About Fluent French Audio
I'm David Tolman, a 45-year-old accountant and systems analyst living in France. (I'm American but have been living in France since 2003.) To the left is what I looked like back in 2001, when I started making these recordings. (I'll post a newer photo, with white hair, soon.) Fluent French Audio is my hobby. I started it to produce echoing recordings for myself and for others. After all of these years, there are still no competitors who have cropped up, so I'm still doing it. I work with a small network of radio journalists here in France. The journalists record interviews for me which I then have transcripted and translated in a special way (these are not translations to help you know what an English speaker "would have said", but rather, translations to help you understand the original speaker's choice of French words.) You can be confident of the level of French in these materials because everyone involved is French and everything is proofread many times. I'm a "process" guy and am very proud of the work we've done to make these transcripts and translations "error-free". A lot of the work was done by my wife, a French native who taught in the US public schools for 10 years and who has taught in the French public schools since we moved here.
Here is why I continue to do this work: because echoing is the only method of language learning that works for me. I am a "language nut" and want to be understood by native speakers, but I don't have time to "sit down and study." Echoing is perfect because I learn the oral gymnastics of the langage before developing any bad pronunciation habits and because I can do it in my car! Really, I dedicate nothing but my drivetime and I still manange to progress very quickly. I echo French to keep my accent in tune and I echo German because that is the language I am learning right now. The key is having a complete translation so that you don't have to waste time looking words up and sratching your head over grammar. That is what is missing in my German recordings: I copy-paste the whole transcript into google translate and get back part-English, part-gibberish. That gives me the gist of the recording. Then I look up individual words, but I am always left with questions that only a German native could answer. What a drag on my learning! For you, learning French, that will be no problem: you have me!
I live in Brittany but the CDs and booklets are printed in the US and shipped from South Carolina by my good friend Jimmy.