on November 25, 2003
I have familiarity with several languages. I decided about 6 months ago to start learning Spanish. I got Spanish for dummies to read (an okay text, but not great). My wife picked up this audio set (tapes) for me. I concur with most all that the other reviewers have said, but I found these tapes to be extremely useful. I only listened to them on my way to work and back. The method is very good at building on previous information and reviewing it naturally- not by rote. They don't recommend using books with it, but I found the combination to be much more helpful. While I was learning conjugations in the books, I was seeing them in action on the tapes. I enrolled in a Spanish II class in a few months not knowing if I could handle it, but it worked out great. I think the audio helped immensely with speaking ability. Many members of the class had more vocabulary, but didn't have the skills you can learn from the conversation tapes. When I want to review, I can just stick in the last couple of lessons and review a large portion of the entire set. It is true that this won't get you to the advanced stages, but it is a very quick method to get some good learning in and prepare you for further study. I highly recommend it.
on March 14, 2003
The other reviews that criticize this product make some good points - especially in that you need to go through the whole series to see results. However lets remember one thing about foreign language products that also holds true for exercise equipment, books you think you'll someday read, etc. After initial burst of motivation, most of them end up collecting dust. Buying this set lets you see if you like the Pimsleur format, which may be different from what you are used to. But more importantly, you can find out if you can stick with it everyday for 16 days before spending [money] for complete Level I. Its would not always possible for me to put in 30 minutes at home to study Spanish - and I predict that I might eventually slack. I am "fortunate" to have a 30 minute commute each way to work during which I listen to Pimsleur CDs and others such as VocabuLearn. Give it a try!