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17 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pimsleur Series
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,...
Published on March 2 2004 by playnekkid

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2.0 out of 5 stars Unworthy to be called level III, but nice basic review.
You know you're in trouble when a level III Spanish listening course begins with lessons on how to introduce yourself. What should be a thorough review of conversational Spanish coupled with an intensive introduction to future, conditional and subjunctive tenses is nothing more than a cursory review of first semester Spanish. Granted, listening to all the conversations...
Published on Sept. 28 1999 by Amazon Customer


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5.0 out of 5 stars Pimsleur Series, March 2 2004
By 
This review is from: Spanish III - 1st Ed. (Audio CD)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars pretty good, Feb. 14 2002
By 
Randy "randy310" (Russellville, AR. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spanish III - 1st Ed. (Audio CD)
i have gone through all three levels of pimsleur spanish and found them quite effective in helping me lock away in my memory what is probably the core of the language. i can converse with native speakers at work in ordinary chit chat and am complemented upon my pronounciation. i have no doubt i would be ok in an area where nothing but spanish is spoken. what undoudtedly helped was the fact that i had for severl months before starting this series studied grammar books and bilingual reading books. if not for that i probably would have had some problems with this series if i had started it with no previous knowlege of the spanish as i am one of those visual learners...hence the 4 stars and not 5. no one source can make you fluent. but attacking it with several differnt types of sets including fsi, vocabulearn, slang sets, verb sets, and practicing with native speakers can bring you very close. do you have to have formal instruction? no not really...i knew someone who took three years of spanish in high school and still could not order dinner. what you really need is a huge appetite for what you are attempting to master and some logical common sense planning! pimsleur is a great place to start!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Learning Method Ever, Nov. 26 2001
By 
Harry (San Bernardino, Ca. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spanish (L.A.) III - 1st Ed. (Audio Cassette)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The best!, Aug. 31 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Spanish (L.A.) III - 1st Ed. (Audio Cassette)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent start, Aug. 4 2000
By 
Michael Williams (Port Hedland, Western Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spanish (L.A.) III - 1st Ed. (Audio Cassette)
I bought the Spanish 3 set series when my boss informed me he was sending me to Venezuela for 3 months. Unfortunately, he sent me to Austria instead. Nevertheless after knowing no more Spanish than si, senor, amigo and adios I have found that using the tapes quickly enabled me to develop a basic conversational ability in Spanish that I have been able to use in practical contexts. During the start up of a new technology factory we had a dozen Venezuelans from a similar operation training our operators. Their English was variable and the Spanish that I had learnt enabled me to express and understand ideas in Spanish quite easily. Whilst leaving me far from fluent I believe it has enabled me to develop a sound basis for further language development when using it in the real world. The Venezuelans, as with any nationality, appreciate people that make the effort to learn their language so the value is far higher than the words and sentences you recite. I listened to the tapes in my car on the way to work each day and spoke aloud for the responses. The Venezuelans commented (genuinely) that my pronunciation was excellent and I believe that is one of the main advantages of this method of learning languages. You will not become fluent, will not be able to construct sentences that cover all of the ideas that you wish to express and not be able to listen in on native speakers talking and understand everything they say but you will be able to have meaningful one on one conversations that will enable you to build on what you do learn through the tapes.
I am now "hooked" on the Pimsleur tapes and intend to learn other languages using this method ...... when I can afford to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fine continuation for those with reasonable expectations, June 21 2000
This review is from: Spanish III - 1st Ed. (Audio CD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Initiation Into a New Language, Nov. 7 2000
By 
Mark A. Siegel (Quincy, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spanish (L.A.) III - 1st Ed. (Audio Cassette)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars First class, Sept. 2 2002
By 
Nancy K. Olmsted (Providence, RI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spanish III - 1st Ed. (Audio CD)
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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2.0 out of 5 stars Unworthy to be called level III, but nice basic review., Sept. 28 1999
This review is from: Spanish III - 1st Ed. (Audio CD)
You know you're in trouble when a level III Spanish listening course begins with lessons on how to introduce yourself. What should be a thorough review of conversational Spanish coupled with an intensive introduction to future, conditional and subjunctive tenses is nothing more than a cursory review of first semester Spanish. Granted, listening to all the conversations on these 24 CDs will undoubtedly help your pronunciation and ease with common conversational situations, however, why should you or anyone shell out nearly three C-notes when you can get the same and more from the Barron's Institute "Mastering Spanish Level 2" for less than a Franklin. Of all the audio-language learning courses I have taken in French and Spanish, Barron's is by far the best course and the best value for the money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Aprende mucho mas espanol, Jan. 9 2002
By 
Andrew Bonci (Mission, Kansas United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spanish III - 1st Ed. (Audio CD)
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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Spanish (L.A.) III - 1st Ed.
Spanish (L.A.) III - 1st Ed. by Pimsleur (Audio Cassette - Sept. 1 1997)
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