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Showing 1-10 of 12 reviews(5 star)show all reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2004
I would definitely have to agree that the Pimsleur series is the way to begin your studies. The key word being 'begin'. I recently finished a month in Mexico after all three courses, and while I would not agree with their definition of fluency level, I will say it was invaluable. However, do not expect to know many areas that are important to learn. Parts of the body, Most rooms of the house, colors, etc. You will learn quite a bit, but it is only 45 hours, so consider it a starting point. While I still struggle with verbs and pronouns and vocabulary, those are easy enough to pick up after you have learned the basics. Probably a more accurate description of fluency would be low intermediate, instead of high. Also, the third edition seems a bit more hurried than the rest, and is definitely of lower quality recording. Yet, it is still the best course I've ever found. Presently, I am studying the materials beyond Pimsleur endorsed by Mark Boyen on the Pimsleur 1 course review section. Between studying each lesson several times a day, and practising on the people I met, please feel sorry for them, I was able to achieve an ability to get the basics done. This is much more than I've ever been able to accomplish with any other method. The Castilian doesn't really interfere with the program, though it makes no sense to use these speakers, if you have already studied the difference. And while it won't take you to native fluency, I cannot overemphasize how valuable this course has been to my learning the language. As a result, and with the additional courses, and ongoing trips to Mexico, I believe I will achieve a near native fluency by the end of this year. However, that won't happen on 30 minutes a day. While it is a good course, you are learning a monumental task, and by it's nature will require many hours of study to truly develop fluency. While the phrases will appear to be too fast at first to be of any use, you will adapt and discover they are actually too slow at the end, since native speakers tend to speak much faster. While a lot of people state they wish Pimsleur made more in their series, I am satisfied there are enough courses out there to bring you over to fluency already. Pimsleur takes you to the point where you will need to do all that boring verb, pronoun, study drills. And, it is fairly easy with their method. Once you've completed this series, you will be able to survive in Mexico with the basic building blocks of the language. But fluency is still a long ways from there. But for the serious student, with realistic expectations, this course is the best first step for learning. Certainly better than any college class.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2002
My husband and I used Pimsleur Spanish I,II, and III before going to Costa Rica for our month of intensive Spanish. I came back really appreciating the methodology behind this program. While nothing can take the place of studying in a Spanish speaking environment, Pimsleur focuses on what can actually be done and doing that very very well indeed. It does not try to teach every tense of every verb (the completeness approach favored and never learned in academic settings). Instead it carefully introduces those tenses and structures you can actually use and build on (without being an audio phrase book, which is pretty useless for really learning the language). I am now going back through III and appreciating it more than before I left. This is really excellent. The schools would do well to look at the structure of this course, particularly for teaching conversation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2001
The Pimsleur method is without a doubt the best learning system ever devised. It recombines words and phrases in such a way as to enable the student to speak in the foreign language without rote memorization. When measured with other systems there is no comparison. I know there have been some complaints about the cost. But in my opinion if you purchase all three Pimleur levels you literally purchase the ability to speak at the intermediate level. It is that good. I believe it is far more cost effective than spending money on several different travel pack type courses and never really getting what you want. If you are a serious language student, this is the way to go. If you are apprehensive, my suggestion would be to go to the website and listen to a sample. Or better yet purchase the small compact version. In any event, you should buy all three levels. Not just Spanish III. In fact, it is essential to purchase the first two before going on to the third. I think that the negative criticism may have come when individuals bought the third level only. For me Pimsleur is the best. This course has been a great asset to me in my job. Unfortunately, Pimsleur does not offer full length courses in all of the languages I want to learn. But the learning material they do offer cannot be beat.
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on August 31, 2001
I'm not sure why there are so many negative reviews here. No, this is not a program to start with level III as a review. IT IS A STRUCTURED THREE PART SERIES that is the MOST EFFECTIVE language series I have tried. (And I have tried them all, including high school and university classes!) It is misleading to say that Baron's is better. I have basic and advanced Barrons in Spanish, French and German, and although they give you more vocabulary, they do NOT give you more facility with verb tenses. In fact, some tenses covered in level I in Pimlseur are not covered until Advanced in Barron's. And, they are ancient (from the 1950's and it shows.) So many of the complaints are misleading. Pimsleur is the best, albeit very expensive, method to learn to actually speak and understand. I went to Spain this summer and was able to deal with hotel/restarant/airport situations, without speaking English, as well as to converse with natives. Supplement your Pimsleur vocabulary with Ulimate Spanish. Forget about Barron's if you can afford Pimsleur.
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on June 21, 2000
The negative reviews here kept me from ordering this for a while, but ultimately it comes down to whether you can afford it, and whether you want to stay in the nest a little longer before being kicked out of the tree. Don't worry about about being confused because you don't know two commonly used tenses. You are going to be confused because even small children know a few thousand more words than you do.
Spanish III reviews the old and adds the use of the imperfect tense (used to), the past perfect tense (had..., or would have...), and the past tense in the plural and informal forms. In fairness to the critics, it is wrong to ask you to say something in the future tense (will ...) and then give the translation in the near future (going to ...). But you are going to have to learn a lot on your own anyway, and the future tense not very hard. I learned more Spanish than I ever thought possible, and I can express myself comfortably within my vocabulary without going through English. Pimsleur made learning a language a wonderful experience, but the learning doesn't end with the course.
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on November 7, 2000
Pimsleur's Comprehensive Language Series is among the best audio programs available for novices wishing to rapidly learn a new language. Level III takes up where Level II left off, drilling the student with commonly used phrases and grammar until basic/intermediate conversational and survival skills have been obtained.
I began Pimsleur's Level I - III courses, in conjunction with weekly Spanish instruction, with no prior knowledge of Spanish. I found that within seven months, upon traveling to Spain, that I was able to sufficiently perform all of the necessities (e.g., hotel reservations, dining out, sightseeing, etc.) in Spanish and have basic conversations with native speakers.
I have tried other Spanish cassette programs and none have the depth and patient, systematic approach of Pimsleur. My only complaint: Pimsleur has not yet followed up with more advanced editions.
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on January 9, 2002
This series has enhanced my survival and enjoyment of rural Mexico while in service to the marginalized peoples of that country. Recognizing that this is not an academic approach to learning Spanish you will be amazed at the manner in which it facilitates not only vocabulary acqusition but syntax and grammar as well. I have read some of the disparaging comments on cost of this program, however, consider that this is the best substitute for a living Spanish tutor. How you priced a Spanish tutor recently? Enjoy your time learning Spanish it is worth every penny and minute spent!
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on June 12, 2000
It is true that the tapes do not cover some advanced grammatical forms. However, if you are trying to learn to speak Spanish without translating and want to really remember what you've learned, this method is suberb. The lessons are extremely well-designed. Most people can't remember something after saying it just once or twice, and this method takes average memory decay time into account. Yes, they should come out with a more advanced series, but no series of tapes does a better job of teaching people long-term learning of a language than this one. Period.
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on May 22, 2003
I bought this Spanish III without buy Spanish I and II. I studied spanish 30 years ago but never spoke it much. I had to guess whether or not this Spanish III was at my level. I got lucky because it is perfect for my level. It covers the many tenses of grammer, while using common verbs and expressions to form the dialogs.
In the past I have purchased 2 other Pimsleur audio products, include Chinese. I have found them all to be excellent products and highly recommend them to others. My immediate goal is to service spanish speaking customers at my work.
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on August 25, 2002
But if you are reading reviews for Pimsleur's Spanish III you probably already know it is worth it.
I will admit that sometimes I thought the vocabulary choices were weird, but I realize they cannot cater to everyone. It seems strange that Pimsleur would teach "My son plays tennis" and not "I have lost my key/luggage/backpack/wallet" though. That is where a good pocket dictionary comes in handy.
Now, on to French I...
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