Pimsleur Language CD's

Old Feb 12th, 2001, 08:18 AM
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Pimsleur Language CD's

Has anyone used any of the Pimsleur Comprehensive CDís? I am interested in purchasing the first set in French and wanted to hear if anyone had any success with it. Also, if someone could tell me what I can expect after completing the 30 lessons.
Old Feb 12th, 2001, 10:18 AM
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Hi Nina. I've used the Pimsleur Spanish tapes. I've gone through comprehensive levels 1 and 2 and just ordered level 3. I think they're wonderful for my own purposes - here's why> They are only audio (ie no book) and I listen to a tape while I walk 2 miles at lunch everyday. I keep the tapes I've already listened to in my car and play them over and over until I've got down the material. I've taken some night classes in Spanish but I live in a rural area and don't have access to very good adult education and the courses were kind of useless. The heavy emphasis on repetition on the Pimsleur's is, for me, very helpful, because I don't have any one to "drill" me. I think if you tried to learn a language cold, using only Pimsleur with no other language experience, it might be not enough explanation. But I had French, Latin and Greek in college and with those as background, it kind of all fits together. With the spanish tapes, they sold a mini-set of maybe 4-5 tapes so you could see if you liked the program. I did that, because the courses are so expensive and would suggest that if you have any doubts. Also, I found out that if you shop around on the internet there are big differences in prices (and also that the tapes are a lot less expensive than the CDs) and then call the company that makes them, they will match the lowest price you find (and you can order over the phone with a reputable co. -- I avoid purchases over the 'net when I can.) Email me directly if you want more info.
Old Feb 12th, 2001, 11:17 AM
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You can get idea of where the 1st set starts and ends by actually listening to the first tape of the set online at:


The set is very expensive, as you found out. If you live in a large enough city, your public library might have a set. I have listened to various tapes, and Pimsleur is about the best I found also. This program is very good at helping you pronounce the words, because of massive repetitions in different ways. It is also good at teaching sense of how the sentences are constructed and how to take advantage of few constructs taught.
Nevertheless, there are shortcomings with this program. There is a reading exercise booklet with the tapes. It is not a transcript and has little to do with the oral lessons. Often, one get puzzled why they use one word in certain circumstances and not others. Several similar sounding words are used differently and wonder if they are actually same word. To get these questions answered, you need an access to someone who knows French grammar. The tape explains few grammatical points, but not all.

The products are also packaged in smaller number of tapes, which are merely 1st that many number of tapes of the full set.
Old Feb 12th, 2001, 02:25 PM
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Check E-bay for resales, you can save significantly.
Old Feb 13th, 2001, 04:21 PM
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i would suggest that you go to a local community college etc and take a basic course in the langauge. you will need to know some grammar to be able to understand most replys to yoour comments or questions. this may not appeal to you but it is very necessary. people do not just speak in the stages manner that the tapes are usually formatted in. it can be a lot of fun at these classes and with the practice you can learn fairly easily
Old Feb 14th, 2001, 06:51 AM
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Thanks for all the responses. I went to my local library to see if they had the CD's and they told me that they recently ordered all 3 sets and are expecting them in in a couple of weeks. So, I think I'll try that route.

Fred - the Community College idea has been on my mind for awhile, unfortunately I missed the Spring registration.... maybe I can make it for Fall.... THanks

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