Most helpful positive review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2001
Ok. Pimsleur II won't get you very far, is expensive as hell, and is somewhat cumbersome to work with. So the rest of this review will be about how in hell did I get to giving it five stars. There are several ways to go about when wanting to learn a language in an audio-only manner. You can get the "Learn in your car" from Penton Overseas. You can get the audio-only course from Living Language. Or you can take Pimsleur. From the lot, Pimsleur would be the ONLY decent answer for the utter beginner, and Pimsleur II will advance you to an intermediate level in the best way. You'll simply remember everything you learned. With the other options, you will find yourself replaying the tapes a couple of times. Does any language course that is a self learning course worth this kind of money? No. That's why we have the next paragraph.
Money. First of all, by all means get it used. It is an audio course that I recommend going through only once. So if you're lucky enough to find a CD version used, it will be exactly the same (of course - assuming that the seller is decent enough to sell unscratched CD-s). As for used audio cassettes, well, as much as we want to hear the correct pronounciation, we have to remember - this is not Mozart, it is only recorded speech. However even if you don't find it used, you can buy it, and after completing the course, sell it as used. As this is suitable for first time learning, and is too much for review purposes (perhaps the other audio-only courses will be better for review).
One last thing. Usability. I'll talk technology, but it's essential here. When I bought the heavy package, the first thing I've done was to move it to MP3. So then I had the entire audio collection on a single CD. In such a way you take a single disc to your car, play it with a mobile MP3 player, and stock the valuable course in your closet for backup. In that way, when you finish with the course, the originals stay in a good enough state to be sold as used. However, if you won't convert to MP3, the need to each time take another cassette/CD to your car would be a serious drawback, since storing the entire course in your car doesn't sound as a sensible alternative to me.
To wrap it up, buy it, MP3 it, learn it, sell it.