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Why is Pimsleur such crap?

  Tags: Usefulness | Pimsleur
 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
62 messages over 8 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next >>
Euphorion
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 5076 days ago

106 posts - 147 votes 
Speaks: Slovak*, Czech, EnglishC2, GermanC1, SpanishC2, French

 
 Message 1 of 62
18 May 2010 at 1:23pm | IP Logged 
I appologize for my impertinence, but I just wanted to find out how many of you share my opinion that Pimsleur is one of the most useless things Ive ever seen. I really dont believe anyone can learn even a beginners level of a language from that. To me it is only a loss of time and I doubt it can teach you any vocabulary (speak nothing of grammar). All you can lear from Pimsleurs is a couple of phrases just like the parrot Ive seen the other day :) But Im not sure if you would understand anything beyond.

I only used it a couple of times to check the pronounciation and the melody of a language. But thats all and thats too little.

Please share your opinions and thoughts, Im really curious. Thank you
1 person has voted this message useful



fanatic
Octoglot
Senior Member
Australia
speedmathematics.com
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1152 posts - 1817 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, French, Afrikaans, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Dutch
Studies: Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Modern Hebrew, Malay, Mandarin, Esperanto

 
 Message 2 of 62
18 May 2010 at 2:45pm | IP Logged 
No, I don't like Pimsleur courses very much but I do find them useful. I get frustrated that it takes so long to learn so little. But, it can be a good introduction to some languages. I have used Pimsleur in a few cases to get me started on a language that was completely foreign to me, that is, a language totally unlike any other language I knew.

In each case I have bought the introductory 8 lesson program or a larger program second hand. I wouldn't consider paying full price for a complete Pimsleur course. The 8 lesson course gives me the start I need and I can learn while I am driving.

My favourite courses are entirely in the language I am learning.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Aquila
Triglot
Senior Member
Netherlands
Joined 5217 days ago

104 posts - 128 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, German
Studies: French

 
 Message 3 of 62
18 May 2010 at 2:49pm | IP Logged 
Pimsleur is not bad for comprehension and pronunciation in the beginning of learning a new language. And you learn also some easy grammatical structures and usefull vocabulary.

Although it's really not worth the money. The course is way too expensive in comparison with what you actually get, so try to get Pimsleur from an alternative source.

You don't learn much more with the 2nd and the 3th course, when I speak about the French courses. Furthermore, listening one unit every day is very dull.
I find Michel Thomas and Assimil much more valuable.

Edited by Aquila on 18 May 2010 at 5:08pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



Euphorion
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 5076 days ago

106 posts - 147 votes 
Speaks: Slovak*, Czech, EnglishC2, GermanC1, SpanishC2, French

 
 Message 4 of 62
18 May 2010 at 3:18pm | IP Logged 
fanatic wrote:
I get frustrated that it takes so long to learn so little.


That is exactly what I meant. But I must agree with you that it can help you a little with completely exotic languages, but just in the beginning.

Thank you for your comments.
1 person has voted this message useful



GREGORG4000
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
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307 posts - 479 votes 
Speaks: English*, Finnish
Studies: Japanese, Korean, Amharic, French

 
 Message 5 of 62
18 May 2010 at 3:56pm | IP Logged 
It's designed for confident American men who want to take foreign women to restaurants and drink beer and water
34 persons have voted this message useful



AlexL
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6820 days ago

197 posts - 277 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Italian

 
 Message 6 of 62
18 May 2010 at 4:53pm | IP Logged 
I disagree. It is absolutely untrue that you can't learn vocabulary or grammar from Pimsleur. It's a little slow-
going, but still much faster than the average high school language class. I not only learned a lot, but also got a ton
of production practice, which helped my pronunciation, automaticity, and comfort speaking.
14 persons have voted this message useful



robsolete
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5121 days ago

191 posts - 428 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French, Russian, Arabic (Written), Mandarin

 
 Message 7 of 62
18 May 2010 at 5:15pm | IP Logged 
GREGORG4000 wrote:
It's designed for confident American men who want to take foreign women to restaurants and drink beer and water


Ahahahaha, so true. Somewhere between Lesson 3 and Lesson 8 there's always the "how to invite **** ladies out for dinner" lesson.

I basically just use Pimsleurs from the library for "language shopping." If I'm vaguely interested in a language but don't want to spend any money or concentration on it, it's a good way to get a general feel for how the language sounds. I could also see it being useful if you drive a lot--just a way to reclaim otherwise lost time. But I don't drive, and I get bored quickly.
1 person has voted this message useful



Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
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Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
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 Message 8 of 62
18 May 2010 at 5:16pm | IP Logged 
I've only ever done the short courses, so I don't know how it progresses over time, but my frustration with Pimsleur isn't about speed but breadth of coverage.

It does seem to cover a reasonable amount of grammar, but it feels like each point is covered in a very narrow fashion. What I mean is that you cover the forms but only in a very particular context, so although it teaches "how" to use, it doesn't really teach "when" to use.

My other problem with Pimsleur is that you are talked to by a native speaker using sounds you've never heard before, and in languages very different from those you already know, two different sounds can sometimes sound identical. The Pimsleur teacher doesn't say that these different sounds exist, so my ear happily just assumes they're the same thing.


2 persons have voted this message useful



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