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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.
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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. 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. 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? 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. Languages are not written. We invented writing systems as a way of representing spoken sounds on paper — not the other way round. You need lots of listening and repeating. 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. As I said in my Rosetta Stone review there is so much you can buy with that kind of money. Get approximately 50 personalized, one-on-one lessons with native speakers on italki. 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? Just please be respectful. Any abusive or nonsensical comments will be deleted. I agree with your opinion that Pimsleur is a great tool when used in combination with other tools. I have been using Pimsleur Italian and enjoy the flow of conversations.
Also, since it's audio, it's great to use while you're in the car on a long drive or even running or in the gym. I have found that if I am using a vocabulary acquisition tool like Memrise or Anki, these boost up my vocabulary so by the time I hear those words on Pimseur, I already know their meaning. It makes the Pimsleur lessons a bit easier for me the first time I hear them. I think your comparison of what you can purchase for the same investment in Pimsleur is also smart. It's crazy that you can buy private lessons for almost the same price that you pay for the Pimsleur set I'm assuming 75 hours of audio in the 5-set French version.
I would say that in my limited experience with Pimsleur, it's a good way to start with a language, but even initially should not be the only tool you are using. JaredRomey At the end of the five level German program, a person should be at least at the end of B1. Good to know. B1 is a pretty good level to be at. Think about people who pay thousands of dollars for school tuition and books just to be at that same level. Thanks for the heads up. It's a great review.
I still remember some Russian words and phrases I heard two years ago using Pismleur Method! It's an excellent way of learning when you on moving. The price Is really a problem!! One thing to keep in mind on the price is in the US your local library may just carry it. In fact the Pimsleur audio itself advertises the fact that it's at your library.
So your tax money is being used to pay for this expensive program, you should take advantage of it. Where I live all the libraries in the county are linked, so if your library doesn't have it maybe another location in your library system does. So I got the whole course for free.
People often mention how expensive Pimsleur is, and this is true. But people rarely point out that you can often get it completely free from your library, throw it on an MP3 player, then return the CDs. So check your local library! I've also gotten Pimsleur audio programs from the local library in the USA.
As Jon said, it's already paid for by tax money. George Modilevsky here. I am currently teaching six languages in Mexico City and I teach all structures of a given language in One Month with only a few sessions in person if my students live in the city or through any other online and virtual device if they live far away! I am not american so, I do not believe in rigid methods which are made famous by american market, like those mention above.
Methods from the past are not necessary any more. Too long and too expensive. What all students need is an excellent polyglot teacher who teaches fast and who cares about quality on his lessons. Then, this teacher will show his students how to be self-learners forever and send them, if possible, to another country to live with a family.
Then, their money will be well invested, and their time, too.
All expensive methods are divided in many levels which are useless. This is done for money making only. Not for teaching at all. Schools are money makes only, as well. Good luck! My local library in the UK also has Pimsleur in a wide variety of languages, the two libraries I have accounts with offer about 20 combined as well as a few English for X Speakers. Many of these are just the first 10 lessons but that's enough to get started and maybe decide if you think it's worth spending the money on the full set.
I definitely agree it's important to stress that no one product, book or tape is going to be enough on its own. Much of that idea is down to marketing and I guess they have to make somewhat exaggerated claims to be competitive because so many other products on the market such as Rosetta Stone, which spends far more money on marketing than product development claim the same things.
That doesn't mean it's okay, especially with something so ridiculously expensive but it's understandable. Pimsleur has been great for me when getting started with a new language. I have used several now: Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi, and Armenian. I received nice compliments from speakers in each language saying that my pronounciation was good. The CD's cover the basics of introductions, following directions, counting numbers, and basic transactions such as ordering in a restaurant.
This way you won't be embarrassed to practice saying the words out loud repeatedly which could be a big problem on the bus for example. After you make it through a level or two, I suggest adding other more specific sites for small talk "colloquial" or specific topics like business or technology that you need. As you said, pimsleur is really worth for a FULL beginner in a language. I used it for languages Brazilian and Japanese since I didn't know at all those languages. It helped me a lot for prononciation, especially for Brazilian.
I was listening 1 lesson at least 3 or 4 times in 1 or 2 days, sometimes more… So it took me about 6 — 8 months to finish the 3 levels of each language each level have 30 lessons. But Pimsleur is absolutely useless if you have already some knowledge in the target language. Even if it is a very small knowledge. Because you do not learn a lot of new syntaxes and words as it is said : you learn the basic syntax in order to work alone easier later.
I tried it for English and German, 2 languages I learnt at school, and … I gave up after 10 lessons! I worked thoses 2 languages with Assimil and other materials of course , and after the books have been finished, I paid for one to one lessons by skype. I'm fluent now for both, one year later. So in a nutshell : Pimsleur yes for real beginner. No if you have just a lettle bit foundations in the target language. And definitely no because of the price!!!
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I disagree with this assessment. I love it. Now I can use these expressions automatically and quickly without thinking. Even at my relatively advanced level, Pimsleur has a lot to add. I agree Robert. I am ready to begin Pimsleur German 5. I noticed in the comments a lot of people mention pronunciation and vocabulary, but no one mentions grammar.
Pimsleur also teaches grammar without teaching grammar. Pimsleur also teaches word order, tenses and complex sentences. By the end, a person can make their own sentences. At this point, I have learned as much from Pimsleur as I would have in my college German class for 2 semesters. I tried my hand at several languages and several different methods to learn them. I prefer the kind that has you listening and repeating since it is much faster than learning to write a new language and in some cases an entire alphabet at the same time.
The 30 minutes a day, I think, would be good for people who go on vacation and want to pick up some of the language before they go only to forget about it as soon as they land back home, and in that case would probably work quite well. I personally do with the Pimsleur courses the 30 minutes to begin with and each next day I repeat the previous days' lesson before continuing with the next.
Every couple of days I re-do several lessons again, because I found that, if you don't repeat them enough the language will stick for a while, but 6 months later you will have forgotten pretty much everything about it.
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Also after about 15 lessons -half the course- my preferred method of learning I will take a break of at least two weeks and after that re-start by quickly reviewing lesson 5 through 15 again. Still I would say and agree with what you have written Pimsleur is far too expensive for a language course and it doesn't cover nearly enough.
I also do not want to advocate piracy but will not blame people for it with these prices and limited options. Another thing I could mention from my own experience , Pimsleur works okay for me, I do the lessons on the computer while cleaning the house, or on the bus when going somewhere but I do find that after several lessons I have a great need for a native speaker to have a conversation with. First to ask if I am actually pronouncing several words right, because even with the breaking down to syllables it can be hard to know if you hear and say it correctly, but also to have a bit of a distraction from the same routine.
People who are interested in only one or maybe two languages will not have this problem, but I myself like to try and learn as many different ones as I can and find myself easily mixing up languages, because with the same routine same words you learn in the same order and the exact same conversations in each and every one you tend to memorize the correct response to what you hear and that can be very tricky. I just finished 30 lessons of Pimsleur Hebrew; thank you, now I understand the method a little better.
I liked it, and used it well on my commute, though I did repeat lessons times before moving on. Maybe my attention was torn from my bus ride, but it was a great way to pass the time on the bus and only once did I nearly miss my stop.. I want to learn Mongolian for an upcoming trip, but am finding it hard to find a similar program. Do you have any thoughts on this? I liked that I could commute by bus or car with it.
Which would rule out Rosetta Stone or other hands on interactive programs. Is Amazon selling a fake? It is odd that it has really good reviews. Before buying from Amazon, check out the Pimsleur. You can buy either CDs or MP3s. The MP3s are cheaper than the CDs and you can download them right away. Also, you have a choice of Latin American Spanish or Spanish as spoken in Spain and download lesson 1 for free.
They usually have a discount code about once a month, so sign up for there email. Many of the comments were exactly my feeling, as well. I think the combination of the three fill in gaps for me, such as vocabulary and even other ways of saying the same things sometimes less formally. That should be about 18 months to 2 years. I think I want to learn the language and take the then highly beneficial 2-week trip later so I can practice on real people. Bottom line for me is that if I am serious about learning a non Mid Eastern or Asian language, Pimsleur is a great base for my language learning and can easily be supplemented with Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, Rocket Languages, etc.
John is a linguist, so his explanations tend to be technical and precise. Click here to learn my interview with John. Laowai Chinese is the blog of Albert Wolfe, another long-term Chinese learner and blogger he started Laowai Chinese in Albert arrived in China as an English teacher and, without ever taking a formal class, he learned Mandarin to the extent of becoming a translator in many capacities, hosting a televised English speech contest and appearing on a Chinese-language radio talk show.
Now it mostly provides examples of real-world Chinese in the form of news, advertising, signs, posters and anything that shows how Chinese is actually used. It also reviews lots of software, websites and mobile apps related to Chinese language and culture. Even if Dig Mandarin started to publish only in , it quickly became one of the most visited blogs, within the ones that only focus on Chinese learning.
Chinese (Mandarin)/How To Study Chinese - Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Beside the blog, Dig Mandarin also features a elementary Mandarin video course thaught by Zheng Tao, who has been teaching foreigners Chinese since He started to learn Mandarin when he was 10 years old, and he has keeping learning Mandarin until now. This aim reflects on the content of the blog, which is usually aimed at advanced students: here you will find information about Chinese Expressions, Chinese History, Translation and much more. Fluent in 3 Months is the blog of Benny Lewis, who can speak eight languages and is in the process of learning Mandarin. You may like or dislike his approach.
I still have to finish exploring his blog but up until now, my favorite article is Tips on how to learn Chinese tones , where Luca explains why a top-down approach is more effective than a bottom-up approach that is, the way you learn in any traditional Chinese language school , when it comes to learning Chinese tones. These days foreign languages represent an enormous business.
And Chinese is no exception. One of the best ways to advertise yourself, especially for firms that offer Chinese courses online, is that of having a blog that captures the attention of readers interested in knowing more about the study of Chinese that is, potential clients. This is why many private companies have started blogs that are often well-done and interesting.
Skritter offers, in my opinion, the best product for anyone who wants to learn how to write Chinese characters. FluentU is another excellent company active in the foreign language learning sector seven languages in all, including Chinese. The FluentU blog has been around since and covers a wide range of subjects. Yo Yo Chinese is a company specializing in video courses. Despite their offering paid courses, Yo Yo Chinese also publishes free video lessons — conducted by founder Cheng Yang Yang — on her own Youtube channel.
With more than 60, subscribers, the Youtube channel of Yo Yo Chinese is, as far as I know, the most popular among those specializing in teaching Chinese. ChinesePod is my favorite podcast of those dedicated to the learning of Chinese.
Click here to read my complete review. Starting from , Chinesepod does however have both a Youtube channel and a blog. Why would you need such certification? If for example you want to study law, engineering or any other subject in a Chinese university, then such certification is obligatory. As opposed to the other two resources I mentioned earlier, HSChinese also offers a free app that works on both Android and iOS systems.
It takes about an hour to complete the test, which is made up of 11 exercises. The Chinese Forums are, as far as I know, the most popular forums that specialize in the Chinese language. Lang-8 is a website where you can post a text in the language you are learning and get feedback from native speakers and other students of the same language. There are several communities that offer more or less the same service, however the Lang-8 crew seems quite active and you get fast answers even if you post relatively long essays. Lang-8 also powers an app for both iOS and Android, HiNative , where you can ask native speakers any language and culture questions.
Even if WeChat or Weixin, in Mandarin is not so popular in the West, pretty much every person that lives in China and owns a smartphone, knows and use WeChat.
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Study More Chinese is a social network, created by Brandon Owens, that is completely geared to those studying Chinese. Moreover, continuing the comparison of Chinese Forums, the graphics are without a doubt more modern and well-done. Hacking Chinese Resources is a database that catalogues resources dedicated to the study of Chinese. The resources are arranged by category vocabulary, grammar, reading, etc , type of resource textbook, app, etc and level beginner, intermediate or advanced.
Learning Chinese Online was founded by Dr. Tianwei Xie in and is the oldest resource listed here. The website is a directory that contains an impressive number of links regarding online Chinese schools, pronunciation, conversations, characters, grammar, reading, listening, dictionaries, translation and other learning materials. The problem — common to almost all directories — is that there is no way to evaluate which is the best resource on a given topic without exploring all of them.
Mandarin Weekly is a free weekly newsletter dedicated to students and teachers of Mandarin Chinese. The founder of the website, Reuven Lerner, is an American programmer and author that monitors on a weekly basis around websites that publish articles, videos and other online resources on Chinese learning here the full list of monitored websites , select the best articles of the week and then publish the selecion on his website. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Flash Cards for commonly used words.
Information about the Radicals and Basic Strokes. Chinese character, vocabulary worksheets, and text worksheets. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:.