Pimsleur Discussion Thread

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Elexi
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Re: Pimsleur Discussion Thread

Postby Elexi » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:53 am

kanewai - I totally agree with you. What you say goes for many language courses in my experience. I find that it takes time for certain constructions and forms to 'click' so that you can replicate it without much thought. Pimsleur levels 3-5 help that clicking process and I find them better as practice for something I already know but haven't mastered than as a learning method in their own right.
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Re: Pimsleur Discussion Thread

Postby reineke » Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:53 pm

"Imagine an American man meeting an Italian woman in someone's home or in a train. He wants to begin a conversation."

How exotic!

gentleman fox.jpg
gentleman fox.jpg (266.23 KiB) Viewed 423 times


In order of preference:

1 Do something else.
2 Do something else and supplement with Pimsleur.
3 Do only Pimsleur for six months

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... ur+assimil
Last edited by reineke on Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pimsleur Discussion Thread

Postby languist » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:01 pm

I've never made it past level 1 in Pimsleur courses because I find them incredibly boring. However, they're great for picking up something easily while doing the dishes or running (ha ha, or so I hear - especially from Ellen Jovin), because you don't have to pay a lot of attention to still benefit from them. I think the pace is incredibly slow though (and then sometimes, suddenly very fast!), and they're not useful as a main study tool (again, Ellen Jovin may disagree). Saying that, it's a wonderful thing to not understand the dialogue at the start of the lesson then find that you understand it completely after less than an hour.

When I used to walk to work and back every day, I had two 30 minute sessions built into my routine. On days when I didn't want to focus on it much, I would let the whole thing play freely, possibly listening to the same track a few times during the same week. When I was actually focussed on it, I used to skip a few lessons at a time, listen to the 'review' dialogue, and only go back and listen to the lessons before if I truly didn't understand anything. I pretty much hate the content and the narrator's tone, though, and find the lack of grammatical explanations to be very frustrating when encountering something which doesn't match up with something you've heard elsewhere; why does it not match? Is this a more/less formal version? A gendered form, or from a dialect? I gave up with the Farsi course because, even though some of those tracks have still stuck in my head like a catchy song, it didn't match up with the other resources I was using, and it annoyed me that I didn't know exactly what I was learning.
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siouxchief
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Re: Pimsleur Discussion Thread

Postby siouxchief » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:36 pm

So funny people are reading into the scenes where he is asking the woman for dinner. I've just went through it in French and I literally just felt the creators were trying to teach us the yes and no replies that were being taught at that point.

I guess some nationalities are more sensitive to others hence differing views and us Irish are quite relaxed. To be honest they could be stealing a car in the recordings and I wouldn't care once the French was being illustrated correctly :)
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Re: Pimsleur Discussion Thread

Postby IronMike » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:03 pm

OK, I'm asking this here because my Google search mojo is failing. I've searched for this on the forums as well as on Google. All I get as results are either sites where they illegally load the audio files (no!) or User Guides for Pimsleur. That's not what I'm looking for.

What I'm looking for is an index to Pimsleur. Basically, I want to know which level and which lesson I can start listening to if I want to cover a particular topic. Specifically, now I want to work on giving and understanding directions. I've bopped around my Russian Pimsleur I, II, and III, and I got tired of trying to find it.

My (limited) experience with Pimsleur (Russian and Italian and I think maybe another language years ago) tells me that every language's level I lesson 6, for example, covers the same topic, just in a different language. So I think an index probably exists. But where?
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Re: Pimsleur Discussion Thread

Postby Random Review » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:34 pm

siouxchief wrote:So funny people are reading into the scenes where he is asking the woman for dinner. I've just went through it in French and I literally just felt the creators were trying to teach us the yes and no replies that were being taught at that point.

I guess some nationalities are more sensitive to others hence differing views and us Irish are quite relaxed. To be honest they could be stealing a car in the recordings and I wouldn't care once the French was being illustrated correctly :)


My reaction is a bit of a mixture TBH, the way the guy just doesn't take no for an answer is genuinely a bit sleazy TBH, as is the fact that in the older versions* it was always a guy doing it; on the other hand, the way some people talk, you'd think wanting to ask someone attractive to dinner and trying your luck was somehow inherently sleazy.

* It might have changed in newer versions for all I know.
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Re: Pimsleur Discussion Thread

Postby Speakeasy » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:08 pm

IronMike wrote:... What I'm looking for is an index to Pimsleur. Basically, I want to know which level and which lesson I can start listening to if I want to cover a particular topic...
Perhaps the quickest and surest way of tracking down the elusive index, should one exist, would be to submit the question to the editorial staff of Pimsleur.

In the meantime, while I have never come across such an index, having either completed, or played around with, the complete Pimsleur programmes for Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Polish, and Portuguese, I would have to agree that the lessons follow a definite pattern, they are not exactly identical mind you, but they are very, very similar.

Creating a more-or-less reliable index from the audio recordings, without access to a transcript, or even a glossary, would represent a sizeable amount of work. Such a project* would involve listening (attentively) to about 75 hours of at least one series and the taking of notes plus the spot-checking against another series where one would notice some slight differences in the timing of the introduction of some features of the L2's structure and/or vocabulary, but not much else. I suspect that the best results to be gained in such a project would require the implication of someone who has already used the Pimsleur series for a couple of languages and who has since achieved the CEFR B2 area with those languages. However, such a candidate might experience difficulties finding the motivation to complete the project because returning to lower level materials can be very taxing for many students and because the goal itself might appear to be unworthy of the effort involved. Finally, it is not clear whether or not the publisher would consider the unauthorised creation of a "pattern, index, model, or road map" of its language courses to be a violation of their copyright.

Re: such a project*: I have recounted, a number of times in this forum, my experiences in creating a complete written transcript of the Pimsleur German I, II, III series; not just the German utterances, but all of the English ones as well. The effort of listening (very attentively) to all of the audio recordings, of backtracking, of taking notes, of typing, of checking, of correcting, et cetera, was absolutely gruelling! I would never take on the project of creating an "index" from scratch! By the way, should anyone think of asking me for a copy of the transcript that I prepared, please do not bother, I deleted it years ago. Putting aside the issues of copyright, which are considerable, please allow me to assure the reader that a full transcript of a Pimsleur programme is of absolutely no use to the student.
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Re: Pimsleur Discussion Thread

Postby Lianne » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:37 pm

Speakeasy wrote:Creating a more-or-less reliable index from the audio recordings, without access to a transcript, or even a glossary, would represent a sizeable amount of work. Such a project* would involve listening (attentively) to about 75 hours of at least one series and the taking of notes plus the spot-checking against another series where one would notice some slight differences in the timing of the introduction of some features of the L2's structure and/or vocabulary, but not much else. I suspect that the best results to be gained in such a project would require the implication of someone who has already used the Pimsleur series for a couple of languages and who has since achieved the CEFR B2 area with those languages. However, such a candidate might experience difficulties finding the motivation to complete the project because returning to lower level materials can be very taxing for many students and because the goal itself might appear to be unworthy of the effort involved. Finally, it is not clear whether or not the publisher would consider the unauthorised creation of a "pattern, index, model, or road map" of its language courses to be a violation of their copyright.

I feel like, if one were doing a Pimsleur course anyway, it wouldn't be much extra work to make some quick notes about what's covered in each lesson. I might do Pimsleur Italian in early 2020, and would have no problem making such notes. They wouldn't be super detailed, since I usually listen to Pimsleur while walking home from work, but I could certainly jot things down at the end like "lesson 17 introduces such-and-such a tense" or whatever.
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Re: Pimsleur Discussion Thread

Postby IronMike » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:44 pm

Speakeasy wrote:Perhaps the quickest and surest way of tracking down the elusive index, should one exist, would be to submit the question to the editorial staff of Pimsleur.

Submitted. I'll inform everyone of any response I get. Thanks for the recommendation.
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Re: Pimsleur Discussion Thread

Postby SCMT » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:44 pm

The bump inspired me to go through the entire thread, and I hope I can add something of value. I did LA Spanish I-V as prescribed as one of my first tools in learning Spanish, although it was not my only resource, and I loved it. It was a little slow at times, and a little corny, but the method works. It isn't supposed to teach you enough words to be fluent; that needs to be found and studied elsewhere. But I do find it gives you the bones of the language to build fluency around, and I really feel like it does a good job of it. Put me in Speakeasy's A class.

When I see posts disparaging the program, I always wonder if the poster has followed it as designed--concentrating on the lesson, responding to the prompts in the time allotted, and repeating the chapter if you had not mastered at least 85% of the material. I see it recommended to do lessons during commutes or read reports of people doing 3-4 lessons per day. All I can say is that I could not have done this while following the above directions. In the beginning, keeping up with the material took total concentration, and while I did get to the point where I could do lessons while driving for long, not very busy stretches, something like fighting traffic or looking for directions would render the lesson useless and cause it to need repeating. I did 1 lesson per day, with the exception of sometimes repeating the same lesson later in the day. I could not have held information from multiple lessons in my brain well enough to learn them. So my take is that, while Pimsleur is not a passive learning method, some students have tried to use it as such, and they have been disappointed in the results. I focused on Pimsleur as much as I focus on Assimil or sessions with my tutor, and I think that is necessary to get the most out of it.

I didn't find the language or subject matter to be creepy, but I know that may well vary across different languages and editions. I could make no sense out of the copyrights on my edition, but it is the latest of LA Spanish, which I would assume is one of the most popular and therefore updated. The speed of introduction of new material was a little uneven somewhere around the beginning of unit IV, probably due to I-III and IV-V being created at different times, but that is my only, minor complaint. I would highly recommend it to anyone starting to learn, or relearn, Spanish.
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