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Any additional comments?
I took German starting 7 years ago, but only took about 1 1/3 semesters (during the second semester I dropped due to large courseload, couldn't spend so much time memorizing). In the interim I've had 6 years of very little contact with the language so it's been stagnating and detiorating in my head. Still, starting here at the beginning was the right decision, though it requires patience because this course moves pretty slowly and I'm often tempted to break the program and do multiple in a day. I'm through 11 now and haven't fallen to that temptation yet, and I really appreciate this experience.
Talking feels very natural, and the words feel more deeply ingrained in my mind. Allocating about 28 minutes each morning to this isn't very disruptive, and even though I don't have a chance to reflect back much on the morning's lesson it's well developed so that I can carry along where I left off the next day. Of course, this is coming from someone who isn't encountering the language for the first time, so keep that in mind.
There are two speakers which is really helpful. That way if you don't feel like you sound exactly like one of them, but when you hear the other one speak you can figure out in what ways they are the same and different, figuring whatever is the same is probably important to sounding fluent, or even understandable.
Compared to my brief experience with Rosetta Stone, which I had tried out but only stayed with about 10% of the way through the full program (for another language besides German) which is comparable to where I'm at with Pimsleur now, I much prefere Pimsleur in terms of price and method. It's especially helpful that Pimsleur is designed for a certain amount of material each day and there is no question. With Rosetta Stone it wasn't clear where to stop and it's easy to overwhelm yourself, or not do enough, or even skip days. This program really helps to keep a discipline.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to German Phase 1, Units 1-30 again? Why?
The German Phase 1 lessons provide the language center of your brain a good beginner's introduction to German. It's one of four languages I've used in the Pimsleur series, some for initial training and some to review past training. I occasionally come back to these for a refresh. Not only is there audio. Pimsleur produces texts to accompany these lessons and Audible makes those available as PDF files, but it makes them difficult to find, leading me to ding this Audible product offering by one star. See directions below, under additional comments.
What other book might you compare German Phase 1, Units 1-30 to and why?
The "story line" mirrors other Pimsleur languages at the same stage: "excuse me, where is the hotel...", "good morning", "how are you, sir", "a beer please". Since you encounter authorities before you reach friends, it starts by getting you comfortable with formal pronouns, later introducing familiar forms. Most importantly, you get an intuitive sense of the grammar, in addition to learning by explanations, a real strength of the audio approach. The PDF text, provided, but hidden by Audible, helps clarify spelling and reading subtleties.
Which scene was your favorite?
I'm amazed at the words and knack for the word order you can quickly pick up in the first few lessons, culminating with meeting people and exchanging essential pleasantries. From this base, the fluency grows.
Any additional comments?
Audible has done a surprisingly poor job alerting purchasers where to find the Pimsleur accompanying texts, used to introduce spelling and reading pronunciation of each Pimsleur written language. They do not show up at all on the Audible app shop nor in the web view of your library. For now, it's much too easy for an Audible customer to erroneously assume the essential, included tools are excluded from the Audible purchase. This inexplicable Audible gaffe is repeated across the entire Pimsleur product line.
HOW TO FIND THE TEXTS*: Go to the Audible web site. Go to the page describing the product. Look for the copyright notice at the bottom of the publisher's summary. Look just above that notice for a link "Download the accompanying reference guide", a link to an oddly named zip file, which you can download. Open the downloaded zip file to find oddly named PDF files containing the Pimsleur accompanying texts. Whether you need to be logged in is unclear, since I'm able to download texts for a language I have yet to purchase. Happy studies and travels!
* Audible should soon make this note obsolete and contact me to update this review.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
I recently decided to relearn German after not trying very hard 30yrs ago at school. I deliberately started at the beginning to unlearn any bad habits. I found the repetition and the techniques they use to be very effective. I walk to work 1/2 hr each day and this is a good use of my time. So far I am at lesson twenty two.
The best lessons for me are when I try hard to visualize the conversation - acting out the conversation in my head with the speakers as well as speaking out aloud.
You do notice the change in gear going from lesson 19 to 20, but as they suggest, repeating the lesson a couple of times to get comfortable with it is all you need.
A helpful tip given in the introduction is to not get hung up trying to achieve 100% on each lesson. Because words and phrases are reused in subsequent lessons you get more chances to get it all correct.
The fun part is the 'anticipation'. This is used occasionally where you are asked to attempt a word or phrase that has not been spoken before but you apply the rules you have learnt to words you do know. When I guess right I get the extra buzz that makes the program really enjoyable, if I get it wrong I can immediately practice the right answer after the speaker.
Yes it is repetitive, but you know after a few lessons that the repetition is working. I am looking forward to finishing this first course as I will be travelling to Germany again soon. I have travelled there frequently but this time I know I am armed with a much richer vocabulary and understanding.
This is the most formal learning I have done for many years and I am finding it fun.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful