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Pimsleur Spanish Assessment: A Basic Audio Program That’s Hit or Miss

In case you’re a language learner, you’ve in all probability heard of the Pimsleur studying applications.

Even since 1963, these applications have been educating languages to hundreds of thousands of scholars all over the world.

However do they really work? Can you actually be taught Spanish with Pimsleur?

I’m a Spanish native speaker who teaches and writes about languages for a residing.

I do know a factor or two about language studying assets.

So, to jot down essentially the most informative and trustworthy Pimsleur Spanish assessment that I presumably can, I attempted the strategy myself to “be taught” Spanish.

This put up is the results of my week of studying my native language with this technique.


Pimsleur in a Nutshell: Execs & Cons

General, I found that loads of individuals shared the identical sentiments as I did for Pimsleur. Although there are many commendable options, even people who had sponsored opinions mentioned that it is a very costly program.

Execs of Studying Spanish with Pimsleur

  • No grammar studying. Ideas are acquired naturally by way of dialog
  • Wonderful technique to follow listening and talking
  • Dialogues in native Spanish
  • Simple-to-follow quick classes
  • Options core vocabulary that’s truly utilized in actual life
  • Excellent for absolute newbies with no prior information of Spanish

Cons of Studying Spanish with Pimsleur

  • Writing is totally neglected, and studying is virtually non-existent
  • Very costly programs
  • An excessive amount of English and little or no Spanish
  • Repeating syllables and single phrases time and time once more can get boring
  • No content material for upper-intermediate and superior learners

What Is the Pimsleur Methodology?

The Pimsleur technique is an audio-based program that focuses on listening and talking.

There are different abilities current right here and there, however the core of this system revolves round your listening abilities.

By having you hearken to and repeat what’s being mentioned, Pimsleur units out to show you a language in a pure, seamless method. And thru this context of conversations and listening workouts, you’re additionally launched to Spanish grammar and vocabulary.

The Pimsleur strategy was created by Dr. Paul Pimsleur, an influential scholar of utilized linguistics. After intensive analysis, he realized the significance of auditory studying in encouraging adults to attain comparable goal language acquisition as kids. This prompted him to develop the Pimsleur Methodology for language studying.

Although Dr. Pimsleur died unexpectedly on the younger age of 48, his work has lengthy outlived him and continues to be benefiting college students of a brand new language at the moment.

The primary Pimsleur programs have been written by Dr. Pimsleur himself, however after his dying, a number of extra have been developed primarily based on the educating rules he championed.

4 Rules of the Pimsleur Methodology

The Pimsleur technique is predicated on 4 rules:

Dr. Pimsleur’s Three Golden Guidelines

Other than these 4 rules, the Pimsleur technique is predicated on three golden guidelines:

  • No paper, no notes, simply pay attention
  • Full one 30-minute lesson a day
  • Reply aloud, not in your head

As you’ll be able to see, this actually is a technique centered on listening and talking, so if that’s the form of useful resource you’re searching for, carry on studying.

What Does Pimsleur Spanish Should Supply?

Laptop Software program and App

Although Pimsleur is sort of 60 years previous, it’s realized to adapt to the present strategies to be taught languages.

Initially offered within the type of cassettes (do you bear in mind these?), the Pimsleur technique is now out there each as an app and as a web-based language-learning program. And for the extra, let’s say, classically oriented individuals amongst us, you’ll be able to typically discover older editions of Pimsleur on CDs as properly.

You will get it for Home windows, Mac, Android and iOS, and you’ll even use it with Alexa

Castilian vs. Latin American Spanish

What I like about Pimsleur is that it has two separate Spanish programs, one for Castilian Spanish and one for Latin American Spanish.

Other than together with completely different accents, each programs differ within the content material of some conversations and the vocabulary used.

As a language trainer, that is in all probability the characteristic I respect essentially the most.

Free Welcome Lesson


Each language provided on the Pimsleur web site features a current: The very first lesson is totally free.

That is superior due to three principal causes:

  • You get to see how Pimsleur actually seems like as soon as inside
  • You’ll be able to determine whether or not the strategy is for you earlier than spending your cash
  • You’ll be able to determine whether or not your consideration span can deal with the half-hour time block

The free lesson has all of the options the remainder of the teachings embody, so that you’re capable of truly really feel what it’s wish to be taught Spanish with an audio-based technique.

Studying Classes

Whereas the Pimsleur programs are very audio-focused, they do contact on the written facet of language. 

This implies that you could enhance your capability to learn a e book in a brand new language, each by comprehending the textual content itself and permitting you to learn aloud from it if desired. 


It’s this sort of well-rounded studying that makes Pimsleur so useful, so take advantage of it!

30-day Cash-back Assure

Audio programs like Pimsleur may also help you communicate Spanish (or any overseas language) with larger fluency. They’ll even allow you to be taught Spanish through digital assistant or throughout your commute

However what if you happen to discover that they simply don’t be just right for you? 

There’s nothing to fret about since Pimsleur provides you an entire month to strive it out to see if you happen to prefer it or not. In case you don’t, you will get a full refund inside 30 days of your preliminary buy.

How A lot Does Pimsleur Spanish Value?

Pimsleur isn’t the most cost effective language studying program on the market.

In reality, if you happen to ask me, it’s costly for an audio course. To ensure it’s a superb match for you, make sure you make the most of Pimsleur’s 7-day free trial.

There are hundreds upon hundreds of free Spanish studying assets out there, however studying Spanish with Pimsleur is unquestionably not one among them. Listed here are all of the pricing particulars it’s essential to know, as of June 2022:

Pimsleur Spanish Solely Audio

This system presents 5 Spanish ranges with 30 classes every. That’s a complete of 150 full classes.

In case you go for the Pimsleur Spanish Solely Audio model of the course, your month-to-month subscription will price $14.95.

The Solely Audio course contains the teachings in MP3 or CD format (solely within the US), and the whole lot of the content material is totally audio-based.

Pimsleur Spanish Premium

It’s also possible to go for the Premium course. Pimsleur Spanish Premium prices $19.95 monthly.

Pimsleur Spanish Premium contains the Pimsleur Spanish audio classes plus a ton of further interactive instruments (see the “Observe” subsection beneath).

Actually, if you happen to determine that is the strategy for you, throw in a couple of extra bucks and go for the Premium model.

It features a little bit of studying and a sequence of workouts that may make your studying course of way more enjoyable.

Pimsleur All Entry

For aspiring polyglots that wish to be taught two or extra languages directly, there’s the All Entry subscription. 

For $20.95 a month, you get entry to the Pimsleur Premium model of all 51 language programs. 

If that is one thing you’re focused on, the worth is admittedly fairly good, contemplating that you simply get all of the Pimsleur programs for only a greenback extra monthly.

Pimsleur Spanish vs. Different Language Packages

If you wish to evaluate the price of Pimsleur with different Spanish applications, listed here are the pricing plans of a number of the hottest language applications on the market, together with Busuu and Rosetta Stone:

Busuu: Numerous month-to-month and yearly plans out there

  • Premium (month-to-month): $12.95/month
  • Premium (yearly): $5.95/month
  • Premium Plus (month-to-month): $13.95/month (all languages)
  • Premium Plus (yearly): $6.95/month
  • 14-day money-back assure

Rocket Languages: One-time purchases and installment plans out there

  • Particular person stage (1, 2 or 3): $149.95 
  • Ranges 1 and a couple of: $299.90
  • Ranges 1-3: $449.85
  • 6-month installment plan (for all three programs): $75.00/month
  • 60-day money-back assure

Rosetta Stone: Quarterly and yearly plans out there, plus choice for lifetime entry

  • 3-month subscription: $11.99/month
  • 12-month subscription: $7.99/month
  • Lifetime entry: $179.00
  • 30-day money-back assure

What Do Pimsleur Spanish Classes Look Like?

30-Minute Audio Lesson

pimsleur spanish review

The core of each Pimsleur Spanish lesson is the half-hour of audio every of them contains.

Classes begin with a dialogue in native Spanish.

The dialogue is then analyzed and translated, and it’s used as the premise upon which the lesson is constructed.

The vocabulary of every lesson is repeated, dissected and revisited a number of instances throughout these half-hour, and by the tip of the session, you’re supposed to recollect the brand new phrases and be capable to simply recall them when prompted.

  • Excessive-quality audio… primarily in English
    The draw back of those classes is that, aside from the dialogue at first, all you’ll hear is English and Spanish vocabulary uttered by a non-native particular person.
    The standard of the audio is excellent regardless of the longevity of the course, however the quantity of native Spanish included in every lesson may be very little.
  • Audio-only classes received’t allow you to work on different language abilities
    The Pimsleur technique is improbable for working in your listening, talking and conversational abilities.

    Nonetheless, particularly if you buy the audio-only programs, that’s nearly all the pieces you’ll do.

    I discovered abilities similar to writing and studying to be utterly ignored within the audio-only model of the course, and the Premium model solely covers studying superficially.

Abilitiespimsleur spanish review

Certainly one of my favourite Pimsleur options is the “Abilities” part, which, sadly, is solely out there for Premium learners.

On this part, you’ll be capable to see the abilities you’ll be engaged on throughout a lesson, and you’ll simply click on on or faucet every talent to see the phrases and expressions included in that class.

As an illustration, lesson 1 of the Castilian Spanish course contains 4 abilities: Hear + Perceive, Survival Abilities, Meet + Greet and Well mannered Phrases.

The good factor about Pimsleur abilities is that you simply’ll be studying extra of them as you go, and former abilities shall be getting “crammed” with new phrases and phrases as you full the teachings.

Observepimsleur spanish review

The final part of the Premium course is the one the place you’ll be able to lastly follow what you’ve realized. Higher late than by no means!

This part is split into 5 subsections:


1. Studying 

I used to be a bit misplaced after I first accessed the Studying subsection.

The phrases aren’t associated to the audio classes, and so they aren’t even translated. What sort of studying is that?

Nonetheless, after listening to the presentation of the subsection, it form of made sense.

Degree 1 of the course doesn’t embody actual studying. Full sentences are included afterward.

As an alternative, it’s an introduction to the sounds of Spanish.

You’ll have particular person phrases and phrases learn by a local speaker and also you’ll need to repeat them, listening fastidiously to the English directions every of them contains.

The aim is to show you find out how to pronounce Spanish appropriately, first by engaged on the sound of particular person letters, then letter combos and, lastly, phrases and sentences.

2. Flashcards


The Flashcards subsection is mainly that: flashcards.

You select which language you wish to see first (English or Spanish), and then you definately get flashcards with the core vocabulary of the lesson you’re doing.

Every flashcard contains the native pronunciation of the phrase.

For this one, I’d suggest evaluating Pimsleur flashcards to different widespread flashcard apps. As an illustration, the multimedia flashcards on the FluentU app embody picture and video, in addition to textual content and audio, to get vocabulary to actually stick.

This offers you a greater thought of whether or not Pimsleur’s go well with you or whether or not flashcards typically are a superb studying approach for you or not.

3. Fast Match


This train consists of 10 English sentences for which you’ll have to decide on the Spanish translation amongst 4 doable solutions.

The sentences are taken from the lesson’s dialogue, and you’ll pay attention to every of them earlier than selecting your reply.

4. Converse Simple


This subsection is meant to enhance your Spanish pronunciation, rhythm and accent, however I discover it a bit underwhelming.

What you truly get is a fraction of the lesson’s dialogue divided into sentences. 

You must pay attention to every sentence and repeat it after the audio.

It’s a bit like Spanish shadowing, besides it’ll solely take you a few minutes to finish the duty.

To take advantage of it, make sure you pay very shut consideration to the audio and mimic as lots of its nuances as doable.

5. Pace Spherical


I like to recommend you solely entry Pace Spherical after you’ve utterly digested the entire content material of the lesson as a result of this train is usually a bit annoying.

You’ll see phrases and phrases falling down your display and you must select their translation among the many selections you’re supplied.

I don’t fancy enjoying towards the clock, so this subsection is my least favourite.

Nonetheless, I admit it’s a great way to actually check your self and see whether or not you’ve mastered the lesson or not.

You’ll want to have the ability to assume on the fly when having precise conversations in Spanish, so this characteristic provides you an opportunity to enhance your abilities in that regard beforehand.

Bonus Packs

Each 5 classes you full grant you a free further deck of 30 flashcards to enhance your vocabulary even additional.

There are a complete of 180 further phrases/phrases per stage.

Who Is Pimsleur Finest For?

I like to recommend Pimsleur for people who find themselves simply beginning to be taught Spanish or have a really rudimentary information of it.

Moreover, ranges 4 and 5 can be utilized by pre-intermediate and intermediate college students as a refresher course.

Individuals who be taught greatest by listening to audio are the apparent goal of this course.

Nonetheless, keep in mind a lot of the language you’ll hear is English, with Spanish scattered alongside the way in which.

In case you’re a commuter or spend lengthy durations of time doing house responsibilities (or different duties that don’t require your full consideration), Pimsleur can also be a superb choice for you.

You’ll be capable to be taught Spanish hands-free whereas doing one thing else. 

That being mentioned, if you happen to’re an individual who wants to organize for an official examination, needs to follow writing and studying or enjoys textbooks, grammar and comparable assets, this isn’t the strategy for you.

Pimsleur is concentrated on listening and talking, and although the brand new “Observe” part provides enjoyable to the programs, Pimsleur continues to be a “survival abilities” technique and a method of changing into casually conversational with out having to review an excessive amount of Spanish.

If what you’re searching for is a complete technique to be taught Spanish, you’ll need to look elsewhere for one thing extra holistic like SpanishPod101.

FluentU is one other program that challenges all 4 language abilities, with the assistance of genuine Spanish media clips which have been made by and for native audio system.

This system’s primarily based on an analogous studying precept as Pimsleur—that one of the best ways to be taught Spanish is by publicity to native audio system. Movies include interactive subtitles that can assist you concurrently work in your listening and studying abilities. They’re additionally related to a video-based dictionary, so you’ll be able to click on on any phrase and uncover different clips that characteristic the time period.


After watching a video, you’ll be able to take a quiz to check your newly acquired vocabulary, plus your writing (typing) and talking abilities.

FluentU can also be out there as iOS and Android apps so you’ll be able to be taught on the go. 

You may additionally wish to pair Pimsleur with some good old school studying supplies like textbooks and grammar follow books to get that written, hands-on follow, or train your Pimsleur-acquired abilities with a language trade accomplice.

The Verdict: Is Pimsleur a Good Methodology to Study Spanish?

The quick reply to this query is: It is dependent upon what you wish to obtain.

In case your aim is to be taught a little bit of Spanish earlier than you journey to a Spanish-speaking nation otherwise you want a fast option to grow to be conversational in Spanish, then Pimsleur is an efficient technique. Costly, however good.

If, then again, it’s essential to actually be taught Spanish and also you’re searching for a complete language-learning program that covers all 4 primary language abilities, look elsewhere or complement this technique with different assets.

The extreme quantity of English, the dearth of precise studying and writing follow and the excessive worth of this technique are issues it’s best to undoubtedly keep in mind earlier than shopping for Pimsleur.

Nonetheless, I have to take into accounts there are lots of kinds of learners, and I perceive this technique is so widespread for a purpose: It’s the proper technique for audio learners.

So, all issues thought of, I can confidently label this one “Franko Authorised.”



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