Pimsleur Korean review
By Gerrit du Plessis
Pimsleur Digital Korean Phase I – $173.27 (audio download) Pimsleur Digital Korean is much cheaper than their old CD version, however it’s still much more expensive than Rocket Korean. But that’s not the biggest problem with this. Pimsleur Korean is completely audio-based, with no written components at all.
The philosophy behind this is simple: we all learned our first language by listening to it, so we ought to be able to learn a subsequent language the same way. And if you’re studying a language with close ties to English, such as French, Spanish, Italian or German, this may not be that much of a stretch. But with a language that sounds nothing like English, with no words or syntactical structures in common with anything we’ve ever heard, it’s very hard for us to simply listen to it and isolate what we’re hearing. It just sounds like noise.
I have to admit that I’m a very visual person, but in order to make anything of such a complex language, I’d need some visual cues – in other words, something I can read. And because I’m a very logical person, I need to have grammar and sentence structure explained to me – I’m not going to pick it up from just listening to it. And finally, as we’ve mentioned before, Korean has many completely different ways to say the same thing, depending on how polite you need to be. You’d never get this from Pimsleur. In short, even though it’s by far the most expensive program I surveyed, I would never learn Korean online this way, and consequently Pimsleur Korean came in at the bottom of my list.
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P.S. Have a look at Rocket Korean if you are looking for a fun way to learn Korean quickly.