Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent crash course
First a word of caution: because the Pimsleur method is 100% audio, you won't learn any spelling of words. If your goal is to learn to WRITE Spanish, this program won't be very much help to you on its own. Similarly, you won't learn (or have to memorize) any rules of grammar or verb conjugation tables. With the Pimsleur method, you learn simply by listening and...
Published on Aug. 21 2001 by James Tetazoo

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you ask for
I like the Pimsleur system, it works well, is easy to use. This particular "Quick & Simple" version consists of only 4 tapes, just enough to let you decide you want to learn more Spanish, so you can buy the more complete Spanish I.
If you are going on a trip and want to learn travel Spanish, get the Conversation version by Pimsleur, which has 16...
Published on July 7 2002 by Stephen McHenry


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you ask for, July 7 2002
By 
Stephen McHenry (Olney, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spanish (Audio CD)
I like the Pimsleur system, it works well, is easy to use. This particular "Quick & Simple" version consists of only 4 tapes, just enough to let you decide you want to learn more Spanish, so you can buy the more complete Spanish I.
If you are going on a trip and want to learn travel Spanish, get the Conversation version by Pimsleur, which has 16 lessons and will do much better.
Some of the reviews for this Quick & Simple version were originally reviews for a longer version that is now discontinued, and they were transfered to this less than filling version. The version that was discontinured was replaced later by the Converstional version.
The Pimsleur system works well, this version is just a light sampling of the language to see if you want to go further.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great product family, poor individual product, Sept. 15 2002
By 
Steve D. Perkins (Atlanta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spanish (Audio CD)
The Pimsleur family of language courses is probably the best available in the English-speaking world. Unlike most other audio programs, the emphasis is not on mindlessly repeating phrases... but rather on natural conversation. Spanish words and phrases are slowly introduced by the English narrator throughout the conversation, and you then incorporate them into conversation with the Spanish speakers (followed by the "right" response to compare yourself to). This more natural approach makes a huge difference in absorbing and retaining the knowledge.
However, the tried-and-true Pimsleur courses today are owned by the Simon & Schuster corporation... which has made some very corporate-like decisions in marketing them. The classic courses are 16 CD's/cassettes each, three course levels available per language, with all being quite in-depth and quite expensive. Unfortunately, "in-depth and expensive" is not in as high demand as "cheap with just a few phrases to impress your friends". Most people who pick up tapes and CD's at the bookstore are just trying to learn a few phrases so they can have fun with it on some upcoming vacation... they're not trying to gain actual proficiency with a language (and if they are, they're crazy for thinking that's possible with just a handful of lessons!).
Therefore, Simon & Schuster has extended the Pimsleur product line... creating 4-CD and 8-CD sets (in addition to the original 16-CD sets), to market head-to-head against other companies' products in lower price ranges. This 4-CD set is basically just the first four CD's of the original "Spanish I" 16-CD set, and the 8-CD product is just the first eight CD's of that set. There's nothing really new here but the packaging, the company is essentially just trying to squeeze some new money out of an old workhorse.
The problem is that this material wasn't designed to serve as a standalone product, it was designed to be the first four CD's of a 16-CD set. If you're hoping to just learn some travel phrases, you'll probably be a bit disappointed... your needs may be better served by purchasing some other "Repeat after me: Where is the bathroom? ¿Donde esta el baño?" product. If you're more serious and hoping to really gain some proficiency in Spanish, the only real value here is to give you an idea (before you spend allot of money) as to whether or not you want to go all-out and buy the real 16-CD set.
The Pimsleur approach is probably the best out there for learning a foreign language... so I by no means want my mediocre rating here to imply that I wouldn't HIGHLY recommend other Pimsleur products. All I'm saying is that Dr. Pimsleur originally designed courses that were comprehensive programs for serious learners, and that's been twisted around here into a marketing ploy. By itself, this 4-CD sub-set doesn't really seem to do a good job satisfying the needs for anybody.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent crash course, Aug. 21 2001
This review is from: Spanish (Audio Cassette)
First a word of caution: because the Pimsleur method is 100% audio, you won't learn any spelling of words. If your goal is to learn to WRITE Spanish, this program won't be very much help to you on its own. Similarly, you won't learn (or have to memorize) any rules of grammar or verb conjugation tables. With the Pimsleur method, you learn simply by listening and speaking. You don't really learn WHY you say things this way in this case and that way in that case. You will learn the grammar more by osmosis than by memorizing rules. Memorizing rules really hampers your fluency because you're constantly thinking about the rule, how it applies to the sentence or phrase at hand, and performing a translation in your head. When you're listening to someone talking at a normal rate, you'll never be able to keep up and you'll need to ask the person to talk slowly and one sentence at a time.
One of the main points of the Pimsleur method is that this step in the learning process (memorizing rules) is unnecessary. It is not how you learned your native language and, when you become orally fluent in any language, you no longer think about these rules you may or may not have learned along the way.
Obviously, it is a great choice for travelers and commuters who want to put that wasted time in traffic or sitting in your hotel to good use. Listening to the tapes/CDs in the car (especially in heavy stop & go traffic) is not quite the best environment because you should be giving your full attention to the recordings, but it still works even in that situation and this is how I used it. However, I did find myself rewinding to parts I missed because I was concentrating on not getting in an accident and I occasionally missed my highway exits while I was engrossed in the tapes.
The Travelers Edition is a great crash course to take before going on a trip to a Spanish-speaking country, but you should ideally be visiting a major city where there is at least SOME English spoken. Don't expect to go waltzing through small towns where no one speaks a lick of English. If you complete all three levels (6 times the number of tapes/CDs in the Travelers Edition), however, you should be able to accomplish that goal and be virtually fluent (orally) and free to travel to remote villages and get around rather well. From that point, you'll mainly want to work on building up your vocabulary as much as possible and, if it's important to you, study the written side of the language (spelling, etc.) that you don't really learn from the Pimsleur method.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for beginners, June 2 2002
By 
Thomas A. Carlson (AZ, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spanish (Audio CD)
These CDs are good for people who don't speak any Spanish. I think the purpose of the Quick & Simple program is to get you interested in buying the ... full version. Even though I didn't really benefit from the Quick & Simple version, it did help improve my pronounciation and it did help to improve my speaking ability. This is because you constantly repeat the phrases over and over. You won't learn how to say anything in the past tense; only the present tense is presented. You also don't learn any significant vocabulary. For a beginner, the Quick & Simple program would be very useful. If you know how to speak a little (i.e. if you took one course in high school or college), you won't benefit too much from this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars increase your speed, Dec 18 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Spanish (Audio CD)
Being that I have taken 2 year of spanish in high school, I pretty much already knew all these basic words and phrases presented in this intro course. This did not teach me anything new. What it did do was greatly increase my speed of speaking and listening. At least for the words and tenses presented. This is because (i think) that you are shown patterns of speech in such a way that you just "know" what sounds right. When's the last time you said to yourself "she have, uh, has"? you just know that has is the word to use. I finnished these 8 lessens in about two days, but if you are new to spanish expect it to take longer(like a week and a half)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but....., Dec 9 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Spanish (Audio CD)
This was a good CD but not what I was looking for. The lessons on the CD fall more along a traditional line of Spanish (Castillian). I am from Arizona and I want to learn what is commonly spoken here. Otherwise the CD has great lessons for learnng Spanish.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a few tips, Nov. 26 2001
By 
Jennifer Kerns (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spanish (Audio CD)
I'm currently using Pimsleur to learn Japanese and Cantonese, and I'm thrilled with my progress. Pimsleur has a truly effective system for learning language painlessly and effectively.
I've noticed, though, that (some) people say they needed to listen to each tape 4-5 times before they felt they knew the material. Fortunately, that's not necessary. Here's how to make equal progress on just one listening: Each time you're prompted to come up with an answer on your own, *stop the tape* and give yourself time to think before you get interrupted by the soundtrack. If the tape gives you the answer before you've come up with an answer yourself, you haven't learned anything.
Also, as much as I love Pimsleur courses, they're still wildly expensive, even with (...) sometimes-substantial discounts. (...)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent way to learn Spanish!, Oct. 30 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Spanish (Audio CD)
I tried both this and Berlitz Rush Hour (the music course). I am having great success with this Pimsleur and plan to purchase the full Spanish 1 course next. The courses are clearly organized and re-inforce learning. The speaker is clear and emphasizes pronunciation giving you ample opportunity to practice. There are two speakers, male and female, so you hear two different intonations of everything.
If I must be critical (and I feel I must :) it would be that you should understand that you are learning the 'Spain' dialect of Spanish so your language will be the 'formal' Spanish rather than the 'street' Spanish. However, I would prefer to learn with CORRECT accents and pronunciations first, and I can incorporate 'slang' and local dialects later. Contrast this to the Thomas course, where reviewers state that the accent is Swiss (?I believe, NOT Spanish anyway).
Overall, this course meets my objective of allowing me to learn Spanish during my daily commute with zero book time. Very effective.
Update: Since I wrote this I bought the full Pimsleur and am about to begin Spanish III. I'm very happy with it. Read my List and Guide for more info.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy and effective, Sept. 29 2001
By 
Stephen McHenry (Olney, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spanish (Audio Cassette)
An all audio learning method, this system turns your driving commute into enjoyable learning lessons. Listen and repeat, then same words different phrases, it is all very easy in that you can replay a lesson or rewind to keep working at it. You really do feel a sense of accomplishment in learning to speak practical tourist Spanish. Learn to speak practical and polite Spanish without being terrified by grammar rules.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Effective and Fun, July 25 2001
By 
Rod Doe (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spanish (Audio CD)
I was astonished at how well this method worked for me. During my dreadful Seattle commute, I thoroughly enjoyed progressing through these lessons. I listened to them at home and my four year old started participating in the lessons and learning the phrases. That was especially sweet!
Be aware that this package is a teaser - it introduces you to the method and encourages you to go on with the more expen$ive subsequent lessons, which I plan to do as soon as Dubya sends me a tax rebate. At the conclusion of these eight lessons, you will NOT be qualified to be ambassador to Paraguay. However, you will know how to order beer and inquire about the location of the bathroom. Arguably, the latter capabilities are far more useful than the former.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Spanish
Spanish (Audio Cassette)
Used & New from: CDN$ 30.19
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews