The Best Way to Learn a Language? Rosetta Stone Vs Pimsleur Approach

So, the choice is clear: With little time for a foreign language class or tutor, investing in a language learning program seems like the best choice. But with so many choices available, which one is best for you? If you’re crunched for time, here’s what you need to know about the two most recommended language learning programs–Rosetta Stone and the Pimsleur Approach.

Rosetta Stone Vs Pimsleur Approach: How They Differ

While their price points may be similar, don’t be fooled: Rosetta Stone and the Pimsleur Approach couldn’t be more different. For starters, Rosetta Stone offers language learning by using the immersion method–by showing pictures, sounds, and phrases to which certain foreign words or terms are linked. The goal of the program is to immerse you into the language and the culture as much as possible to facilitate faster learning–and learn how to master the language.

In contrast, you won’t be immersed in a language’s culture with The Pimsleur Approach. The Pimsleur Approach is focused on fast, audio-based learning, so you won’t learn how to read and write in your preferred foreign language.

However, you’ll learn the basic vocabulary of a foreign language faster than Rosetta Stone thanks to something called graduated interval recall. This method repeats foreign vocabulary–and then requires you to repeat it–in timed intervals, first starting at 5 seconds, then eventually working up to minute, hour, and day intervals. As you repeat the phrase over and over again, it becomes indefinitely implanted into your mind, which increases your foreign language fluency.

Which Program is Better?

Comparatively, no program holds a true advantage over another; it all depends on your specific needs.

For instance, if you’re a busy traveler that needs to learn a language on-the-go, then you’ll appreciate the easiness of the Pimsleur Approach. All lessons are audio-based, so you can pop the lesson into a CD player to play while driving to work, flying to another country, or while you’re doing the dishes. There isn’t an interactive element to the Pimsleur Approach, so you don’t need to devote a lot of attention to it–something busy professionals will love.

If you’re looking for something a bit more intensive–such as if you expect full mastery of a language–then Rosetta Stone may be a better fit. People who use Rosetta Stone learn how to speak, write, and read their foreign language, so overall they learn more, although it can take more time and requires more effort to complete. If you have time to spare, then Rosetta Stone may be your best bet.

Why You May Want The Pimsleur Approach

If you fit the criteria below, than the Pimsleur Approach may be best for you:

• You’re a busy mom or professional.
• You want to learn the basics of a language that you can use to converse in day-to-day situations.
• You’re not a good visual learner.
• You like simple, straightforward programs.

If you fit one or more of the criteria below, than the Pimsleur Approach may be best for you. This program strips down the foreign language into a format that you can easily understand and grasp within days; you’ll also learn how to speak to “normal” people, instead of learning formal conversation that may not be applicable to day to day conversation.

You’ll also learn your new language incredibly fast, thanks to the graduated recall method. No need to spend years trying to improve your fluency–many people become proficient in their second language within months of using the Pimsleur Approach no matter if it’s used to learn Spanish, German, French or any language.

If you want to be able to truly master every aspect of a foreign language, remember, Rosetta Stone is best. But Pimsleur is best if you want to speak your second language like it’s your first language.

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