- Audio CD
- Verlag: Pimsleur; Auflage: 2nd Edition, Revised, 30 Lessons + Reading (1. März 2002)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0743518365
- ISBN-13: 978-0743518369
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 31,8 x 3,8 x 27,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 471.518 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Pimsleur German Level 1 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand German with Pimsleur Language Programs (Comprehensive, Band 1) (Englisch) Audio-CD – Gekürzte Ausgabe, Audiobook
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Dr. Paul Pimsleur devoted his life to language teaching and testing and was one of the world’s leading experts in applied linguistics. After years of experience and research, Dr. Pimsleur developed The Pimsleur Method based on two key principles: the Principle of Anticipation and a scientific principle of memory training that he called “Graduated Interval Recall.” This Method has been applied to the many levels and languages of the Pimsleur Programs.
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You will NOT be fluent after finishing Pimsleur German I. However, you will definitely have ultimate command of what you do learn. It will literally be a part of you the way English is. You will not be able to discuss politics or music, but you will be able to get directions, go to a restaurant, talk about what you've done, what you're doing, and what you want to do. If you do the lessons as suggested, you'll be able to do these things without having to translate in your head. In fact, if your experience is anything like mine, you might say what you want to say in German and then have to think about what you just said in English. It is both fascinating and exhilarating. This is the essence of what separates Pimsleur from buying a six dollar phrasebook with all of the same phrases.
If you want to know if spending this amount of money for this package is really for you, go buy one of the cheaper "teaser" Pimsleur German courses that only provide a few lessons. Better yet, see if your local library has it. If you like it, come back and buy this one.
Whether or not you stay with Pimsleur, use this as an adjunct to other materials. One of my biggest criticisms is that it is mostly a speaking-only program and has very little reading and no writing whatsoever. Also, an outline in booklet form of the vocabulary, grammar and techniques studied in each lesson would be nice for reviewing later.
Keep in mind, however, that when you begin Pimsleur, try not to look the words you hear up in a dictionary. Try to master the sound the way they sound to you first, or you will end up with an American accent.
Ignore the many complaints of price of this course. When you hear the quality of the recording, the professional speakers on this CD (4 different speakers, three native Germans and one American narrator), and realize the research that went into its design, you would expect it to cost much more. It is difficult to compare, but I would guess this course to be equivalent to about one semester of college German. The difference is in the focus. It is about getting as much useful language as quickly as possible, and the focus on travel vocabulary: How far to Berlin? How much does a beer cost (it's German, you have to have a beer!)? How do you get to Goethe Street, etc.
But where the course really shines, is how they've hidden the complex grammar of German in simple questions and answers. You learn the way a child learns his first language, by "feeling" what sounds right in a sentence. Each lesson is a strong challenge. Not hard enough to make you quit, and not easy enough to get boring, but keeps you reaching and concentrating. I believe many studies have found this delicate balance to be the most effective in language learning. I did most lessons two or more times with good results. They suggest moving on when you get about 80% of the lesson.
The course is read by native speakers, a man and a woman. Each has a slightly different accent. At first I found this disconcerting, which one is right? But just like in English, different people speak differently. So you kind of find an average and just keep trying to copy both of them. Keep a bottle of water next to your CD player, German works your throat!
After lesson 10, they start having reading exercises. They seem overly simple, only about 15 to 20 words lasting 3 to 5 minutes. But I found these exercises extremely helpful for troublesome words. I am a visual person, and so I "see" the words when they are spoken. This helped when I couldn't follow the pronunciation.
I am on lesson 24 of 30 and am starting to look into volume II. I hope it is as good.
Stick with this CD daily (30 minutes) and you will have the ability to have very simple conversations in German, order at a restaurant, buy gas, and ask for directions. Not bad for 2 to 3 months of minimal effort.
One last personal comment. I am not a natural at foreign languages, my mind works too hard translating and trying to get it perfect. This program forces me to move faster, to work within the blank space (which is carefully timed), just do my best and move on. This has been very helpful to make my brain "feel" the language. I am learning German, and I am having fun at it. I hope you will to.
How many people take language courses all through high school and even college only to find when it comes time to actually USE the language, they've "learned" it without the ability to SPEAK it?
This doesn't happen with the Pimsleur method. It forces you to respond, continuously moving forward, teaching you new things while reinforcing concepts learned earlier. The Pimsleur program is far superior to other audio methods in that it's not just repeating incredibly dull phrases over and over again. You interact with the dialogue. You have to THINK and it reinforces things learned earlier at just the right time intervals. A concept is reinforced more often right after learning, but these reminders become less and less frequent as time goes on and you learn new things. But then what you've learned previously becomes part of new concepts and vocabulary that keep getting put before you, reinforcing those concepts even more.
The Key is that you RETAIN the concepts and vocabulary and hence the ability to use the language. You learn correct pronunciation, as the program uses native speakers. You won't be tongue-tied, since you're asked questions in the program and you have to THINK about the answer. You THINK because the question might reference something from three or four tapes ago. You use proper grammar despite yourself because you're not thinking about grammar, you're learning the language the same way you learned as a baby - you're USING it.
Is there a down side? Of course. They're ridiculously expensive (HINT: check out the auctions), but have you priced an evening course at your local university lately? The books and materials cost alone would probably pay for these tapes.
The other down side is that as good as they are, you'll need to use other resources if you want to go past basic usage. The Pimsleur method will teach you the basics, but using it with other materials is easy and those other materials will be much less expensive. The other bonus is that you'll get much more out of them if you use them in conjunction with the Pimsleur program.
I have all four German sets (do yourself a favor and skip the fourth, BTW) and to be honest, I found the Pimsleur series to be the best for teaching you how to pronounce the language correctly. But it was much more useful with Russian than German, as German isn't that difficult for English speakers to pronounce. I'd guess that the Pimsleur discs for Chinese and other really difficult languages would be a lifesaver.
When I stumbled across a recommendation for the Pimsleur series, it piqued my interest. I had never heard of it before, so I did some research. It sounded very promising. The idea of verbal only instruction seemed intriguing, and being that I went through three years of HS Spanish managing to learn all the vocabulary and get As every semester yet cannot still understand a moderately basic conversation in Spanish, I figured why not try something new? I had read some raves and I had read some rants, but I also kept in mind there are some people who just have to learn from a book alone.
I WILL however offer this bit of advice. I had started an attempt to learn German some months ago, and I started out by learning the way to pronounce German properly as well as the spelling rules. I started this program at the point where I could read a passage easily (though not know what it was saying). Additionally, through the course of this program I made sure each lesson I wrote down all the new words I learned, as well as some practice sentences. It helps greatly in expanding your ability to write in German, and it also helps drill it in your head better. My Langenscheidt's German-English dictionary was my best friend. I also then would go on an online translation service and practice typing my sentences in German and then translating them to see if I got the jist of how to use the words and proper order. This may not always work, as those services aren't perfect and can screw up some things, but it's good practice. Additionally, when I had some questions as to why certain parts of a sentence came when they did, I consulted sites such as german.about.com and other resources, which were great.
Basically, if you take some initiative to do some self-study to get an even better grasp of the language and it's rules, you'll enjoy the program even more.
As for the program. I loved it. You start off worrying about if you'll be able to remember everything you learned, but you shortly see that the program is designed, as advertised, to refresh your memory every so often so you build upon an ever increasing vocabulary and knowledge of the language.
I certainly wouldn't worry about not being able to learn tons of vocabulary through this program. It's true you won't learn lists of vocabulary words. Definitely not. However, what you DO learn is a strong structure to use vocabulary words IN. It's useless to have a knowledge of 500 German nouns if you can't say what you exactly want to buy or eat and so on. People who are outraged and say it's a rip off because you don't learn tons of vocabulary miss the point of the program.
I'm ready to move on to German II, and can say that German I met all of my expectations and then some. I walked away knowing far more than I thought possible from a thirty day timespan. It was so encouraging and so much fun being able to start saying a number of things in German. I was even able to write a basic letter to a friend in Switzerland after about fifteen lessons. For many lessons I repeated it twice a day to drill it in. By all means, pause the CD player each time you feel you need an extra second or so to think about a response so as to not get nervous and forget or mess up. It works great, and then if you play it a second time around you'll be able to answer even faster and may not even need to pause, but pausing is your friend, as is the rewind button to re-listen to a command, which I found necessary when it gets to the point you're commanded in German.
I would look at the entire Pimsleur series as an excellent start to your language education. By the time you finish you will have a very solid core on which you can then set out and persue even more advanced material. You will certainly be able to say a lot with what you do learn. If you want, a wonderful idea would be to get a book of German nouns or German verbs and practice those each day as well, so you'll be expanding on your knowledge even more.
I'm an extremely skeptical person, so it was a leap of faith for me to put my trust and such a large amount of money into this program. But, the saying is true, you get what you pay for. You could indeed pay $50 for a textbook, but I think after thirty days you'll find you're far from the level where you would be with this course.
If you get over the notion that it is impossible to become fluent in a language easily and in a short amount of time and believe in what Pimsleur sets out to do, you'll walk away a very satisfied customer. I know I did, and I'm extremely excited to continue on with German II and German III. After that point I will continue my German education through advanced books, news, and other material. Your language learning experience is what you make of it. With Pimsleur as part of your curriculum, you'll get where you want to be while having fun and feeling encouraged.
With Pimsleur, which is an audio only program, you hear conversations that will impart essential words, phrases and concepts. And they are repeated (and asks you to repeat) in such a fashion that it sticks. For example, it was weeks ago that it introduced "How much do I owe you?" yet I still remember it. (Wie viel shulde ich Ihnen?--No, I didn't cheat and look it up!) Pimsleur is brilliant in the way it gradually builds your knowledge and abilities. Of course, it isn't perfect as it doesn't explain the grammar. But neither does Rosetta Stone. That's why software language learning programs should be seen as supplements--supplements to classroom or private instruction. However, if you want to go exclusively with a software program--get Pimsleur. With Rosetta Stone, you won't even learn how to ask for something to eat or drink, or where the bathroom is, or even how to say Hello!
So how exactly does Pimsleur work? For a technical explanation you could Google Pimsleur and get a better answer than I could give. But here's what you get: each level (I bough the whole package: Levels 1,2,3 and a bonus 4th level) contains 30 half-hour lessons, except the bonus level, which I think has 10. You do each lesson until you feel comfortable going to the next (you are told that you do not need to master each lesson; if you feel that you can do 80% of what the lesson asks of you, it is time to move on). I think this 80% rule is smart--you don't expect yourself to be perfect, so you don't get bogged down. I found that I do each lesson twice, and on occasion have done a lesson three times. What does the lesson ask of you? The lesson typically starts with a very short conversation spoken by two Germans, then breaks it down. All the time you are repeating things--an English speaker guides you along the way, and eventually a German speaker will ask you to do things, but the English speaker is always around to clarify something new or explain a nuance. And then the lesson goes beyond the initial conversation and introduces new words, phrases, and concepts, sometime adding to what you've learned before, sometimes reinforcing what you've learned before: It mixes it up in a way that keeps your interest, so it doesn't become rote. There is a good balance between English and German spoken on the lessons, unlike Rocket Languages where there is way too much English spoken with cutesy-pie encouragement. Even the little things Pimlseur does well. For example, instead of endlessly repeating numbers in order to teach numbers, you'll learn the numbers in context, such as learning how how to say "Give me ten Euros." I found that this is far more effective than just trying to memorize words.
Of course, a software program is a supplement. Pimsleur will definitely get you speaking, and maybe even enough to get around on a trip to Germany. But if you're seriously interested in studying a language, it's not enough. For example, it's left a mystery why a word has certain endings in one context or another. It takes a textbook or a teacher to explain the German cases. (For example, my mother = meine Mutter, with my mother = mit meiner Mutter). All Pimsleur will do is have you note the different sound: meine, meiner. It doesn't explain why.
Note: I purchased a download, not the CD's.