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*****= An all-time favorite
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***Pimsleur Language Course


The Complete Course I, Part A

Reviewed August 16, 2003.
Simon & Schuster Audio, New York, 2001.  9 CDs   
Available at Sembach Library (CD 438.3421 PIM V.1, P.1)
I didn’t find this exact course on Amazon, but there are several versions available at

I want to let everyone know that we have a new set of German CDs at the Sembach Library.  I like the Pimsleur Method, because they are very thorough.  Repetition is built into the system, so you don’t have to listen to the same lessons over and over.  You will get enough review just by listening to the whole series.

I’ve been listening to German tapes for years now, so I really didn’t need to start with the first set of this series, but there’s a part of me that likes doing things in order, so I started at the beginning.  Some of the sections at the beginning are laughably basic, even breaking words into syllables for pronunciation.  However, they quickly combine words into conversations and keep the programs interesting with variety, gradually adding new vocabulary in a way you can quickly grasp.

The focus on pronunciation is good.  I’m sure that listening to all this has helped mine, and what better way to pass time in the car or while doing housework?  All the other language learning tapes I’ve listened to, even the best ones, I need to listen to over and over in order to really retain what I’ve learned.  With these, that’s simply not necessary, which probably is all the more reason to check them out from the library rather than buying them to keep.

One interesting thing about the Pimsleur Course is that in this whole first set of 7 CDs (The other two are a User’s Manual and a section for Reading exercises), they only teach the formal “You” and “I” forms of verbs.  This keeps things simpler, and enables them to teach more vocabulary and simulate conversations.  It’s really quite brilliant.  Later, after you’ve gotten the basic ideas and some good vocabulary speaking German, it will be easy to add other verb forms.  I’m also a little clearer on when to use “Sie” and when to use “Ihnen” than I was before, since they’re staying simple.

We have three more CD sets the same size as this one, and I’m looking forward to continuing on.  The progress with these lessons seems a bit slow, but it’s so thorough that I’m learning more than I do in advanced grammar tapes that I quickly forget.
Review of the next set:
Pimsleur German 1B 

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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