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How many have finished Pimsleur?

  Tags: Pimsleur
 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
104 messages over 13 pages: 13 4 5 6 7 ... 2 ... 12 13 Next >>
Gusutafu
Senior Member
Sweden
Joined 5254 days ago

655 posts - 1039 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*

 
 Message 9 of 104
02 November 2009 at 1:17pm | IP Logged 
I have some experience with Pimsleur and also grew tired quickly. My feeling was that it was aimed at people with zero foreign language experience and zero discipline. You don't need to repeat the lessons, so instead endless repetition is built into the lessons. I you really haven't studied a foreign language before which most non-Americans have, there are better solutions, like Assimil and DLI.

Pimsleur does get you to speak from lesson one, which can boast self-confidence, and their backwards-buildup to help pronunciation is a very good touch, I have no idea why no-one else has adopted this. I find it extremely helpful to start from the back:

su - masu - zaimasu - gozaimasu is more efficient than go-zai-ma-su.


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Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
Joined 5744 days ago

4399 posts - 7687 votes 
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 10 of 104
02 November 2009 at 3:06pm | IP Logged 
Gusutafu wrote:
their backwards-buildup to help pronunciation is a very good touch, I have no idea why no-one else has adopted this. I find it extremely helpful to start from the back:

su - masu - zaimasu - gozaimasu is more efficient than go-zai-ma-su.

"Back formation" it's called, and while it's taught in most language teaching courses, it's easy to forget about it once you get in the classroom.

But you're right -- given that it is recognised as being effective, it's odd that it's not used in more pre-recorded courses....
1 person has voted this message useful



Warp3
Senior Member
United States
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Joined 5268 days ago

1419 posts - 1766 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Korean, Japanese

 
 Message 11 of 104
02 November 2009 at 6:31pm | IP Logged 
I'm working my way through Comprehensive I for both Pimsleur Spanish and Pimsleur Korean (I've completed lesson 14 of Spanish and am working on lesson 20 in Korean) and thus far I have every intention of purchasing Comprehensive II (lessons 31 to 60) for both languages.

Initially Pimsleur Spanish was a bit boring due to the fact I already knew most of the vocab (I took 2 years of Spanish in high school and had studied some on my own beyond high school), but I was still learning (and clarifying) several grammar concepts from very early on in the course that hadn't really "stuck" before. In addition, my listening and speaking skills have climbed notably since starting this course; everything just seems to "flow" better now.

Pimsleur Korean, however, was far more challenging from the start as I had zero previous experience with Korean (or any Asian languages, for that matter). Because of this, I've found myself needing 3-passes of each lesson before I feel comfortable with the content versus only 1-pass of Spanish (though with a few of them, I probably could have gotten by with only 2-passes). Lately, I've started studying some of the basic grammar on my own and doing so has caused many of the concepts that Pimsleur had already introduced through example dialog to solidly "click" into place.

Now I'm well aware that Pimsleur will not get me to high levels of fluency on its own, especially in the areas of grammar and overall vocabulary size, but personally I've found it to be very useful in supplementing my past "class training" of Spanish and also as a great start on my trek toward learning Korean. Besides, the dialog in Pimsleur Spanish tends to be frequently humorous (whether intentional or not) which helps quite a bit with the boredom factor (and Korean hasn't really gotten boring for me yet as it is still challenging me constantly).
2 persons have voted this message useful



alang
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 6954 days ago

563 posts - 757 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 12 of 104
02 November 2009 at 7:06pm | IP Logged 

I had finished all the Spanish comprehensive I, II, III and the plus. In the end it is nowhere near fluency. My personal estimation is advanced basic to low intermediate. IMO it is great for people who have zero knowledge to have the ears familiarize with the native sound and talking immediately.

I used it as a my initial program, but I am aware it is not going to go too far. Is it worth the retail price? Definitely not. I bought mine used from auctions. If anybody truly believes they will go far just with this program, then a big disappointment will take place.

It is a program I recommend for beginners, but in addition I inform others it will not take them that far when it comes to fluency. I still think I am a beginner everyday, so I practice with people and use other programs and books.
1 person has voted this message useful



Warp3
Senior Member
United States
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Joined 5268 days ago

1419 posts - 1766 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Korean, Japanese

 
 Message 13 of 104
02 November 2009 at 7:41pm | IP Logged 
I will agree with the statement that the retail price is overblown. Especially when several places sell the same kits (brand new and sealed) for half that price or even less (which implies that there is a ton of markup built into that retail price).

Here is where I bought both my Pimsleur courses (and where I plan to return for the sequels): http://www.cateeslanguageworld.com

They sell both the CD-based (plus a few of the older cassette-based) kits and the DRM-protected digital download versions there and their prices are quite a bit cheaper than Amazon (which is already *well* below retail price). For comparison, the Comp 1, 2, and 3 physical media (CD/cassette) courses are $168/each there (vs $345/each MSRP from http://pimsleur.com).

Edited by Warp3 on 02 November 2009 at 7:43pm

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Splog
Diglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
anthonylauder.c
Joined 5402 days ago

1062 posts - 3263 votes 
Speaks: English*, Czech
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 14 of 104
02 November 2009 at 7:47pm | IP Logged 
I have finished three Pimselur courses: French and Spanish were both 3-volume courses, and (several years ago) I did Pimsleur Czech (only available in a single 30 lesson volume).

My overall impression:

1: They were too slow for me, so that the lessons were holding me back when I was already eager to move on. This is one of my main criticisms of audio courses - it is hard to move ahead at a faster pace (compared to books for example).

2: They were pure listen-and-repeat, which meant I became good at parroting but not particularly good at thinking in or with the language. Michel Thomas is better here - with less parroting and more thinking though and constructing what you want to say.

3: The focus is primarily on vocabulary rather than grammar, and it is a very limited vocabulary. Again, Michel Thomas is better on grammar, and there are other audio courses that teach better vocabulary.

Of course, the Michel Thomas course is only available for a few languages, and for other languages Pimsleur may be (alas) as good as you can get to start out with. Just set your expectations low though in terms of how much it covers for the time invested.

I would be willing to use Pimsleur again (when I learn Italian for example), but only as a tiny part of my learning material, and without great expectations.

Edited by Splog on 02 November 2009 at 7:50pm

7 persons have voted this message useful



Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
Joined 5744 days ago

4399 posts - 7687 votes 
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 15 of 104
03 November 2009 at 12:56am | IP Logged 
I have only ever done the Short Courses (the city libraries have various Pimsleur courses and I used them to try to satisfy wanderlust over a period of about a year late last year/early this year.

In most languages I gave up.

I completed the Portuguese and the Irish, but only really because I already speak Spanish and Gaelic.

When it was a language a little bit more unfamiliar or even alien to me, I was stumped, because all of the courses are paced more or less the same despite the fact that some are further from English than others.

I gave up on the first lesson of Vietnamese because all the new sounds, plus tones, plus new vocabulary, plus new grammar was just too much information for me to hold in in one go. But all it was saying was "Do you speak Vietnamese?".
1 person has voted this message useful



LatinoBoy84
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5308 days ago

443 posts - 603 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish*, French
Studies: Russian, Portuguese, Latvian

 
 Message 16 of 104
03 November 2009 at 1:33am | IP Logged 
I almost done with level 2 Russian. I paid $360 for all 3 levels new. I ripped all the track onto my iPod. Well worth it, if you have zero knowledge of the language, get a good deal, and have patience. In addition I edited out the dialogues with audacity and shadow them. (I have found shadowing 30 dialogues to be challenging and effective). They are short but if you shadow an entire course (30 units) in a row. You may be surprised at what you did learn, not a huge amount but you do learn it well.


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