 2022Categories: Assimil Posts, Review

What is Assimil?

Assimil is a France-based publishing company that specialises in publishing foreign language courses. Created by Alphonse Chérel in 1929, the company has grown into a household name in France, however outside it isn’t nearly as well-known.  Assimil is a popular language learning method that uses a combination of listening, reading, and speaking exercises to help learners acquire a new language. Many people have had success with the Assimil method and find it to be an effective way to learn a new language.

The Method

The Assimil method is based on Intuitive Assimilation which was created by Alphonse Chéral. The method consists of working your way through the first half of the course known as the passive phase, during which you immerse yourself in the language simply by reading and repeating each lesson. Once you have completed the passive phase you move on to the active phase where you go back over the previous lessons while continuing to learn the new lessons.

One of the key features of the Assimil method is its emphasis on immersion. The method uses native speakers and authentic materials, such as dialogues and texts, to simulate the experience of living in a foreign country and learning the language naturally. This helps learners develop a feel for the rhythm, pronunciation, and idiomatic expressions of the language, which are essential for speaking and understanding it fluently.

Another advantage of the Assimil method is its flexibility. It’s designed to be self-paced, so learners can work at their own speed and adjust the level of difficulty to their abilities and needs. The method also offers a range of materials, including books, audio CDs, and online resources, so learners can choose the format that suits them best.

Table of Contents

The Assimil German book contains 100 lessons with 708 pages in total.

  • Introduction
  • How to use this German course
  • The German alphabet and pronunciation
  • Lessons 1 to 100
  • Grammatical appendix
  • Grammatical index
  • German – English Glossary
  • English – German Glossary


The layout of the book is similar to a parallel text, you have the target language on the left and the L1 on the right. The lessons follow a uniform approach comprising of :

  • Dialogue – In German and English
  • Notes – usually explaining grammar points
  • Translation exercises – translate L2 (target language) into L1 (native language)
  • Fill in the blank exercise.
  • There is a revision lesson every seventh lesson which goes over various grammar points and expressions that were introduced in the previous lessons.
The First Lesson of Assimil German 2015


I found the dialogues tone interesting to varying degrees, however, I must say that after working through this edition and the previous one, I think the dialogues in this course are a huge improvement over the previous edition by Hilde Schneider. This recent edition by Maria Roemer and Kerstin Pfeiffer is essentially the same as the French version ‘L’allemand’ but just translated into English. The dialogues tend to be short towards the start of the book and start to increase in length towards the end.

Exercises / Grammar Explanations

In every lesson, you have two types of exercises. The first is a simple translation exercise, where you translate sentences from German into English. The second exercise is a simple fill-in-the-blank exercise. I don’t think the exercises in this book are overly challenging so I would not rely on this book if you want to challenge yourself. Grammar explanations appear as notes after the dialogue and point back to certain parts of the dialogue where an explanation is necessary, after that every seventh lesson there is a review lesson, which reinforces certain grammatical points and vocabulary from the previous six lessons and sometimes includes a dialogue to translate.

Cultural Notes

This course is not packed full of cultural notes like some other courses, but every now and then interesting cultural information appears throughout the book. I found the various topics interesting, some examples of them are Frühstück, Brandenburger TorA Republic of StatesSummer in Germany and Apfelschorle and Beer, Germany’s national drinks. The notes vary in length with some of them being of a rather substantial length.


The Assimil series is known for its quality recordings and the audio for this course is no exception. Like the dialogues I found the audio slightly better in this edition, perhaps it is the difference in voice actors. The speakers at first speak slowly and as the course progresses they speed up to a more natural pace. You have several options with regard to audio, you can buy the Super Pack which comes with the book, four audio CDs and a USB stick which includes the mp3 files. The Mp3’s on the USB stick are great because it allows you to break up the audio even more and listen to the dialogue line by line. Check out the audio below, you can hear the audio for lessons 1, 50 and 100.


The Assimil courses are not exactly what I would call cheap, however, I believe what you get is worth the price. I must also take into account that Assimil is a French company and for those of us that live outside of Europe the books can be rather difficult to find, especially in bookshops. It is also worth mentioning that it is possible to buy the book without the audio, which is obviously the cheapest option, or alternatively, you could just buy the book and get the audio separately later down the track but this is more expensive and you are better off just getting the Super Pack. An E-Method also exists on iOs and Android, however, I do not recommend this as the user experience is not great (I will get around to reviewing the e-methods later).

Book –    ~$29   (Amazon)   
E-course – 49,90 €   / ~$54
Super Pack –  Book + USB stick + 4 CDs. ~$80 (Amazon)
Assimil Website

ISBN: 9782700508291


This edition of the Assimil German with Ease by Maria Roemer and Kerstin Pfeiffer is an excellent choice if you are learning German. I found it to be an improvement over its predecessor by Hilde Schneider, not to bash it too much. But I felt the dialogues improved over some of the random dialogues in the previous edition. I also felt the audio sounded slightly refreshing and modern but that’s just my opinion! Like most of the Assimil with Ease courses, it states you’ll achieve B2 level at the end, I don’t think this is realistic either, but unfortunately marketing nowadays. Overall, the Assimil method is a well-regarded and effective way to learn a new language. It may be worth considering if you’re looking for a structured, immersive, and flexible language learning method.

So, if you’re a fan of the Assimil method and thinking about learning German then I can wholeheartedly recommend this course. If you want to learn more about how to use Assimil then check out my how to use Assimil article.