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Thread: Review of Audio learning methods...

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    Aaa
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    Review of Audio learning methods...

    I got the Pimsler CDs, in my opinion so far they are *excellent*. I really like the format, the "teacher" speaks and directs you in english, but your comparative speakers (one male and one female) are native speakers who speak quickly, but they slow it down and do syllable by syllable for the hard words. They slip in some review in the middle of learning something else, just to keep you on your toes. And they push you on the pronunciation and stress. They suggest NO side materials or written materials while you are learning to speak the language, and I have to say I agree, I'm internalizing it much better this way.

    Has anyone used Pimsler or any of the other audio learning methods? Do the other ones do it the same way as Pimsler? I find I'm only missing the written word in a very tiny minority of cases, ones where I'm missing a very softly spoken unstressed consonant, like the "n" in "ochyen harasho". I was skeptical before I got it, but now I'm hooked. I figure I'll work my way through the whole thing (while driving to and from work), THEN check the spellings of the words I've learned, maybe after I've gone through each ten CDs or so.

    Plus, if you drop the book and stick to the sounds, you recreate the proper sounds much better. I find I'm producing last sound of the ya form of the verb as something halfway between yo and yoo without even thinking about it. I'm just copying the voices on the CDs.

    Anyone else want to chime in?

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    Aaa? Aren't you that guy that Mike got into an argument with about bathing? Anyhow, I've never tried Pimsleur, but I have a rather low opinion of it. You only need to look at one of the threads titled "Help with Pimsleur" to understand why.

  3. #3
    Властелин
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    Aaa? Aren't you that guy that Mike got into an argument with about bathing?
    Did you mean this thread? http://www.masterrussian.net/mforum/vie ... 7049&#7049
    Though, it seems, it was scotcher with whom Aaa got into an argument.
    "Happy new year, happy new year
    May we all have a vision now and then
    Of a world where every neighbour is a friend"

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    I have seen a few audio methods and Pimsleur was by far better than those however I am always ready to hear about any other good product. Learning a language will enrich anyone's life. Don't be put of by the "Language Elite" (IE Pravit, Dogboy and some others) the "Aristocracy" of Language Learning. To them those of us who use the "crass" and unseemly Pimsleur will always be considered "Just the Nuevo Rich" to them. We will never be able to drink out of the same punch bowl as them at their Fancy Dress balls. They will always mock our taste in fashion behind our backs, simply because we do not use the right tailor. And because the horses that pull the carriage that awaits them outside are sired by the right stud and have all the correct papers and we showed up in a dray pulled by 14 Shetland Ponies.. No my friend, we will never be accepted by the Leaders of Language Learning, these Titans of Tongues. But if you insist on being accepted and using the Pimsleur Method may I suggest that you do it by renting a cheap hotel room in an obscure part of town while disguised as a busboy and lock yourself in there with two packs of Marlboro Reds and a Sony Walkman and study in secret. For it will do you no good to "come out of the closet" at this point in time.
    But I do agree with this posting by Dogboy:
    http://masterrussian.net/mforum/viewtop ... p+pimsleur
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    Alas! That was pretty good, DDT. But seriously, every time someone comes here saying they couldn't find "pobevich" in their dictionary, I shake my head and sigh.

    And besides that, it's expensive.

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    Pimsleur . . . aaaaaakkkkkhhh!!! Hubby bought it and tried out a few words on our Russian teacher, and she didn't understand what he was trying to say. I simply parrot what the teacher says from the book and it seems that my accent is coming out pretty good for one who was born deaf and has a distinct speech pattern when speaking her native language, English, such that sometimes people at first have a hard time understanding me. Go figure . . .
    a.k.a. Nina Karlovna (my church name; patron saint is St. Nino of Georgia)

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    Another good one, Lola. BTW, out of curiosity, how many people on this forum who have used Pimsleur extensively can actually speak Russian at a decent level? I want proof!

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    DDT
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    PImsleur won't make you fluent but it will give you a good working base to build on or enough Russian in order to move there and get by until you become fluent. Also it will give you good pronouciation (usually) .....at least Russians that I have spoken with did not have to keep asking me to repeat things. I think the programme needs to be three times as long, nine levels instead of three.
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    Aaa
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    The pronunciation is coming naturally to me now, with Pimsleur. You don't have to try as hard, or even think about it, you end up parroting so much that it sticks. The vowels and consonant clusters aren't hard anymore, they make it easy.

    However, it does take a bit of a linguistic detective to go back and figure out how to WRITE what you've said. One thing that would help Pimsleur immensely would be a written transcript of the tapes. But that would probably defeat the purpose, some people would read them beforehand or during. You should only read them AFTER, and not after every lesson, maybe after every 5 or 10 lessons. Reading before would kill the learning process.

    If you're starting from nothing at all and not going to go to a class (just do it on your own), I'd say go ahead and buy the $39.95 set of the first ten lessons. I didn't at first, and got all sorts of misconceptions about pronunciations. I knew how words were written and conjugated, but it was something that evaporated quickly. The spoken version sticks better.

    Think about it, how much do you remember of high school social studies, mostly learned from the book? You forced yourself to memorize it, maybe something like the list of all the presidents, at one time. I can't remember it now. Compare that to the words of Blondie's "Rapture", which I also forced myself to learn. I still remember it, because I said it out loud.

    The other good thing about CDs is that it takes NO EFFORT. By that, I mean just put the thing on when you're in the car. If you don't have a lesson down, just repeat it, you'll get it. Book learning can't be done while driving, you have to intentionally set aside time to do it.

    Anyway, thanks for confirming that Pimsleur is probably one of the best of these. I'm going to run through that system, then probably buy a classroom textbook on Russian. Any suggestions on that?

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    Pimsleur may help you learn pronunciation of basic phrases in the beginning, so I will concede that it is a language-learning supplement that may help a bit. I would definitely not use Pimsleur alone in any stage. As for setting aside time to learn a language, how else do you expect to learn a language if you do not learn it intensively? I have never heard of someone who achieved proficiency in a foreign language without learning it intensively, either by actually going to a country where the target language was spoken or dedicating lots of time to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    P I have never heard of someone who achieved proficiency in a foreign language without learning it intensively, either by actually going to a country where the target language was spoken or dedicating lots of time to it.
    An excellent point. I'm sure you also meant that even if you go to the target language country one would still have to devote a certain amount of time and energy in order to learn the language.
    I think what Aaa is saying is that you can use Pimsleur as with many (not all) audio tools while you are doing something else ie riding a bicycle or horse, running, exercising , sweeping the driveway, raking the leaves and of course while you are supposed to be having an important diiscussion with your girlfriend about where your relationship is going.
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    Aaa
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    ..

    What about Rosetta Stone? My father-in-law tried that, he didn't like it. Has anyone used both Rosetta and Pimsleur, can you give a comparison?

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    Tried both. Liked Pimsleur more, but it does not stand alone.

    To improve my learning, I tried to find all the words in the dictionary (to make sure to get the written part as well), but it needs more support. It is OK for the audio part of a course. Not great but OK.

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    Aaa
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    My father-in-law is doing Pimsleur now for Spanish, he likes it a lot better than the other one. My secretary's doing it, too, and one of my employees has his mother doing it, learning English (from French).

    The consensus so far is that it's great for speaking and responding, and for the accent. But, you need to supplement to get a full vocabulary (they concentrate on mastery as opposed to size of vocab), to read and write, and to fully understand the grammar. (However, there's dozens of good books for that for any language, but Pimsleur's the only decent one for the spoken part.)

    I wish Pimsleur added a few vocabulary-only CDs, i.e. it has a word on it repeated twice, then another in the same topic, going through a list of hundreds of words. And the CD is meant to be played dozens of times. Their regular CDs are meant to be played 2 or 3 times, but only add a half dozen words at a time. If you've ever seen the Muzzy series of videos for kids, they have a separate vocab video with a lot of words.

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    and what about Assimil?
    did anyone here know it or even try?

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    fx
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    I have done all three volumes of Pimsleur Russian (90 tapes in all) and for accents and basic fluency, they are just great. Of course they cost an arm and a leg, but for the scope they adress, this is very high quality material.

    A friend borrowed them from me before he went to Russia. All he wanted was to have 100 words or so to get around town. He found it extremely helpful and was able to perform basic tasks in shops and asking for opening hours etc...

    I also tried the Georgetown University Russian programme ("Modern Russian") but it is not geared towards self-study, although there are many good tapes and the scope is much larger than Pimsleur.

    Just my two cents!

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