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28 Reviews
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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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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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Best and Easiest way to learn!, Feb. 7 2002
By 
Daniel Rusk (Lincoln, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
I just finished the 8-lesson CD course in Russian and in only 2 weeks have been able to speak basic sentences to my Russian friends in Moscow. They are impressed and think I have a special "talent" for learning languages! I have tried 2 other Russian courses that are difficult and simply do not work. This course will teach you proper greetings, asking directions, ordering in restaurants, and how to buy and ask for things. The Pimsluer method is the way to go, no doubt about it. Dedicate the 30 minutes per day and soon you will be conversing in sentences. It is still absolutely necessary you learn the Russian alphabet so that you can read signs, ride trains, and use the metro when you go to Russia. I went last May to Moscow and St. Petersburg and knowing the Russian alphabet saved me. If you are serious about continuing to learn, buy the complete Pimsluer Basic Russian 1 CD set. Note: when trying to learn a new language I suggest using CDs instead of tapes. It is much easier to rewind, stop, pause, etc..from a distance with a remote control than having to physically be if front of the tape player the entire time. Just a suggestion!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great start, July 26 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
I purchased this set as sort of sampler, before committing the extra cash to the first of the complete sets. My incentive was simple. I have a girl friend in Russia with I communicate via email with the assistance of Promt translation program. Since we wanted to converse via telephone I wanted to start learning Russian. I generally listened to the lessons while I drove to and from work. By the time I had finished lesson 4 we were carrying on rudimentary conversations in her broken English and my broken Russian. Having just completed lesson 8, the last of this series, I am going to purchase the complete set 1. As well I am going to purchase this basic set's complement "English for Speakers of Russian" for her. The only difficulty I have experienced has more to do with the subtelties of Russian pronunciation. Sometimes I would consult a Russian-English dictionary to confirm or clarify a particular pronunciation. As I said, this has more to do with Russian than with these lessons. Considering where I am with these lessons, I am optimistic that at the end of the third set I shall be speaking very well and understanding equally well. One last note. The producers of the series suggest that you can progress at the rate of one lesson a day. I found that 2 lessons a week was more a realistic goal. Also listening to a lesson at least once a day is essential. Do that and you're on your way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Russian: Pimsleur Basic, Aug. 2 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
I have never been good with learning languages but always feel embarrassed when I meet up with people who don't speak English and I cannot speak with them. Recently I have had a lot of dealings with Russian speakers so I wanted to be able to converse with them instead of standing around trying to look friendly but just looking awkward. Enter Russian: Pimsleur Basic. I cannot believe how fabulous these CDs are! My husband, who speaks Russian, compliments me on my accent and I am learning way faster than I could imagine. I do each Track at least 4 or 5 times. The most amazing part to me is that even though I might be making some mistakes while I am doing the sessions when I wake up the next morning I can remember everything perfectly. The other amazing thing is that I am not 'translating' in my head which is what I do with other languages. When I hear a question or reponse on the CD I just answer in Russian without thinking about it in English first. I am just about to order Pimsleur Russian I (I wanted to test it out before I made the investment in the Comprehensive plan). As for not being able to read or write Russian - I will learn that later. For now I am just happy that I can speak (albet limitedly at this point) with my Russian aquaintences. I would recommend this course to anyone!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Russian: Pimsleur Basic, Aug. 2 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
I have never been good with learning languages but always feel embarrassed when I meet up with people who don't speak English and I cannot speak with them. Recently I have had a lot of dealings with Russian speakers so I wanted to be able to converse with them instead of standing around trying to look friendly but just looking awkward. Enter Russian: Pimsleur Basic. I cannot believe how fabulous these CDs are! My husband, who speaks Russian, compliments me on my accent and I am learning way faster than I could imagine. I do each Track at least 4 or 5 times. The most amazing part to me is that even though I might be making some mistakes while I am doing the sessions when I wake up the next morning I can remember everything perfectly. The other amazing thing is that I am not 'translating' in my head which is what I do with other languages. When I hear a question or reponse on the CD I just answer in Russian without thinking about it in English first. I am just about to order Pimsleur Russian I (I wanted to test it out before I made the investment in the Comprehensive plan). As for not being able to read or write Russian - I will learn that later. For now I am just happy that I can speak (albet limitedly at this point) with my Russian aquaintences. I would recommend this course to anyone!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pays good attention to accent, May 17 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Russian (Audio CD)
I had taken a class in russian prior to buying these tapes, but this program made me pay more attention to how the language is actually spoken. I think repeating after the speakers on the tape has forced me to say sounds in a less-American way and thus made me more understandable to the Russian ear. If you talk back to the tapes and really try to sound like the speakers, these lessons are really beneficial both in vocabulary and in accent elimination. For those who are considering buying the $200+ Pimsleur Comprehensive editions, it gives a taste of the teaching style. And spending $25 dollars before spending $250 may be a good investment, especially if you are not sure you will like it or use it. However, the 8 lessons on these tapes are the same first 8 in the basic comprehensive set though a new edition of the basic 8 lessons comes with a $50 coupon for the comprehensive so you actually come out on top. It's a toss up I suppose. To recap, I think it is a really great program!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Set of Tapes You Can Actually Complete During Your Commute, June 1 1999
This review is from: Russian (Pimsleur Language Program) (Audio Cassette)
Definitely a different approach than other language tapes. I have used other tapes and found them lacking - hard and tough to plow through. These tapes used a repetitive format with a lot of review to instill enough basic Russian to get by. At the same time, there is enough variety to keep it interesting. And they give you the words in building blocks that you can rearrange and use, instead just teaching you a bunch of fixed phrases. In a month and a half I was able to finish the tapes during my drive to work, and prepare for a trip to Russia. I was impressed with some of the techniques: Introduction of numbers in random order to keep you from simply memorizing the string of numbers. Use of slightly different pronounciations to insure that you heard some variety in usage of the same word. Keeping it simple by working mostly on the most immediately needed "I" and "You" verb cases. Introduction of key verbs like "going" that can be used with other verbs to form a simple future tense. While you may not get a ton of vocabulary in 8 tapes, you will get a good foundation that you can easily recall. And its in building block format so you can put it together in different ways - not just canned phrases. All without ever referring to a book or printed words. Obviously, audio tapes will not help you read Russian. And with a different alphabet like Russian, it is also helpful if you learn to phonetically pronounce the letters and words before you go. So if you are planning a visit, these tapes, plus some basics on cyrillic phonetics, will be all you need to do move about, ask basic questions, ride the subway, ask prices, and be a nice all around friendly polite foreigner.
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