Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone – Overall Breakdown
Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone
Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone – the age old question, which method is better? Which one promises more? What’s the fastest and most efficient method of learning another language? Don’t fret. In this writing, I break down the pros and cons of Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone. You want to learn a language, but you don’t want to shell out a ridiculous amount of money. You want to travel and see the world – without letting a language barrier get in your way.
The Pimsleur method was created by Dr. Pimsleur, who believes that in order to learn a language, one needed to simply hear it, and understand how conversation works. When we were children growing up, we learned our language by listening to our parents speak it. Dr. Pimsleur believes the same could be achieved with learning a second or third language. The Pimsleur method is a series of audio MP3’s that can be thrown onto your MP3 player or phone, and you can just listen to, practice, and enjoy the lesson, for just 30 minutes! Imagine that, no textbooks, expensive classes, or painful deep end immersion into another culture – just listening to the audio, 30 minutes a day, and BAM! You know Spanish/French/Italian!
The price is right and the promises of the method seem great. But does it live up to the promises and hype? On the Pimsleur method website, it says that you can learn to speak the language in as little as 10 DAYS! Is this too good to be true? You bet! Read the fine print guys, it says you can have a simple conversation, order food, and ask for directions. Nothing more! While this is enough to get you by when you’re visiting France, Italy, or Japan, the Pimsleur Method simply isn’t enough if you’re looking for full mastery of the language.
The other downside is that Pimsleur method has a very limited resource for READING the other language. You may be able to speak it, but to read it is a completely different story, and Pimsleur unfortunately does not accommodate this. How do you expect to order food, when you can’t even read the menu?? 10 days my ass!
Named after an Egyptian tablet with three different languages on it (Hieroglyphic, Demotic, and Ancient Greek) – all saying the same thing. This stone allowed our modern day linguists to decipher the stone and understand hieroglyphics. The age old and time tested stone is also the name of one of the most popular language learning series out today – Rosetta Stone. The software includes a bunch of different games and slowly introduces newer vocabulary after a certain set of words has been learned. There are several different levels of each language (so they can suck money out of your pockets faster!). When you’re learning a new language with Rosetta Stone, you’re bound to learn much slower than Pimsleur, but you can learn at your own pace and repeat lessons if they don’t sink in. If you’re on fire with the first several lessons and picture matching games, then you’ll be just fine using Rosetta Stone.
The only downside is the price. Spanish level I and level II both cost roughly the same. It’s 3-4 times more expensive than Pimsleur method. However, you get a more concrete understanding of the language, and are able to learn to read while you’re learning to speak. You get three clues when you’re using Rosetta stone – a picture, a word, and a sound. By learning in this method, you better solidify the word in your head.
The only downside is with languages that aren’t phonetic – like Japanese or Thai – the reading is a million times more difficult. You’ll see the words and have an extremely difficult time seeing the word and pairing it with a sound.
Overall, you’re much slower to learn, but you’ll have a stronger vocabulary, and you will be able to read things here and there. Will you become an expert after completing level 1? Probably not, but you’ll have just enough reading and speaking skills to get by if you’re visiting for a week or two. If you want complete mastery and fluency in the language, you’ll either have to complete levels II, III, and IV, or immerse yourself into the culture in order to fully understand it. Either way, you’re going to spend a ton of travel bucks, or a ton of Rosetta Stone bucks.
When it comes to Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone – I’ll have to go with Rosetta Stone. Although it’s much slower paced, you NEED to know how to read that language. How on earth are you going to order food from a restaurant if you can’t read the menu? Pimsleur method is great if you need to learn FAST, but I go for full understanding rather than getting by the easy way.