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Pimsleur Comprehensive Spanish I on CDs

Title: Pimsleur Comprehensive Spanish I on CDs

Author: Pimsleur
Format: Audio CD
List Price: $345.00
Where To Buy

Sale Price: $217.35

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(Strongly Recommended)
Pimsleur Comprehensive Spanish I on CDs

Recommended: Rosetta Stone Language Software, a superb and effective system for learning a foreign language. Proven method and highly praised system.

Where To Buy This Item

Product Details:
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Pimsleur; 2nd Rev edition (April 1, 2002)
  • ISBN: 0743523571
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 11.5 x 2.0 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 21 reviews.

Spotlight Reviews

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful:

Not Castilian - What Happened ?, March 1, 2004

Reviewer: Kirk Mower "Kirk" (Perth, Western Australia)

My CDs arrived and I was very excited and happy to start out. However, my Spanish wife had a listen and said "That's South American, not Spanish" -- eg. Gra-See-Ahs instead of Gra-thi-ahs. Now, I understand that there is a huge market for South American Spanish, but I bought this series based on the fact that they are supposed to be Castillian Spanish (from Spain). I love South America, hell I even like the southern drawl from the US, but I wanted to study the spanish accent from Spain, and I have been highly disappointed with this product's representation. Perhaps Pimsleur should sell more than one Spanish edition, as the language is too rich -- and it is localized whether they want to hear that or not. These are not cheap, and you'd better know what you're getting -- definitely try this before you buy, do not buy sight unseen off this site like I did.

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:

Tbe Best Language Program - Don't Look Further....., March 28, 2004

Reviewer: jason_francisco "jason_francisco" (San Francisco)

This is the best language program I have found. I run on treadmill daily and have been trying all sorts of language program during my workout. Without naming Pimsleur's competitors by names, I found Pimsleur's instruction perfect for language challenged people like me. Prior to Spanish I, I completed Pimsleur's Brasilian Portugues I and II (in cassette tapes) and have no problem roaming around Brasil with my Pimsleur's Portugues (constantly got complimented by Brsailian of my "good" Portugese). I've just completed this Spanish I program. Pimsleur's standard of excellence continues and I enjoyed the program thoroughly and learned a lot.

I humbly disagree with some reviewers who stated that Pimsleur's Spanish program only offers "general" Spanish and not culture specific. I actually consider this as Pimsleur's strength. Firstly, I am planning trips to Argentina and Colombia. Never had interest to visit Mexico. If this program is Mexican specific, it will certainly be a big turn off for me. Secondly, if my experience with Pimsleur's Brasilian Portuguese is any good reference, even Brasilian Portugese has its regional differences, so the opportunity is tremendous that one can pick up more culture specific expressions when visiting the country. Thirdly, I did try the "Encantada" with my Mexican friends. Instead of laughing at me, they are extremely appreciated and impressed that I take the effort to learn their language, albeit a bit gringo stype. So, Castellano de Gringo actually wins points.

Again, bottomline, go buy this program. This is the best investment you can do for your social life. -:)

Customer Reviews
Avg. Customer Review:

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful:

A great way to learn Spanish, May 28, 2003

Reviewer: Quentin Appleby (Germany)

To be sure, you'll need more than this 30-lesson set to speak Spanish fluently. However, in terms of laying the foundation quickly and easily, I don't think Pimsleur can be beat. I found I had to listen to each lesson from 2 to 5 times before moving on. These CDs really allow you to focus on your pronunciation, accent, and rhythm. I have already received compliments from native speakers and I owe it completely to Pimsleur! This set is especially good for commuters.

Highly recommended!

178 of 181 people found the following review helpful:

Start Here Before Spending the Big $$$, July 10, 2003

Reviewer: David H. Peterzell, Ph.D. (San Diego, CA United States)

There is little doubt that The Pimsleur CDs for Spanish I will get you off the ground and learning Spanish painlessly (if not exactly rapidly). If the thought of learning Spanish while being stuck in rush hour traffic, or driving across country, is appealing to you, then Pimsleur is the good stuff.

Having said that, I think it pays to be aware of a few things before making the Big Purchase.

Because the price tag for these CDs is high, you might find it helpful, as I did, to try Pimsleur's "Quick and Simple" set of CDs for Spanish first. Those CDs duplicate (with minor differences) the first 8 lessons of the Spanish I collection. So if you wish to be cautious, that is probably the best way to get started with Pimsleur products, rather than buying the more expensive, more comprehensive products right away. You'll get a sense of whether this is the route you want to go if you want to learn more Spanish.

Whether you start with the Spanish I package, or the Quick and Easy CDs, you will be exposed you to the heart of what makes the Pimsleur method unique and painless. The approach is based on (1) The Principle of Anticipation (a mastery technique that is different than rote recall), (2) Graduated Interval Recall (an approach that provides new stuff to memorize at optimal intervals), (3) Core Vocabulary (an efficient, optimal selection of a small number of key words that you need to know, as opposed to an extensive vocabulary), (4) and "Organic Learning" (learn speech, eg sound, rhythm, intonations, as opposed to a bunch of textbook gramatical rules). I should add that there's something subtly humorous about the content of the CDs, so if you have a sarcastic or wicked sense of humor, you won't be totally bored.

Like many, I found the approach efficient and useful, and I had lots of fun with the CDs as I drove around town blathering away in Spanish.

But it is worth emphasizing that Pimsler is not the only game in town. There are other very high-quality competing approaches (e.g. Platiquemos Spanish), that are generally less expensive. On Platequemos, for instance, the speakers sound like they are from Central and South America, and one gets the impression that they are teaching a version of Spanish that is useful in the Americas.

I think it pays to be aware that with Pimsleur you are learning a very general form of Spanish that does not always play well in some Spanish-speaking counries. In the lessons, for instance, you are quickly instructed to say "Encantado" (pleased to meet you) after meeting someone. When I mentioned this to some Mexican friends, they just laughed and said "you probably won't get killed for saying that, but from know on just say 'mucho gusto' and nobody will get hurt!" A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!

The culture-specific meaning of some words is a big issue. Take words like "familia," "confianza," "amigo," "amor," and "tu." We may think we understand the implications of these familiar words, especially after learning a little Spanish, but newcomers are unlikely to understand their deep and subtle meanings within the context of (for example) Mexican culture.

So, I think it pays to learn phrases and code words from a specific culture or country that most strongly interests you (something you'll never get from plodding through the simple and general Pimsleur approach). To this end, there are books that often discuss a specific country's idiomatic expressions or slang. For instance, I've been interested in learning more about Mexico's version of Spanish, as well as its culture. I benefitted greatly from Boye Lafayette De Mente's book, "There's a Word For It In Mexico" (also marketed as "The NTC's Dictionary of Mexican Cultural Code Words"). In the case of Mexican Spanish and culture, Octavio Paz' "The Labyrinth of Solitude" is excellent, too. Travel guides for specific countries, such as the Insight Guides, often provide a few words of slang that are unique to specific regions.

It pays to have a fluent spanish speaker as a co-worker, friend and/or lover while you are learning from the CDs, as they might, on a good day, rescue you from whatever linguistic cliff Pimsleur sends you over. If you don't yet have a Spanish speaking lover, you may need to purchase some additional resourses, e.g. "Wicked Spanish", "The Lover's Dictionary," or "Hot International Phrases" to help you get into/out of trouble. And don't forget to buy every Shakira CD that has ever been recorded!

Don't be fooled by the $$ coupon that comes with the Pimsleur CDs. In my experience, a much better price can be found using Amazon.com.

Pimsleur's the Best, December 7, 2004
Reviewer: W. Dermody (St. Louis, MO USA)

Pimsleur's the best for learning to converse in a foreign language quickly. I had 2 1/2 years of Spanish in high school and 2 more semesters in college, but I could barely read and I could speak even less-- I spent too much time learning what a past-participle was or memorizing the vocabulary for every relative in my extended family. Pimsleur focuses on conversation.

I should mention, in an effort to try different things, I've also attempted to learn Spanish through Berlitz, Michel Thomas, Teach Yourself, Lonely Planet, and Living Language. All of these methods would have taught me more vocabulary than Pimsleur (Pimsleur's main weakness) had any of it actually stuck in my head... but it didn't. The Pimsleur method is superior to any of those competitors for learning to speak a foreign language.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Where to get the boot/script?, November 14, 2004

Reviewer: Paper Tiger "papertiger2000" (Seattle, WA USA)

My only complaint is there's no book or script. Many times i cannot remember what they are saying in CD until I look up a dictionary. I think it would be much more effective if it comes with book or script so that I can read through the conversation before and after listening to the CDs.

For those who said it comes with manual/book/script, where did you guys get them?

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