We have it, I can't say whether Georgia is learning much from it yet as we've only had it a couple of months but she enjoys watching the cartoons. They're rather strange stories, about a big green furry alien who eats clocks ??? and how he helps the royal family deal with very odd problems..
Its quite funny though and as I said my 2 year old daughter enjoys it.
The only words she's picked up so far are Grande and Pequeno (we have the spanish version).
We have it in French and Spanish. Right now they are into the french version and they watch it in spurts (you know everyday for a week and then not at all for a month). French words come flying out of ds's mouth occasionally, which is hilarious and he has taken to saying all is greetings and good-byes in french (sometimes getting them backwards).
The videos are fine. Kids don't care that they can't understand them and eventually they do understand them. I just like the idea of exposing them early to language being spoken casually.
I should really be teaching them russian, since it was their birth language, but
Thanks, I had no foreign language exposure until 7th grade! I had a horrible time with it, and though I can eventually learn to read and write a language (I've tried german, spanish, and italian (learned enough to fufill college language requirement) I was never good at listening comprehension. I'd like to give ds some exposure now and maybe even the local spanish academy later.
My 3 1/2 year old really likes Muzzy. We have it in all the languages, thanks to lucking out and getting them used and cheap. She has learnt quite a bit of Spanish and some German (for some reason, she doesn't like the other languages).
It's not enough to fully learn a language, of course. However, we find it a very nice start.
Our family didn't find the story lines bizarre or unappealing.
There have been quite a few Muzzy threads in the past -- try searching for them to get a lot of varied and detailed opinions.
We have it, we like it. Keep in mind that there are very, very few products that will bring a person (even an adult person) to full fluency. This is a good product for the money however. If you don't speak the language yourself it is good for you also. There are other, cheaper, options but I have yet to find one that offers the word for word script and the vocabulary dvd. Those alone are worth the money to me but languages are very important to me and I am willing to pay a lot of money to make my children multilingual.
We love the Muzzy program, although I will admit it is an odd story line, but maybe that's why it captures attention. My neighbor used the german version and both her kids now speak. They watched before school, listened in the car, watched later in the day, so she really made use of the program, but it worked. We use the Spanish program, and my kids are picking up a lot. We were getting it from the library, but it was often checked out, so we were learning in spurts. We recently bought it and are trying to fit it into our homeschool day. I love how the words are demonstrated, it's very easy to see what they are trying to teach.
My kids are too young for schooling (4 months and 27 months) but I check in here periodically for ideas on how to introduce them to foreign languages.
I now have a little experience with Muzzy. I did borrow it from the library but I got very lucky and they were in the process of cataloguing it so I was able to put it on hold before it was available. Otherwise I could have been waiting awhile since I know it is very popular and is usually out on loan. Nevertheless I do recommend borrowing before buying, if at all possible, since DD1 had a pretty strong adverse reaction to the "loveable" Muzzy character. Not unlike the stereotypical reaction some kids have to clowns and Santa Claus.
I think I finally figured out what the problem was. She is under the impression that Muzzy is as "big as a rocket ship". That's a direct quote. I believe one of the first scenes she saw was of Muzzy being beamed down from a space ship/saucer and while you can't quite tell how tall the saucer is, Muzzy seems to be about as wide as the saucer.
Since then I picked up a used VHS "Family" set / Level III and she seems to be doing ok with it but for that matter I haven't seen any flying saucers. I might try borrowing Level I again but getting to the library is a pain and, as I noted earlier, it isn't usually available for loan. Not to mention that you can only borrow it for a week.
So my experience is mixed but I can see how it would work as long as an adult followed along with the child and tried to simulate an immersive / interactive experience. From what I have read here, and elsewhere, you can't just plunk the kid in front of these videos and expect them to learn anything except a few foreign vocabulary words. Learning to speak the language involves actually using it.
One more thing, the "Family" version / Level III is not quite as advanced as the title would suggest. I don't think that is meant to be misleading. The difference is that the same basic material is presented with beginner grammar lessons. So you are getting English explanations rather than a purely immersive experience from which young children are meant to learn from context, as they do with their own language.
Until I decide whether to invest in a new Muzzy Level I we can watch this once in awhile, and DH and I will be getting some very basic grammar lessons.
In the meanwhile I picked up a book from the McGraw Hill "Learn and Play" language series. It cost about $15.00 and comes with a CD. I haven't looked at it too carefully yet but I think it may be a good way to get started because it includes a wide variety of useful everyday phrases, by category. I hope to learn a handful of these phrases initially and then just use them throughout the course of the day. The idea is to expose them to a foreign language in a way similar to how they are currently learning English, through experience.
I'd be interested in hearing from anyone that tried a similar approach.
My brother and I grew up with the French Muzzy videos, and although I haven't watched it in about 15 years, I still remember a surprising amount of it! Bits and pieces are still stuck in my head -
"GRAAANND! ...petit..." (Muzzy and the little mouse, comparing size)
"D'ou venez-vous?" over and over and over (the reporter asking the people in the bike race where they're from)
The song about "salut" and "bonjour"...
Muzzy's spaceship, and lots about numbers in relation to it
That "evil," vexed dude always moaning about things being "mal."
I don't know, it captured my attention well, and I did pick up a lot of French from it. The problem was not having much USE for the French I had learned, since I didn't interact with any French-speaking people on a regular basis.