Author Topic: Pimsleur  (Read 1110 times)

Warlord1986

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Pimsleur
« on: February 03, 2017, 05:47:51 PM »
Hey, has anyone tried learning a language with Pimsleur? My library had one cd of a language that's been really helpful. I'm thinking of getting all the lesson plans of that language from the company website, but that would cost over $100 (maybe less with a coupon).

Candace

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 06:28:23 PM »
A long time ago, I used French I, II and III. It was great. Back then they were all on cassette, and VERY EXPENSIVE. But the way it teaches, stuck in my head really well. I would love to have Spanish I, II and III for a good price.

Warlord1986

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2017, 06:53:38 PM »
Their website is advertising CDs, which are super pricey, but the MP3 is much, much cheaper. The trial I've got has been really good and I want to learn more.

scottydog

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 07:03:04 PM »
I love Pimsleur. Years ago I had to work weird evolving night shifts for just over a week and decided to start learning Cantonese during my commute to help keep me awake. I believe I stopped before the 25th lesson, but still learned enough to surprise my wife, whose parents immigrated from Hong Kong, and apparently my accent wasn't so bad either.

Recently I bought the entire Mandarin lesson on mp3. It is expensive, but far cheaper than continuing education language courses at the local universities, and I can do something else simultaneously so it doesn't take any extra time. Time-wise, I feel like I'm learning something for free and I _love_ that feeling.

I haven't done enough to assess how well you learn the language. I fully believe it would help make foreign travel more fun though.

Mezzie

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2017, 07:11:38 PM »
I've done Thai and German and a little Japanese. It's a bit absurdly formal, but better that than too informal in many cultures. I find it good for learning pronunciation and a variety of sentence structures. Generally around level three things get satisfyingly advanced. There were some mistakes in the Thai program (ex: calling a low tone a rising tone), but overall I've found the quality good. I'm considering Mandarin in the future.

I like to do it for a month or two before taking a more formal class in the language; it gives me a nice foothold. Then I keep up with it as I take classes.

Its main flaw is the lack of quality (or sometimes any) reading instruction, but that's not its goal, so I forgive it.
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hankscorpio84

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 01:13:15 AM »
My experience with Pimsleur cd's was very positive.  Compared to the podcasts I tried and duolingo, I think the repetitive Pimsleur method improves pronunciation and conversational abilities the most.  It is not the total package, miracle method for learning a language, no such thing exists, but I would recommend using it during any free time that your hands are occupied but you can listen and repeat.     

lizzzi

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 05:46:38 AM »
I needed to learn as much French as possible, so spent a fortune and got four levels of the Pimsleur CDs. They were really helpful in that they have you speaking the language--it gets your mouth around the sounds. I would try to find a way to get Pimsleur more cheaply, though.

I combined Pimsleur with babbel.com for French, and between the two, I was pretty comfortable in a francophone environment, although I could not really speak a lot myself--I could cope with restaurants and hotels, road signs, little shops...could do those kind of simple conversations, although couldn't discuss existentialist philosophy. lol The next step I needed really would have been an immersion course somewhere.

Pigeon

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 06:06:27 AM »
I've used the Mandarin and I really like it.  I play the CDs in the car and I feel like I'm using commuting time productively.  I haven't mastered too many of the lessons yet, but when I went to China, I had people comment on how good my accent was and I was able to make myself understood.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2017, 08:12:19 PM »
Big Pimsleur fan. Local libraries may be able to get a copy through inter-library loan.
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sparkytheop

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 10:13:59 AM »
I would suggest trying a free setup, like duolingo first.  If you find you'd rather do the CDs, at least you tried the free method before shelling out money.

There are also some lessons on youtube worth checking out.

Rosesss

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2017, 11:11:20 AM »
I have no experience with Pimsleur but Michel Thomas has been great for me to learn languages. He doesnt offer courses in reading and writing though, only speaking.

Mezzie

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2017, 12:45:11 PM »
My library system has every language Pimsleur offers. I've only bought languages (Thai, German) that I knew I'd use long term. Honestly, for individual learning, nothing beats it. Duolingo is fun, but it doesn't teach comfort with conversation and is awful for pronunciation in most the languages I've tried. Some languages have more high quality resources than others, granted (German has a ton, Thai...not so much), so it's worth looking, but I count Pimsleur among the free resources due to ready library availability.

In fact, I just ordered Mandarin from my library system.
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Warlord1986

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2017, 05:03:10 PM »
The bullet was bitten and swallowed. With a coupon I got 30 lessons of Turkish for $100. I can now inform Turkish people I suck at their language in at least three different ways, and order a beer.

I like it, it's a really good program.

Mezzie

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2017, 12:43:22 PM »
Haha. It always starts with beer. Around lesson ten or so, you will get pushy and try to get someone to go out for drinks with you who has no interest. :p
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juggleandhope

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2017, 04:49:48 PM »
the narrative arc is a bit crude, even if there's some formal language involved.  but yes, works great. 


jmsmall

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2017, 08:55:34 AM »
I've used it and also used "Fluent Forever". I actually like the Fluent Forever system, which first trains you on sounds that English speakers don't have, then gives you a base vocabulary. https://fluent-forever.com/

It's pretty inexpensive (a book and if you want one of his sound trainers for the Anki flashcard system, which is free for your computer and android.)

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meatface

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2017, 10:57:50 AM »
It depends on your goal. It is good for a very basic introduction to the language. Pimsleur is best used if you are a raw beginner in the language and/or if you need help with pronunciation. I do not think they are worth the money, but if you can borrow them from the library or get the full set for a low price, then they aren't bad. In the language learning community, Assimil is the "goal standard", if there is such a thing, for a more in-depth product.

If you just want an intro to the language because you are traveling to a country where it is spoken, then Pimsleur is a decent option if you can get it for cheap and have 45 hours to spare. Otherwise, I'd recommend a good phrase book. If you are looking to learn a language to fluency, then check out Assimil as a starter.

dcozad999

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2017, 08:06:11 AM »
What have you all found to be the best system for intermediate/advanced students of the language?

I've got a solid vocabulary in Spanish and am passable conversationally, but I need something to take me to the next level to become more fluent.

meatface

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2017, 11:43:58 AM »
It is my opinion that you should only use language-learning materials up to and through the Intermediate stage. From Advanced stage onward you should be using only native materials - read lots of books in Spanish, watch lots of movies/tv shows (no subtitles), and converse a lot with natives.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Pimsleur
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2017, 08:52:35 AM »
Recently I bought the entire Mandarin lesson on mp3. It is expensive, but far cheaper than continuing education language courses at the local universities, and I can do something else simultaneously so it doesn't take any extra time. Time-wise, I feel like I'm learning something for free and I _love_ that feeling.
In addition to being cheaper than university courses, I found the three Pimsleur courses in Mandarin to be far more useful than two semesters of Mandarin. Every formal class I've taken, be it high school French, or Mandarin in college focuses WAY to much on writing in my opinion. While it may be easy to grade how well you can conjugate a French verb, or draw a Mandarin character, these skills are not particularly useful until you get really far along into a language.