Michel Thomas vs Pimsleur method
Did anyone try them? Which do you think is better and why? (I consider buying one to add some more material to my studies)
Also what do you think of Rosetta Stone too? I took the "trial version" on android and was very disappointed, but I want to see your answers too (don't mention the price....I know how expensive it is)
Hi! I tried out one of the Pimsleur courses and I wasn't very pleased. Like most expensive courses, it claims to have a breakthrough method which can teach you a language in hours. It doesn't practice writing or reading, just listening and speaking. I found it quite slow and boring to listen to someone for half an hour talking about 5 words. It was a bit like Dora The Explorer: 'can you repeat the word'? 'what is the word for...?'.
I have not tried the Michel Thomas method yet. It claims that you learn a language the way you learned your own. Like Pimsleur it mainly practices listening and speaking. But listening and speaking a language are not the only parts. You had to learn how to read and write in your language too.
I won't even touch on Rosetta Stone.
I would recommend the Teach Yourself series or the Living Language series. They are both good alternatives. I have the Teach Yourself series and I am happy with it so far. It practices all the four core skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The Living Language series seems to be quite similar, but has less languages available.
I hope this helps:) If you have any more questions, feel free to ask me!
[ EDIT: SORRY. I mixed up the names of the softwares! The following does not apply. ]
Just yesterday I got a peek at a Living Language course—and a pretty old version—and I gotta say: Wow! I don't understand why it's not mentioned more often in the language learning communities! In-depth analysis of your input in speech, with different graphs, split up into fricatives and rhythm and what-not, my God!
Learning sentences, able to analyze words separately, dictionary pops up on the screen, save new words into a list for later review...!
I haven't tried it yet (I'm busy with French here now, I have a copy for Arabic), but the intro video blew me away.
That's probably the platinum version for $187:) I doubt the $40 version would have features like that.
Please forgive me, as I mixed up the software names... *rolls eyes at self*
Thanks a lot. I may give the "Teach yourself" series a go. I've heard a lot of good things about it and the price is very acceptable (hear that, RS?)
Thanks, I appreciate it.
Also, from what I've seen, the Michel Thomas method is not really meant to teach vocabulary or complicated grammar. It just teaches you the structure of the language, kind of like discovering an ancient language and decoding it piece by piece. It seems great for just starting a language, not getting fluent (obviously)
That's right. What happens if you do Michel Thomas first, is that you get a good understanding on how the language works, and so your learning from that point would be a lot easier. As for grammar, I've tried Michel Thomas German, and some of the sentences you get to say in the first 8 hour are:
- I'm going to stay home because I'm very tired (Ich werde zu Hause bleiben weil ich sehr müde bin). - CD 4
- I'm sorry but I cannot tell you now why I want to have it today (Tut mir Leid, aber ich kann Ihnen jetzt nicht sagen, warum ich es heute haben will). - CD 4
- I don't always have the opportunity to see it (Ich habe nicht immer die Gelegenheit, es zu sehen). - CD 5
- I would like to know at what time it will be ready today (Ich möchte wissen, um wie viel Uhr es heute fertig sein wird). - CD 6
- I'm calling you later in order to ask you if you can come with us tonight (Ich rufe Sie später an, um sie zu fragen, ob Sie mit uns heute Abend kommen können). - CD 8
In the Advanced German, you get sentences like:
- I would have wanted to do it (Ich hätte es tun wollen) - CD 2
- I think it would have been possible to do it that way if we had tried (to do it) (Ich glaube, dass es möglich gewesen wäre, es so zu tun, wenn wir versucht hätten [es zu tun]). - CD 3
On http://www.michelthomas.com/downloads.php you can get the booklets in PDF format, you select which one you want and so you can see the kind of sentences you will be able to produce once you have listened to all the course.
If Michel Thomas is available for the language you want to learn, give it a try. It doesn't teach you a lot of vocabulary, but it teaches you a lot of grammar in little time (it covers a lot of constructions in less than 20 hours). It's only audio, so you need other methods to increase your vocabulary and to develop your reading and writing skills, but that would be a lot easier once you have gone through Michel Thomas. Besides, you can go through both Michel Thomas and Pimsleur for your oral skills (even at the same time), and keep using Duolingo for reading and writing skills.
For Rosetta Stone, it can be good if you use it at the same time you use other methods, because it doesn't explain anything, but I think it could help you a lot learning a language without translating, but sometimes it can be hard to really understand some sentences if you don't know the grammar rules. For that reason, is why I recommend you to try Michel Thomas.
I worked through three French Pimsler series. It was a helpful experience, but I did not retain a lot. I listened to a little bit of the Michel Thomas' French series. The content may be good, but I was a bit disappointed with Michel Thomas' accent. He sounds more German or Polish than French. Nothing beats learning from a native speaker, in-person if it can be arranged.
At the beginning you shouldn't worry too much about the accent, that can be polished later using native material. It's more important to be able to understand and to express yourself, and I think Michel Thomas does it very well. Besides, he only produced courses for Spanish (my mother tongue), French, Italian and German (well, I'm not sure if the Portuguese course is his as well), the other courses were made after his death and use native speakers.
I liked the Pimsleur courses. I did all 3 Spanish levels and play them in my car in random order now just for practice. It's 30 minutes a day so for me the my work commute was the best way to listen to it. I wouldn't recommend doing more than 1 lesson in a row though because then it can get a tiring to listen to. Each lesson does repeat a set number of words but for me it helped me mesmerize them better and as you progress then the number of words and sentence increases. It does a good job of helping you pronounce the words correctly. It gets you speaking Spanish a lot faster but does not work on reading or writing spanish which is why I am now practicing with Duolingo.
I would not recommend Rosetta stone to anyone who would like to speak Spanish anytime soon. I have not tried Michael Thomas.
I don't think Rosetta stone is very good. Here is a link for a review Benny Lewis did for Rosetta stone: http://www.fluentin3months.com/rosetta-stone-review/
I generally think it's a waste of time because you can't possibly learn grammar (which is fundamental in language learning). Say for example, the Polish declensions which are extremely nerve-wracking as they are (with all kinds of logical explanations )
Speaking of which, are you Polish? Can you help me on things If I get confused from time to time? I'd really appreciate it. Hope to be fluent in Polish one day :-)
I think that the best is to use several methods, so you get the best of every one. Rosetta Stone is good for aquiring vocabulary without using your own language, but it's very limited about the grammar you can learn. For that, use another method. I would recommend Michel Thomas if it's available, only as a first step into the language, after that, or at the same time, you can use Pimsleur, and after you have done a few lessons of Pimsleur (or a complete level) complement it with other methods.
I actually do this but Rosetta stone doesn't have that much vocabulary and it's very expensive. I'd rather stick to Memrise for vocabulary (or anki, but I don't really use it)