The Pimsleur® Method: the easiest, fastest way to learn a new language. Completely portable, easily downloadable, and lots of fun. You’ll be speaking and understanding in no time flat! Czech Phase 1, Lessons 1-30 includes 15 hours of spoken language practice and one hour of reading instruction in thirty, 30-minute lessons. In the first 10 lessons, you’ll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more. You’ll be able to handle minimum courtesy requirements, understand much of what you hear, and be understood at a beginning level, but with near-native pronunciation skills.
In the next 10 lessons, you’ll build on what you’ve learned. Expand your menu, increase your scheduling abilities from general to specific, start to deal with currency and exchanging money, refine your conversations and add over a hundred new vocabulary items. You’ll understand more of what you hear, and be able to participate with speech that is smoother and more confident.
In the final 10 lessons of Phase 1, you’ll be speaking and understanding at an intermediate level. In this phase, more directions are given in the target language, which moves your learning to a whole new plane. Lessons include shopping, visiting friends, going to a restaurant, plans for the evening, car trips, and talking about family. You’ll be able to speak comfortably about things that happened in the past and make plans for the future.
Reading Lessons are included at the end of Unit 30 to provide you with an introduction to reading the Czech alphabet. These lessons, which total about one hour, are designed to teach you to sound out words with correct pronunciation and accent. A Reading Booklet to be used with the audio lessons is also included in PDF format.
"Pimsleur programs provide plenty of positive reinforcement that will keep learners on track, and we found that Pimsleur gave us more proficiency and confidence in speaking the new language than any of the other language programs we reviewed." (AudioFile magazine)
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Trouble burning onto CDS
I really like this program, but I would not advise downloading it. You cannot burn it onto CDS by lesson. You just have 16 hours to burn which starts and stops where it fits. I burnt it once, and some of the CDS did not work. Maybe they were defective from age or something. Either way, I had to burn them ALL again. I thought I had pieced together a working set. However the CDS did not quite match up right. So I went to burn it AGAIN. It would not let me, it thinks I am making mass copies and selling them. So now I paid over $100 for a language program that I have to listen to from my computer or phone, I can't play CDS in my kitchen player while I cook and clean downstairs. I emailed Pimsleur, and they didn't respond! It has been almost a week. I can't believe I paid so much for a non-tangible item that I can't get to work right, and has no customer service!
As to the actual language learning program, it does work. I could not keep up for 30 minutes a day, but I listen to it several times a week, and redo older lessons. It is true that I am learning it in a permanent and proficient manner. The actual language program itself deserves applause. I do not think if I had purchased the actual tangible copy I would have any problems at all. I was never able to keep up in language classes, and maybe it is just that I am more interested in learning Czech than Spanish, but I am finding my time learning Czech quite enjoyable. It moves very quickly, but since I am willing to redo lessons, now I can go through the first 2/3 of the first half and answer everything they ask me to say. It has been a few months. Perhaps I am far slower to learn than many people. When I get confused about things I look in my Complete Czech book or online. It would be nice if I had a Pimsleur book that matched the audio, but I don't really need it.
The language is really different than English. They don't use as many words as we do, some words are assumed. Like you say "Are American?" instead of "Are you American?". Or if you want to say "In the hotel" or "At the hotel" you just throw a "v" in front of the word for hotel. And then there are things where the word order is really different.To say "Not now", you say "Now no". It is not insurmountable, I just had to spend some time thinking about what the literal translation was and sort it all out in my head. Maybe other people would pick that up faster than me. When I got to the point where I could say "Where would you like to have something to drink?" I felt like I was really speaking Czech, and it started to get more intense.
When I try to study with just books, or books that have some audio, eventually I hit words I just don't know how to pronounce, and feel silly memorizing a word I can't say. Here I can't spell anything but I can think it and say it right. Now when I go back in my books and see words I can pronounce now, I know how to say them right.
Overall, I promote the program, but not downloading it. Order the program and wait for your hardcopy to arrive. Don't let the instant payoff of downloading and immediately having the information win unless you can play from your phone or computer directly in the areas you always want to be studying.