Mimic Method French Review – Can You Really Improve Your French Pronunciation?

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4.2/5

Mimic Method French – Can it really help improve your French pronunciation? That’s what I aimed to find out.

I’ve always prided myself with having pretty good French pronunciation so before signing up for Mimic Method French I was definitely a bit skeptical of whether or not someone like me could really benefit from a course like this.

I figured that if someone with good French pronunciation could benefit from this course then really anyone could.

The Mimic Method French List of Lessons
The Mimic Method French List of Lessons

The above image shows all of the lessons that are contained within the course. For $197 I thought the amount of content was pretty slim and that I could probably get the same amount for less.

However, as we’ll see it can take a while to get through each of the lessons if you actually take the time to learn the material, do the homework and work on the drills practice.

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Getting Started

When I first purchased the course I was sent an automatic login link that allowed me to immediately access the dashboard. Pretty convenient.

Once logged in the first thing that I did was click on an audio file marked “Start Here” where the creator Idahosa Ness explained everything that I was going to get in the course and his philosophy on learning pronunciation. Overall off to a good start.

Course Introduction

After listening to the audio recording I was off to the course introduction where I read what was to come in the course.

The first thing I did was watch a video by Idahosa where he spoke about himself and why he is qualified to “teach” this course.

He then goes into the lessons he has learned as a language learner and how that evolved into the course that I am currently taking.

Needless to say, I was intrigued to continue watching this video.

Five Language Learning Life Lessons
Five Language Learning Life Lessons

It was really interesting listening to Idahosa’s story and how he came to create The Mimic Method. I think my favorite thing that he spoke about in this video was about when he was living in Mexico and due to the fact that he had a better accent than his fellow Americans people accepted him more and took him more seriously.

This is something that I really resonated with because I’ve experienced this myself. There are countless language learners in the world that speak their target language very well, but will always be seen as a “foreigner” because they have a strong accent.

When you really think about it, even native speakers don’t necessarily have perfect grammar when they speak their own language as they just simply speak in a way that is natural or colloquial.

This isn’t to say that you should simply blow off grammar or learning how to speak correctly, but rather that having good pronunciation and a good accent goes a lot farther than people tend to think that it does.

This story alone really inspired me to work on my own French pronunciation 

The next video goes more in depth into the science of sound and why/how we make it with our mouth, tongue, throat, etc.. Idahosa throws out a lot of really technical terms many of which I had never heard before.

Despite this, I actually didn’t it have too much difficulty understanding what he was saying because he tends to dumb it down quite a bit. His casual tone really makes you feel like he’s been through what you’re going through and wants to teach it to you.

I didn’t feel at all like I was in school learning this stuff from a teacher who speaks in a way so that everything goes over your head.

This video is followed by a “homework assignment” that really just asks questions based on the video you just watched. I’m sure it’s helpful to go through and answer the questions, but I didn’t feel that I necessarily had to. Idahosa also included a slide deck that was used during the first two introductory videos.

The final introductory video is just a QA session between Idahosa and views of the webinar when it was initially recorded.

Below the video he lists the questions he goes over as well as their time stamp.

If you have any of the questions that someone else asked then maybe it’s a good idea to watch the video (or at least skip to the part where Idahosa goes over it) otherwise you can probably just skip this one.

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The French Oral vowels

After you finish the introductory section you then head over to the section titled “The French Oral Vowels”. Idahosa first goes over the “homework” that was assigned in the first section. The next video contains the main video for this lesson and as you probably suspected is about French oral vowels.

This lesson picked up really quickly and started to get pretty complicated. I honestly didn’t think that I was going to be learning about tongue positions and vowel charts. It reminded me of a class I took in college about this stuff that I honestly don’t remember much from.

There were some things that I had to rewatch to fully understand, but for the most part Idahosa explains in a simple enough way for you to understand. I admit this video did seem to get a little overwhelming, but as with anything you just got it keep practicing.

One of the biggest things that stood out to me while watching this video was the fact that Idahosa seemed to have an answer to what I was thinking. There were several times where I thought to myself “I don’t think I’m doing this right” only to have Idahosa explain why I thought that. It was almost like he was reading my mind.

Mimic Method Oral Vowels Lecture
Mimic Method Oral Vowels Lecture

Right after the video there was the homework and slide deck just like in the intro section. There was also a section called Drills Practice with exercises that contain audio recordings for different French vowels.

What I particularly liked about this section is there is a page on “Common French Vowel Mistakes”. This again in my opinion gives credibility to Idahosa as he is well aware of the difficulties of French pronunciation and has clearly been through them himself.

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the french nasal vowels

This section is set up just like the last one with a homework review, main video lesson, new homework and drills practice.

I was particularly excited to watch this video because French nasal vowels are something that a lot of French learners struggle with, myself included.

As with the previous course, Idahosa uses a lot of technical terms that can be quite intimidating so it’s important that you listen to what’s being said and how he explains things.

Admittedly, there were quite a few things that I learned that I had no clue about. Idahosa really goes into a great deal of depth regarding what nasal vowels are, how to make them and even the parts of your mouth that are responsible for them.

There was a point where I forgot about writing this review and just wanted to hear Idahosa speak as I was fascinated by what he was saying.

He also kept the lesson pretty light-hearted even throwing in some jokes that genuinely made me chuckle.

There was some exercises that Idahosa has you do while watching the lesson that actually were pretty fun to do.

It definitely helped me to understand some of the nasal vowels that I’ve always tried to use when speaking French.

There was an example sentence that Idahosa used to describe a specific sound that had some grammatical mistakes in it, but I wasn’t too concerned seeing as I didn’t sign up for the course to learn French grammar.

French Nasal Vowels Lecture

The lesson finishes off with a homework assignment and the slide deck used in the video followed by some drills practice to go through the sounds taught in the video.

It was at this point that I realized how much the course was helping me to learn IPA (international phonetic alphabet) and that if nothing else I would have a much easier time picking up the pronunciation of a new language.

The audio files included in this section include various nasal vowels used by themselves as well as in common French words which I thought was a nice touch.

After finishing up with the drills practice I headed off to the next lesson in the course.

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The French Consonants

Just like the others, this lesson starts off with a homework review followed by the main video lesson, the next homework assignment, and drills practice.

After all of these there is even another video titled “Consonants Q&A” in which Idahosa quickly runs through the content of the main video and then answers questions from users from when this Q&A video was originally recorded. 

Right away Idahosa goes off into terminology used to describe the different types of consonants, but as usual he explains things well enough and gives enough examples for you to understand them without too much difficulty.

The French Cononants Lecture

The good thing about learning consonants in French is that they overlap pretty well with those found in English.

This makes it pretty easy to follow along with the lesson as the sounds aren’t very hard to make.

However there are some nuances between some of the consonants that Idahosa makes sure to go over.

Hearing him point this out was actually quite impressive. About 10 minutes into the video I thought to myself that if someone were to learn the nuances between some of these consonants Idahosa was teaching they would have better pronunciation than 99% of all French learners.

This may have been my favorite lecture so far. Going through the drills practice for this lesson was probably the most useful out of any lesson so far as there was more vocabulary to learn for this one (after all there are more consonants than vowels, right).

The consonants Q&A was also pretty insightful and should be watched even if you feel that you have things down pat.

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From Sounds to Syllables

This is the final lesson of the course and starts off with a video explaining why exactly we are learning everything in the course and how it can all be used in daily speech.

This is a nice addition to the course because when you think about it you can be good at the individual sounds of a language, but not be able to put them into a coherent sentence. Idahosa makes sure to address this. Probably the most interesting part of this lesson is that you’re taught how to listen to a piece of audio and transcribe it into IPA. He goes on to say that doing this is one of the best ways to learn pronunciation. Below the video there are audio files that you are supposed to use to transcribe into IPA and of course below that there are the answers. Because this is the last lesson in the course there is a feedback survey that allows you to rate the various parts of the course. Not 100% necessary by any means, but it’s nice that Idahosa and his team want to hear what you think from the course.

From Sounds to Syllables Lecture
From Sounds to Syllables Lecture

Extras

In addition to all the courses there are a couple of extras thrown in to help supplement your studies and get you through the course. These include the following,

  • A 38 Elemental Sounds Checklist
  • A Word List Audio Playlist (words using the elemental sounds)
  • A 500 Frequency Words List (The 500 most frequently used French words)
  • Frequency Audio List (Audio for the frequently used words)
  • A French IPA Flash Card Deck

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Cost - Is it Worth It?

This is the probably one of the biggest factors to take into account when looking into Mimic Method, or any course really. The cost of Mimic Method is $197 dollars for unlimited access to the course.

Idahosa states that the course should take you a few weeks to complete, but I personally found that you could probably finish it in under a week if you really wanted to.

I personally see it as a resource to constantly come back to when you’ve finished. Sort of like a text book that contains videos and exercises.

I think to determine whether or not the course is worth it you have to look at your situation. Below are some examples of people that I feel The Mimic Method French is for.

Who Mimic method french is for

– Beginning French learner who is serious about learning

– Intermediate / Advanced French learner who is serious about improving their pronunciation 

– A learner who wants a solid way to learn IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) to help with French pronunciation as well as with the pronunciation of future languages they may want to learn.

who mimic method french is NOT for

– Someone who wants to learn French pronunciation for a trip to France

– Want to learn or improve your French vocabulary / grammar

We’ve already gone over that this course is NOT for those looking to improve their French grammar skills, but this really cannot be emphasized enough.

Also, although it can be used by total beginners it doesn’t hurt to know a little bit about the language beforehand.

There were quite a few instances where Idahosa would reference words or sentences with the assumption that you already understood them.

The $197 price point can seem a little steep for some people (myself included), but when I think of the French pronunciation course I took in college which cost upwards of $1000 then it doesn’t seem nearly as bad (I remember nothing from that course by the way).

If you see value in having good pronunciation then I say absolutely give it a try.

Idahosa is very transparent in offering a 60 day money back guarantee so there really isn’t much risk.

conclusion

All in all I actually did like The Mimic Method French more than I thought I would. I was expecting Idahosa to explain things in a purely emotional or personal way which I thought would be hard to follow.

What I actually got was a pretty technical course that was supplemented with Idahosa’s “lay man” explanations.

I think one of the biggest takeaways from taking this course is that it’s definitely not for those just looking to casually learn French as you’ll probably find the material quite boring and demotivating.

Idahosa makes a big deal of properly learning the sounds of a language before doing a great deal of speaking and if you aren’t willing to do that then you won’t be able to get through it all.

Another big takeaway from this course is that there isn’t a whole lot that can’t be found elsewhere.

I literally looked through my bookshelf and found textbooks from college that had the same sort of IPA and vowel charts.

However, although the information presented here isn’t new it’s what Idahosa does with them that makes the course valuable.

It can be incredibly difficult to simply buy a book on pronunciation learn / retain all the information found within.

I can’t say how many times I’ve read a language book and I wished I could ask the author for clarification on something.

The Mimic Method was probably the closest thing I’ve ever gotten to that.

I was also surprised how much this course helped me to learn IPA as that wasn’t something I was really expecting at all.

Although I don’t really speak any other languages other than English and French this course made me actually want to try learning some others just to see if I could use my newfound knowledge in pronouncing words. 

All in all I recommend this course to those who are looking to seriously improve their pronunciation skills in French, but if that isn’t you then you can certainly skip this one.

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This review is of Mimic Method French, but the other Mimic Method courses include Spanish, English, Mandarin, Russian, Japanese, Italian, European Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, German.

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