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UPDATE - Any French speaking Moms? Especially any familiar with Leap Frog? See post 26

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
I posted this in Parenting but I haven't gotten any responses yet.

I am looking for French speaking Moms that can help me figure out a cost effective way to find French editions for the following: Little Touch, My First Leap Pad, and Leap Pad.

I have seen the French edition of Leap Pad and books/cartridges on Ebay but they are kind of expensive. And I have seen the books/cartridges for one Little Touch title and a few My First titles on the US Leap Frog site, and it looks like they are on clearance, but they don't have the toy to play them on. I spoke with Customer Service yesterday and she says the Leap Pad French edition has been discontinued. I think she is referring to all three versions.

While I can't read French, it doesn't look like any of these are on the French Leap Pad site. But there are a number of French toy sites that have them and they seem cheaper than what I'm seeing on Ebay, not to mention that there is more variety.

Aside from the fact that I'm uncertain of the security on these sites, they aren't intuitive enough to figure out how to navigate and buy something without being able to read French.

So, if anyone can point me towards a reputable French/English site that may still have these in stock --and if I'm really lucky-- at clearance prices, I would be very grateful.

~Cath
post #2 of 38
Edited because I didn't read the OP properly. It stinks that the Frnech editions are being phased out! If you'd like me to translete anything for you, let me know.

If you're looking for good unilingual resources, I really like bayardjeunnesse.com: my 4 year old GLOWS each month when her "Pomme D'Api" ma-zah-geen arrives. I think they have an English version of the site.
post #3 of 38
Ou est-tu?

The Bay has many V.smile game consoles and smartridges. When I was looking for one for DS, French smartridges were the only ones I could find.

I'm not sure about the other learning systems. Can I assume you are in Canada? If not, I would suggest checking out some Canadian sources.
post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by miche28 View Post
Edited because I didn't read the OP properly. It stinks that the Frnech editions are being phased out! If you'd like me to translete anything for you, let me know.

If you're looking for good unilingual resources, I really like bayardjeunnesse.com: my 4 year old GLOWS each month when her "Pomme D'Api" ma-zah-geen arrives. I think they have an English version of the site.
Miche28,
I'm wondering if the whole Leap Pad line will eventually be replaced by "Leapster", whatever that is. I'm kind of committed to the Leap Pad thing since I finally unearthed the "Little Touch" version we have (English edition) and both DD1 and DD2 seem to enjoying it.

And I just bought two of the French Leap Pads from a Canadian Ebay seller, at a pretty reasonable price. It looks like I can pick up two or three books/cartridges, but generally they are pretty expensive.

I appreciate your offer to translate but what I need first is a recommendation for a reputable web site. It looks like there a plenty of places selling them but I'm hesitant enough buying online, let alone across the border.

I will try to locate the English version of bayardjeunnesse.com. Is "Pomme D'Api" a book club or a monthly magazine?

BTW, I might try to pick up a Spanish version of the "My First" Leap Pad but there is a much wider variety of Spanish titles that are readily available at pretty reasonable prices.

Thanks,
~Cath
post #5 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eirual View Post
Ou est-tu?

The Bay has many V.smile game consoles and smartridges. When I was looking for one for DS, French smartridges were the only ones I could find.

I'm not sure about the other learning systems. Can I assume you are in Canada? If not, I would suggest checking out some Canadian sources.
Sorry, I should have been more clear. I am in the U.S. Which is why I am trying to find a reputable online source, likely out of Canada.

As I noted in the post above, I'm pretty much committed to the regular Leap Pad and I can probably get enough titles (books/cartridges) on Ebay if necessary but I'd like to get more titles for less money if possible. Especially anything with Math. I think it would be really cool if they could learn Math in a second language.

~Cath
post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 
I found the English site for Bayard Jeunesse but it lead me to the French site.

English Version
http://www.bayard-jeunesse.com/bayar...rig=BJ_ST_JEUN

Publications English & French
http://www.bayard-jeunesse.com/inter...?langue=toutes

Magazines page, in French
http://www.bayardjeunesse.ca/

I think I'll concentrate on more interactive media for now to try and simulate an immersive experience as best I can.

Thanks,
~Cath
post #7 of 38
we got a lot of toys from the Canadian toy stores. Toys R us is a good one. There is probably an "english" link in the corner.

It is easier to find French things in French.

Also, I have a ton of Childrens books on Amazon.com's us site that are in French. Good luck! I'm sure there are more then a few mamas here that can translate for you, any of us will help!
post #8 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post
we got a lot of toys from the Canadian toy stores. Toys R us is a good one. There is probably an "english" link in the corner.

It is easier to find French things in French.

Also, I have a ton of Childrens books on Amazon.com's us site that are in French. Good luck! I'm sure there are more then a few mamas here that can translate for you, any of us will help!
kriket,
Unfortunately this Toys R Us site has a very limited number of Leap Frog items. Most of them are for "Lil Leaps", not "Little Touch", "My First Leap Pad", or "Leap Pad". In fact it doesn't even have the Toy/Unit that these "Lil Leaps" cartridges fit in.

They do have Word Whammer en Anglaise. I would love to have it in French.

I would also love the memory game "Memory Mate" in french but I don't see that either.

I already have the Muzzy videos and a lot of French books but my French is extremely limited and I would like something more interactive that gets them away from the TV. Plus they've seen the Muzzy videos pretty often and I'm not sure how much they are getting out of them.

Thanks,
~Cath
post #9 of 38
sounds like you just need to make a trip to Quebec for a toy store run!
post #10 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post
sounds like you just need to make a trip to Quebec for a toy store run!
kriket,
It may be too late for that. It looks like they've been clearing the French stuff out for awhile now.

Otherwise I might be inclined to work up the nerve to ask DH's cousin if she could pick them up and ship them to us if we were to reimburse her. I'm friendly with her sister and I could try asking through her I wouldn't want to inconvenience her for nothing.
~Cath
post #11 of 38

Another option (potentially)

If your local library has a subscription to Tumble Books, you can get all sorts of audio books online (in Eng, Fr, and Spanish).

This link works for me, I'm not sure if it will out of Canada, but try linking to Tumble Books on the right hand side, then clicking on "Language Learning" link from there. Great stuff! (though maybe too advanced?)
post #12 of 38
I never had any luck buying in the States. I relied on my in-laws or when we were in France. The titles of books/cartridges we found for the Petit LeapPad are: "Un ours dans ma chambre," Si j'etais...," "Les petits des animaux," "La danse des animaux," and "Winnie t'aime a la folie!"

You could try an internet search for these titles and see if it reveals anything. Maybe something would even show up on Ebay. ??

It's so hard, I think, to find French electronics in the US. Good luck to you!
post #13 of 38
In Quebec, most stores only have the French versions of those toys because it kind of is the law. Most websites are not even allowed to ship English Leap Pad products to Quebec. I would check out Quebec stores or Candian versions of Toyrus and such. I do not know about them shiping to the US though. Otherwise you can always just PM me and I can go get them for you and ship them myself.
post #14 of 38
ebay.fr, but you need to speak French!

I buy things regularly from France (well, a couple times a year) and I've never had a problem. I would not worry about paying from a site just because it is .fr, myself.

For French we go to poissonrouge.com.
post #15 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
ebay.fr, but you need to speak French!

I buy things regularly from France (well, a couple times a year) and I've never had a problem. I would not worry about paying from a site just because it is .fr, myself.

For French we go to poissonrouge.com.
Edna,
I did check out Ebay.Fr which has the advantage of a familiar format. I could give it a shot if I could use PayPal, and if I could find a nice lot with a LeapPad and 3 to 5 books/cartridges.

Where are you located? What is your experience with the exchange rate, the additional cost of shipping and dealing with customs?
Thanks,
~Cath
post #16 of 38
I'm in the U.S. Customs is no problem at all, unless you are importing for a business. It's just personal goods. We buy stuff all the time. I think you need to declare like, $50 K worth of personal purchases or some such amount, but seriously... if you are doing that, ask your personal accountant, hah, hah. Exchange: I use http://www.xe.com to check the prices' in dollars, and you can just ask the seller ahead of time if they will take dollars. I don't recall any big fees for paying in Euros via paypal or my credit card but the bank does take a small fee.

Shipping is really expensive IF they send FedEx, DHL, or UPS. However, if they send overseas using their national postal system (equivalent to our USPS), then it is usually a really good deal. Most recently I got swaddling cloths from Australia for just $7 one week shipping. Maybe that was 5 - 9 days but who cares? It was awesome!

It would be ideal if you could at least confirm the shipping costs in French with the seller beforehand, but worst case scenario, you could type your question into an online translation machine and send it that way, and then do the same with the answer. My husband sells on e-bay and he gets questions in English like that (from a translation machine) from all over the world often. It's funny sounding but he understands them and answers and they manage. The machines work best with very short sentences and no commas, like: "I am in the U.S.A. I want to know about shipping to the U.S.A. How much does it cost? I want to buy your item # XXXXXX. Can you send me a quote for shipping? Thank you!"

They will know it's a translation machine but will appreciate it more than English.

http://translation.langenberg.com/
post #17 of 38
I'm pretty sure that the whole LeapPad consumer product line (English, French, and Spanish) has been discontinued. Shortly before Christmas 2007, LeapFrog.com had almost all the titles and accessories on clearance for 75% off. As of last fall, there was practically nothing left -- either on the web site, or in stores -- and they were heavily pushing the new books with the pen gizmo, whatever it's called. Their academic website, LeapFrog Schoolhouse, still sells the original LeapPads and "series books" (Phonics, Quantum, etc.), but nothing in French, I guess since they're marketing to the US school system.

HOWEVER... we have both the French and English "systems," and the machines are identical. It's just the books/cartridges that are different. So you can absolutely use any of the French books on the equivalent English LeapPad. You'd be missing the demo books that come with the players, but IMO those aren't the greatest anyway... definitely not worth spending the extra $$$ on shipping a bulky player from who knows where. The books and cartridges themselves are pretty cheap to ship, and we've had good luck buying from eBay or Amazon sellers.

If you need any information about specific French titles, feel free to ask. We have a bunch, and I've found some of them to be a disappointment. For instance, the Disney Princesses (for My First LeapPad)... when you touch an object, it doesn't include the article when saying the name, so it's inadequate for learning new vocabulary. OTOH, some of the others -- like the Richard Scarry word book for LeapPad, or the LittleTouch baby animals -- are very good.
post #18 of 38
A PS, for what it's worth: I just remembered that Canadian Toys R Us wouldn't ship the LeapPad stuff to the USA. Not sure if this was some sort of weird customs thing, or something that LeapFrog had stipulated to protect their pricing structure, or what. Anyway, we had to get it shipped to a Canadian family member, who kept it until we could get it in person.
post #19 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
I'm in the U.S. Customs is no problem at all, unless you are importing for a business. ... Shipping is really expensive IF they send FedEx, DHL, or UPS. However, if they send overseas using their national postal system (equivalent to our USPS), then it is usually a really good deal. Most recently I got swaddling cloths from Australia for just $7 one week shipping. Maybe that was 5 - 9 days but who cares? It was awesome!

It would be ideal if you could at least confirm the shipping costs in French with the seller beforehand, but worst case scenario, you could type your question into an online translation machine and send it that way, and then do the same with the answer. My husband sells on e-bay and he gets questions in English like that (from a translation machine) from all over the world often. It's funny sounding but he understands them and answers and they manage. The machines work best with very short sentences and no commas, like: "I am in the U.S.A. I want to know about shipping to the U.S.A. How much does it cost? I want to buy your item # XXXXXX. Can you send me a quote for shipping? Thank you!"

They will know it's a translation machine but will appreciate it more than English.

http://translation.langenberg.com/
EdnaMarie,
Thanks for the practical tips. I cross posted in the Parenting forum and someone suggested the Canadian Classifieds "Kijiji". (Ebay's answer to Craig's List).

Oddly enough there are a lot more LeapFrog listings in Montreal as opposed to Quebec.

I have been using the translation site "Babel Fish" and I would plan on paying with a United States Postal Service International Money Order in Canadian dollars, which would eliminate the need for doing the math on converting.

I have gotten one email reply on a Little Touch system. She didn't specify but I think she would use the National Postal Service.

I now have two emails out on a My First LeapPad and a LeapPad as well.

Thanks,
~Cath
post #20 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hummingmom View Post
...

HOWEVER... we have both the French and English "systems," and the machines are identical. It's just the books/cartridges that are different. So you can absolutely use any of the French books on the equivalent English LeapPad. You'd be missing the demo books that come with the players, but IMO those aren't the greatest anyway... definitely not worth spending the extra $$$ on shipping a bulky player from who knows where. The books and cartridges themselves are pretty cheap to ship, and we've had good luck buying from eBay or Amazon sellers. ...
hummingmom,
Thanks for the info.

I have already bought the French LeapPad through a Canadian Ebayer. They were cheap enough that I got two, one for each kid and the second one as insurance in case the first one broke.

We already have the English Little Touch and while DD1 is supposedly too old for it she seems to be enjoying it so I thought it would be fun to have the same books in English and French, not to mention that it might make it easier to pick up the concepts if they are already familiar with them in English. This would be true of the Demo book as well which I don't love but it is kind of cute and it does cover some of the basics.

However, I will certainly keep this in mind if I have a chance to pick up the "My First" French titles without the playing unit. I'll know that I can simply pick up the English one.

~Cath
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