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28 Reviews
5 star:
 (18)
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 (1)
2 star:
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent way to get started!
This collection is an inexpensive way to get started with Russian. I've been with my Russian wife for almost five years and barely picked up more than twenty words from her. I listen to this CD collection in the car, to and from work, and within just a few weeks I was able to have a (small-talk) conversation with her. I've dealt with several different audio language...
Published on Feb. 17 2004 by ltolisano

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad, could be better.
This Pimsleur course, like others, is crafted with skill. I've come to expect great quality out of Pimsleur. There are 16 courses, 2 course per CD. Each course is 30 minutes long. The beginning of each course (except the first) is a small exercise in comprehension, plus review, and then the rest of the course (20-25 minutes) is devoted to new material or more review...
Published on July 18 2002


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2.0 out of 5 stars Okay....but not what I expected, March 19 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
I bought this product primarily because of the Pimsleur name and was rather disappointed. This CD set is of good quality, and it's great to play while driving, but its usefulness is limited (I feel) for the needs of a tourist. The conversations mostly concern asking your date(!)if she wants something to eat or drink, asking for directions, and telling the time and date. There's not a lot of the usual tourist-type phrases. (Where's the train/hotel/my luggage, etc.) In terms of teaching pronunciation, it's wonderful and I wish more language-learning sets were like it. If you're serious about learning Russian, I would at least buy a book to go along with these CDs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent way to get started!, Feb. 17 2004
By 
"ltolisano" (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
This collection is an inexpensive way to get started with Russian. I've been with my Russian wife for almost five years and barely picked up more than twenty words from her. I listen to this CD collection in the car, to and from work, and within just a few weeks I was able to have a (small-talk) conversation with her. I've dealt with several different audio language courses for several languages and I would say this approach tops all others. They take the time to walk you through each syllable of every new word taught to ensure you are able to accurately reproduce the sounds. As well, they take the time to point out and explain minor differences in the way things are said. Most courses just rhyme off sentances for you to repeat and memorize. With this you actually learn. However, because of this the pace can be somewhat slow and so by the end of eight hours you may not have heard as much as some of the other eight hour courses, but for sure you will remember more! I'm sure the full (expensive!!!!) Pimsleur courses are worth the money if you want to go all the way!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for those just starting out, Sept. 8 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
This product was my first experience with Russian. It is good for teaching you what I would call "Tourist Russian". This product actually got me interested in learning more than just basic Russian so I am planning on purchasing the rest of the course. I would also recommend buying a book on learning to read and write Russian if you are serious about learning the language. As I learned how to read the Cyrillic alphabet (or I should say I have started to learn it) it helped me to understand some of the things on the CD's and vice versa. Overall, I have been very happy with the product. Having them on CD is great because you can do this while you are driving back and forth to work every day.
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2.0 out of 5 stars 90% air, June 5 2003
By A Customer
The CD's have so much repetition that there's no room for substance. It's frustrating to listen to all the repetition; if I want to repeat something, I can simply replay the lesson.
After 8 lessons, I expect to be able to count to 10, know all the personal pronouns, and conjugate a dozen verbs. But all these CD's teach is, "Excuse, me, would you like to eat or drink?"-- about a million times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great start!, March 30 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
There is much more to this course than
"have a conversation with a Russian lady and ask her to dinner at 8:00".
This course gives you a good foundation in Russian.
You'll know what you are saying.
You start off understanding the words.
This is the perfect way to learn a language that you don't know at all.
It is too slow for the person who has extraordinary language ability.
For everyone else, it is just right. You will want to move on to Pimsleur's advanced courses and buy a book that teaches you the Russian alphabet and more grammar.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pimsleur is DIFFERENT! Excellent starter to learn Russian, Dec 15 2002
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
This is a great starter to learning Russian, unlike any other. If you've already read the multitude of great reviews for the Pimsleur Language Programs, and just not sure about shelling out for a programm you havn't tried, buy this Instant Conversation for a bargin and TRY it! If you havn't read one of the many excellent reviews for the Pimsleur Way on Amazon.com, here is mine.

As an immigrant to the U.S., I've personally experienced learning a 2nd language through osmosis, being steeped in an enviorment where only the foreign language (English) is spoken. It's a long and ardous process. When I decided to pick up a 3rd language, French. I first tried learning through the other audiobooks such as Berlitz and Barron, and through books such as French for Dummies. Then I tried Pimsleur French I, which made the previous methods seem like banging one's head against a wall. Unlike previous methods, learning French from Pimsleur reminded me of how I learned English, and even how naturally I've learned my native language, Chinese. Dr. Pimsleur, the linguist, has disected the natural process by which any language is learned, and applied this process to simplify your experience learning a new language without all the pitfalls I had to go through learning ESL.

Sure, compared with other self-teach language books and audio out there, the Pimsleur materials doesn't load you up with vocabulary, but Pimsleur BUILDS your vocabulary. Are you sure you're going to remember all the words from a typical language program after a day anyways? Unlike those other books, Pimsleur is SCIENTIFIC. And Personal! In many ways it's similar to a personal trainer in learning a new language, the lessons are INTERACTIVE, asking your questions along the way. Now, I've learned two years of Spanish in college and gotten good grades for them, and as I'm listening to Pimsleur Spanish III, I realized the lessons are still challenging for me because I've never learned Spanish this conversational way. And as far as the covered level is concerned, Pimsleur Spanish III is about this same as 3-4 credits of college Spanish. I'm also on French III now. I can understand a good deal of French in movies now, and I could definitely strike up a French conversation (with authentic pronouciation - something you can't learn by books alone!).

I really can't recommend the Pimsleur programs more, but you really ought to TRY IT OUT FOR YOURSELF!
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5.0 out of 5 stars So Easy, Aug. 1 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
For half a year now I've been wasting my money on little travel-speak Russian books, not realizing Pimsleur was so easy. I took about five Spanish lessons a couple of years ago, mostly for fun (we got these from the library), and when I remembered how good they were I checked for them at the bookstore and found them in Russian. Pimsleur makes it easy to learn Russian, just thirty minutes a day, so I just get up in the morning, get ready, and do my tapes. It doesn't take tons of repition, yet it's also not like the Living Language tapes (sorry, but...) where you listen to it once at record-breaking speed and are expected to know it...twenty rewinds later.
However, just two notes: if you want to learn to read/write Russian, find a good book (or a little internet course like I did) to supplement this. Also, if you decide to buy Level I when you finish the first 8 lessons, you do have to repeat a lot because they teach you basically the same information in the first 8 lessons of the "big set" (Do you understand Russian? etc), but they also teach you a couple of things a little differently. For instance, the word order is a little different in a few instances, and instead of teaching you "I want" and "you want," it's "I would like" and "you would like." So you do have to repeat a little, but hey, it helps it stick in your memory. (And if you're impatient like me, you can always fast forward a little.)
I definitely recommend this course for the good pronunciation and realistic conversational skills, so go for it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not bad, could be better., July 18 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
This Pimsleur course, like others, is crafted with skill. I've come to expect great quality out of Pimsleur. There are 16 courses, 2 course per CD. Each course is 30 minutes long. The beginning of each course (except the first) is a small exercise in comprehension, plus review, and then the rest of the course (20-25 minutes) is devoted to new material or more review. The format is consistent, so in this course, there is a male and female conversationalist, and a narrator prompting you in english.
I would argue that the first 4 CDs generated the greatest momentum, in teaching one to do basics such as greetings, asking for simple directions, answering them, and the like. But the latter half tends to peter out and does not yield as much benefit as one should get from listening to the last 4 CDs.
As one reviewer noted, there's a tendency in this "instant conversation" course to overemphasize certain points of the language that may seem rather useless, including the ability to tell the time from one to twelve o'clock with great fluency, and the ability to tell the cost of items from one ruble to 20 rubles. (And few things cost 20 rubles). I gather that these lapses of overemphasis occur because these 16 courses were largely derived from the Comprehensive Level I course. There are slight differences between the two, but for the most part, the first 16 here map to the first 16 courses in Comp Lvl 1.
That being said, perhaps Pimsleur was a little hasty to release this condensed, more affordable version in the hopes that it would attract customers. When I purchased it, the front of the box proclaimed that one can save [more] on the Comp Lvl 1 course (!)...At least you can save...on the longer course. Otherwise, it is a good product. But falls short of Pimsleur's standard for excellence.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Pimsleur Instant Conversation Russian - CD Version, July 2 2002
By 
William (Hartselle, Alabama United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
I am somewhat dissappointed with this course. Although, I like the format and presentation, I expected to learn more that just how to have a conversation with a Russian lady and ask her to dinner at 8:00, no nine, no 10,..... tomorrow, no today...ect.
Too much time is spent on this conversation and I learned nothing about asking for a taxi, whats on the menu, where is the bus station, or how to buy a ticket.
The course is ok, but needs more meat. I rate it a 2 star out of five.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great refresher, May 30 2002
By 
"goldybp" (Minneapolis, MN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
This is a great way to get back some lost vocabulary or to add onto a previous introductory course. After taking Russian for several years, I was finding myself victim to "use it or lose it". This gave me a forum in which to build my vocabulary back up by actually USING it. That's something a lot of programs don't incorporate. As a disclaimer, my friend who has never studied any Russian could not repeat correctly, showing that it can be somewhat difficult to know exactly what it's supposed to sound like without a knowledge of the phonetic system.
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