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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can You Really Learn to Speak Spanish with Pimsleur?, June 9 2007
This review is from: Pimsleur Spanish Level 1 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand Latin American Spanish with Pimsleur Language Programs (Audio CD)
As the editor of the Learning Spanish Products Reviews (LearningSpanishProductsReviews) site (and as a native Spanish instructor), many of my readers and students have requested that I provide a very thorough, unbiased and accurate review of Pimsleur one. I will begin my review with an in depth summary of the content.

In lessons 1 through 5 you will learn how to conjugate the verb "entender" in the present tense and say "I understand" and "you understand" in the "usted" form as well as ask the same
You will also learn how to say I speak "Castellano" or you speak "Castellano." You will also learn how to inquire about one's health, and ask about one's nationality. basic greetings such as good morning, good afternoon, and good night. And you'll learn how to say "here" and "there," and inquire about the location of hotels and restaurants. Lessons 1 to 5, will also teach you how to say "I know" and "you know," as well as I have and you have.

From lessons 6 to 10, you begin to learn numbers from 1 to 11. You also learn how to ask how much do things cost and saying "I want" and "you want" and how to ask the same. The verb gustar is also covered. You will also learn how to say let's go eat.

From lessons 11 to 15, you will learn more numbers (numbers 12 to 59). And how to say "I pay" and "you pay," and "I buy" and "you buy." Pronouns such as "la" and "las" are also introduced and also how to tell time, as well as the substitute future tense (e.g. I am going to eat as opposed to "I will eat.")

Lesson 16 to 20 teach you how to say more numbers (from sixty to ninety-nine). You also learn how to say "my spouse has" and "we speak," "we eat," and "we want." You will also learn possessive adjectives such as "my," "your" and "our." The irregular verb "poder" and the "para que" structure" are also introduced in the present tense. Lessons 16 to 20 also contrast "estamos" and "somos." Reflexive verbs are also introduced while you learn how to say "I am leaving" and "we are leaving."

From lessons 21 to 24, you are introduced to formal commands and learn such commands as "give me a glass of water/wine" and "write it." You are also introduced to demonstrative
pronouns for "this, that, and those." The regular "ar" verb is also introduced. You also learn how to inquire about a doctor and say "give me his number." The personal "a" is also introduced as well as how to state if a location is near or far, ask one's name and state one's name, ask where does one live, and give directions.

From lessons 25 to 30, you will learn more commands. For example, how to say the command "come." But only the formal commands are covered. Direct pronouns are also covered in greater detail. The present perfect tense is also introduced along with numbers in the hundreds. Diminutives are also covered. In the final lesson (#30), the informal word for you is briefly introduced: tu (I have omitted Spanish punctuation marks because they sometimes appear as fuzzy characters on my Amazon reviews.)

Pimsleur Spanish has an extremely fun method to learn Spanish. Not only is it fun but also quite effective. The speakers are also all natives with excellent pronunciation. The sound quality of the lessons is also excellent. The course also comes with a small booklet to give the student an introduction to reading Spanish.

Although it is one of the best Spanish courses that I have ever reviewed, it is not worthy of 5 stars. I say that for two reasons. For one, with 15 hours of recorded audio, Pimsleur Spanish provides the student with very limited grammar and even less vocabulary. The student only learns two verb tenses. The present verb tense and the present perfect tense. Actually, three if you include the imperative. In my professional opinion, with 15 hours of recorded audio an adult of average intelligence is capable of learning several times as much vocabulary and grammar than what Pimsleur I covers.

The second reason why I cannot give Pimsleur Spanish 5 stars is because the Spanish is not representative of the Spanish that Latin Americans actually speak or at least not the Latin American Spanish that is spoken today. In the first lesson "hablo Castellano" is taught. It is 100% correct to say that phrase but nowadays it is not how one would normally say "I speak Spanish" (unless you were really trying to impress someone). The same applies to Pimsleur's approach of teaching "encantado" instead of "mucho gusto." And "adios" is taught instead of "chao." With the exception of Mexicans, most Latin Americans today use "chao" for bye. Maybe "back in the day" we didn't -- but now we use chao.

I am still glad to recommend that you buy Pimsleur Level I because of its highly effective and fun teaching method. But don't count on it to teach you much grammar and vocabulary, especially not today's Latin American vocabulary. With that said CHAO.
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