(Disclosure: I received the product mentioned below for the purpose of a review. However I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)
I have a mini-series of language CD reviews to kick off today. I was lucky enough to get these Pimsleur CDs for review and wanted to share my thoughts on them! I’ve mentioned before that I’d like to learn to speak German, as it’s part of my heritage. This is basically a crash course in conversational German, covering the basics you’d need to get around as a tourist–introductions, finding the hotel, making small talk with native speakers, etc.
The genius of the Pimsleur system is that it focuses heavily on mimicking native accents and pronunciation, so you really get a feel for how the language should roll off the tongue–something that I’ve always found difficult, if not impossible, with text-based learning. The set consists of sixteen discs covering 32 lessons, each roughly half an hour in length. Each lesson covers some new small piece of conversation and uses rote practice to help you get comfortable expanding your vocabulary.
I feel like German is one of those languages that takes a bit more “work” in the pronunciation department (as opposed to, say, Spanish), but this could be my American bias as I’ve lived a good part of my life in towns with a high population of native Spanish speakers, and I’m used to hearing the language even if I’m not fluent in it. Having native German speakers on the CDs really helps with this issue. I do think it would be nice to have printed accompanying materials since I probably couldn’t write down most of the words and phrases used, though. (You can find limited accompanying printed materials online, but I would probably supplement this with a phrase book if I chose to travel, simply due to the nature of the language.)
This is definitely a bit of an unconventional approach to learning a language, and it is 100% geared toward travelers or those who plan to travel soon and need to learn some conversational basics to get around. It’s a nice building block for me to learn some “traveler’s phrases”, and I can put it together with the other bits of German that I’ve been learning from phrase books. I’ll be using it as a stepping stone toward other language CDs and/or books to expand my vocabulary and grasp of grammar in the future.
You can find the Pimsleur German 1 CD set on Amazon here. I admit, I’m a bit of a glutton for punishment, as my dad would say–I decided to tackle not one but multiple language courses this summer. You can find my Pimsleur Spanish 1 review here; look for two more Pimsleur reviews later this weekend!
(I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.)