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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 35 6 7 8 Next >>
alang
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 6951 days ago

563 posts - 757 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 25 of 62
24 May 2010 at 10:50pm | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:

You may well find that learning something very different like Tagalog or Thai will be a very different experience.


Though I agree the experience is going to be very different, but in the case of Tagalog it also will be similar. Due to the large amount of loanwords from Spanish and some from English. Many words will be familiar by taking a glance. Spelling and pronunciation differences, but similar meanings.

Wikipedia had a couple pages on loanwords especially from Spanish, but since due to the pages revision there is not so many now. Too bad it would have helped a person learning Tagalog.

I am a big Pimsleur supporter, but only for the initial stages.

Edited by alang on 24 May 2010 at 11:45pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Paskwc
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 5407 days ago

450 posts - 624 votes 
Speaks: Hindi, Urdu*, Arabic (Levantine), French, English
Studies: Persian, Spanish

 
 Message 26 of 62
25 May 2010 at 12:32am | IP Logged 
alang wrote:


Wikipedia had a couple pages on loanwords especially from Spanish, but since due to the
pages revision there is not so many now. Too bad it would have helped a person learning
Tagalog.


If you wish, you can visit the page that used to contain the information and check the
history of the page. Wikipedia usually holds onto all of their entries.
1 person has voted this message useful



kmart
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 5854 days ago

194 posts - 400 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian

 
 Message 27 of 62
25 May 2010 at 1:33pm | IP Logged 
mcjon77 wrote:
Even though Pimsleur provides a limited vocabulary, I found that during a conversation it was easy enough to ask the meaning of a word and expand my vocabulary. This actually happened less that you would think.

Exactly - I had already picked up extra vocabulary in the 10 days we'd already spent in Rome, Naples, etc before Sicily and my landlady was a brilliant communicator with gestures which helped a lot. I didn't mean to imply that our conversations were intellectually complex, but I remember talking about how wine in Australia was cheap and good quality, she complimented my daughter on her beautiful skin and also had a joke about how often she (my daughter) changed and washed her clothes and explained the difference between "papa'" meaning "dad" and "papa" meaning the Pope (apropos of her sister the nun I think). I certainly couldn't translate what she said word for word, but I got the gist of the conversation and could make intelligent enough replies that she continued the discussions.
1 person has voted this message useful



DaraghM
Diglot
Senior Member
Ireland
Joined 5881 days ago

1947 posts - 2923 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French, Russian, Hungarian

 
 Message 28 of 62
26 May 2010 at 4:25pm | IP Logged 
In my extremely recent foray into the Danish language I was tempted to try Pimsleur. However, after reading a couple of reviews it seems they've used a Swedish person on the recordings. Not a good sign. I've never tried using them for anything else, as there's normally better material.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Desacrator48
Groupie
United States
Joined 5038 days ago

93 posts - 127 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, French

 
 Message 29 of 62
27 May 2010 at 6:51am | IP Logged 
I don't believe Pimsleur (for French at least) is crap if you want it for what it offers.

Take me, for example. I have a fairly good knowledge of Spanish and it's grammar. And with basic Spanish grammar comparable to French grammar, want I am most concerned about is with proper pronounciation. Therefore I don't think I would want to work with the Michel Thomas method right now (which I am not, by the way), because his audio program delves into grammar instructions.

I really do prefer the constant didactic call-and-response lessons of Pimsleur. I am only on Unit 1, Lesson 20, but I don't really get tired of constantly speaking the same phrases because I really like fine-tuning my pronunciation of French. I do each lesson three times a day.

As most know, vocab is not big in Pimsleur, but that's okay. What is important for a beginner like me is pronunciation and hearing the flow of a simple conversation. I can easily learn more vocabulary later by looking at pictures on the Internet. Also for grammar explanations that I can't deduce from the lessons, I can also find that readily available on the Internet.

But what you can't really find on the free Internet are the 90, thirty-minute lessons that drill proper French pronunciation into your head for at least 3 months. Also, I have the reading packets, so for every lesson I also get 5-6 minutes of reading out loud French sentences.

So yeah, I love Pimsleur as a beginning tool. As you can see by now, I am big on audio-only lessons that drill in you proper pronunciation from the start. I don't know how much French I will know 70 lessons from now, but I am fairly confident Pimsleur will have provided me a solid foundation to greatly expand my knowledge of the language.
3 persons have voted this message useful



GREGORG4000
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5253 days ago

307 posts - 479 votes 
Speaks: English*, Finnish
Studies: Japanese, Korean, Amharic, French

 
 Message 30 of 62
27 May 2010 at 7:13am | IP Logged 
I'm wondering how one is supposed to figure out the tense/aspirated/normal distinction in Korean and other things like that without any guidance from the instructor.
1 person has voted this message useful



Khublei
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Yugoslavia
homestayperu.net
Joined 5077 days ago

90 posts - 141 votes 
Speaks: English*, Irish*, Spanish
Studies: Russian, Khasi, French, Albanian

 
 Message 31 of 62
27 May 2010 at 9:16am | IP Logged 
I really think Pimsleur differs from language to language.
I wouldn't be half as good at Russian as I am today if it wasn't for Pimsleur. I learn
ten times more with that than any other method I've used so far. I sailed through
advanced Michel Thomas, even found it too easy after all three Pimsleur Russian
courses.

That said, for Spanish, a relatively easy language for English speakers, it may be too
slow. But for me Pimsleur Russian was perfect because I had a 30 minute commute every
day and so could listen to 2 a day. If it had been any shorter method, with more vocab,
I would have had to repeat it a few times, at least with Pimsleur I felt I was always
moving forward.

Pimsleur Albanian is terrible. But I still remember the sentences I learned with that
more that what my teacher tells me. Probably due to the repetition.
1 person has voted this message useful



ribas
Pentaglot
Newbie
Brazil
blogmarceloribas.blo
Joined 5590 days ago

37 posts - 48 votes
Speaks: Portuguese*, English, Spanish, French, German
Studies: Italian, Mandarin

 
 Message 32 of 62
27 May 2010 at 8:51pm | IP Logged 
Desacrator48 wrote:
I don't believe Pimsleur (for French at least) is crap if you want it for what it offers.

Take me, for example. I have a fairly good knowledge of Spanish and it's grammar. And with basic Spanish grammar comparable to French grammar, want I am most concerned about is with proper pronounciation. Therefore I don't think I would want to work with the Michel Thomas method right now (which I am not, by the way), because his audio program delves into grammar instructions.

I really do prefer the constant didactic call-and-response lessons of Pimsleur. I am only on Unit 1, Lesson 20, but I don't really get tired of constantly speaking the same phrases because I really like fine-tuning my pronunciation of French. I do each lesson three times a day.

As most know, vocab is not big in Pimsleur, but that's okay. What is important for a beginner like me is pronunciation and hearing the flow of a simple conversation. I can easily learn more vocabulary later by looking at pictures on the Internet. Also for grammar explanations that I can't deduce from the lessons, I can also find that readily available on the Internet.

But what you can't really find on the free Internet are the 90, thirty-minute lessons that drill proper French pronunciation into your head for at least 3 months. Also, I have the reading packets, so for every lesson I also get 5-6 minutes of reading out loud French sentences.

So yeah, I love Pimsleur as a beginning tool. As you can see by now, I am big on audio-only lessons that drill in you proper pronunciation from the start. I don't know how much French I will know 70 lessons from now, but I am fairly confident Pimsleur will have provided me a solid foundation to greatly expand my knowledge of the language.


I finished Pimsleur French and I can understand a good amount of what is being said in radio broadcasts. But being a native Portuguese speaker and knowing English has certainly helped me. Before finishing it (unit 2, lesson 20) I went to Paris and could handle some touristy situations. Sometimes they would switch to English, but not always, which is something... But, of course, by doing Pimsleur you only become a very good beginner, especially in pronounciation.




1 person has voted this message useful



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