13 June 2006

In response to ondrej's comment from January

In January, ondrej asked me about the differences between Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone.

Sorry for taking so long to reply.

I can understand why it is difficult to find a comparison between the Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone methods. Each method has a very different goal in mind, so it would be impossible to say that one is better than another unless you evaluate them with a specific target outcome in mind.

The Pimsleur method focuses on listening and speaking. There are no illustrations or pictures for the lessons and very little text is available. You are not encouraged to use any text at all because the lessons are about listening comprehension and correct pronunciation.

The Rosetta Stone focuses more on reading, writing, and listening comprehension. There are photos to accompany the words and phrases that you are learning; you must use the pictures to determine what the text is communicating because only Russian is used when learning Russian. There is no English to guide you through the lessons. This takes some analytical skills and sometimes a lot of thinking. However, you are not learning how to communicate in a conversational manner (as you do with the Pimsleur method). I have learned a lot of syntax and vocabulary from Rosetta Stone, but I could not use it to communicate with a taxi driver, for example.


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