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Questions about whether or not Pimsleur works do tend to pop up all over the place and a simple online search yields a lot of review and opinion pieces on it. Very few reviews actually go into real depth to cover its content and effectiveness with fairness.
This review will do that. This post will deal the core product and method of Pimsleur only. Before we go any further, pay careful attention to this.
There are countless complaints online from people who signed up to a bogus site that looks incredibly professional and real which hooks people into a recurring billing cycle. Only ever use the main Simon and Schuster website. You forget it almost immediately. One hour later, you see it again. A few hours go by and you forget it again.
The next day, you see it again. Finally you remember the word. At first you forget the word almost immediately but gradually it becomes more and more familiar until you remember it with ease. Sometimes this happens early, sometimes it takes a lot more exposure for it to really stick. Then it will be minutes later, hours and so on. In other words, just listening or reading at spaced intervals.
Pimsleur products pressure you to recall and participate in an actual exchange. So instead of playing a word to get you to remember it, the audio series asks you how to say something or to respond to a native speaker.
The beautiful thing about this is that it never allows you to become a passive listener. This active recollection is powerful at getting you to recall and use the language just as you would often have to do in real life situations. What about people who remember things better by seeing them? The other thing is the way the pronunciation of words is presented. The native speakers speak the words backwards, one syllable at a time.
This actually gets you to picture and focus on each individual syllable. Just listening to Pimsleur Korean , Russian , Egyptian and Eastern Arabic, I noticed the excessively formal and polite language used in the dialogues for example polite verb forms in Korean and plural вы pronoun in Russian.
The difference between Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur though is that Rosetta Stone makes the absurd mistake of having older people address younger people and people who are friends and family addressing each other using polite forms which is almost always not the case in reality speaking from experience living in these places. Each language series only introduces a few hundred new words in total. The exact amount depends on how many levels there are since some languages have only one level and others have three, four or five.
Trying to learn too much at once substantially slows the process, and many people quickly become discouraged. Pimsleur courses deliberately limit the amount you learn at any one time, giving your brain a chance to internalize each new item before moving on.
Both Arabic versions that I listened to made me skeptical that I was even listening to native speakers — at least a few of the voices sound very non-native. This is unfortunately a common problem with a lot of language product dialogues in that they sound like somebody hired D grade voice actors to read the script. On the other hand I was quite impressed by the Russian, Irish and Korean recordings which sound much better than the Arabic.
Lessons are intentionally very short I must say that I think the way this is marketed is a bit disingenuous. One of the biggest selling points of Pimsleur is that you only need 30 minutes a day to become proficient in a language. As someone who has learned many languages and failed some , I can attest that this definitely not true. To learn a language well in a reasonable amount of time requires hours a day consistently.
Pimsleur marketing needs to be more clear about what they mean. Are they saying that you only need 30 minutes of language time overall or 30 minutes of lesson time?
I am all for short study periods though. Studying for hours on end is detrimental and you can actually retain more by focusing on a smaller amount in a short time. You just put on your headphones, listen and repeat. So the emphasis is entirely on speaking and listening. This is how languages should be learned. Languages are not written. We invented writing systems as a way of representing spoken sounds on paper — not the other way round. Doing so is not only a more natural way to learn but also helps with your pronunciation.
You need lots of listening and repeating. Does its age give it authority? I feel that this question has to be asked of all the big name products like RS, Michel Thomas and Assimil as well. You have to keep in mind that products like Pimsleur came out when cassettes were all the rage and there was no Internet or easy way to find native speakers for practice. So it makes sense that something like Pimsleur would have been groundbreaking at the time — not just because it was an effective methodology but because it was something new that utilized the technology of the day.
That being said I do actually think Pimsleur is an outstanding, timeless product. They do provide a lot of different options for customers e. See here for more info. As I said in my Rosetta Stone review there is so much you can buy with that kind of money. Buy a cheaper, similar audio-based product such as Earworms MBT or Glossika review and save the rest of your money.
Buy a more middle-ranged, quality product like Rocket Languages. That money could feed you and pay your accommodation for months in the Mid East and many parts of Asia to learn the local language. You should always consider what you could achieve with that kind of money before going out and spending it on a very expensive product. Did you find this interesting, useful or encouraging?
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Pimsleur Premium Makes Learning Easy
Questions about whether or not Pimsleur works do tend to pop up all over the place and a simple online search yields a lot of review and opinion pieces on it. Very few reviews actually go into real depth to cover its content and effectiveness with fairness. This review will do that. This post will deal the core product and method of Pimsleur only. Before we go any further, pay careful attention to this.
Pimsleur Spanish I , II and III
I am and got to one lesson where for the life of me I could not tell what they said, so basically I was lost. But due to the marvels of the internet and the hard work of someone, I have found a file where every word of all lessons is written down - so if you are lost you can look it up in the written lessson. If anyone wants a copy let me know and I can email. Can you email the file to me?
Lost and Found
Question Resurrected - Transcripts to Pimsleur Spanish