March 10, 2013
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication Date 2001
Price $335.00 for all 90 lessons; $119.95 for 30 lessons
Skill Level Beginner, Intermediate
Russian was the first language I studied as part of this language project. I had never even heard of Pimsleur until I came across the Pimsleur Russian CDs at the New York Public Library (Mid-Manhattan Branch) at 40th Street and Fifth Avenue. I quickly became enamored of the product.
Pimsleur Russian is an amazing self-study tool consisting of oral lessons in which you are prompted to say various things in Russian, sometimes randomly, sometimes as part of a dialogue, sometimes translating from English, sometimes just answering questions posed to you in Russian.
For the most part, it’s varied and interesting, but there is also a lot of repetition. There has to be, or you won’t learn the stuff, but it can sometimes make you feel a little batty.
For Russian, Pimsleur offers a total of 90 roughly half-hour lessons. If you are trying to learn the language, I would recommend this product with great enthusiasm. It is like having a class focused on you rather than you and 19 other students. I did all 90 Pimsleur Russian lessons and found them extremely valuable.
I borrowed the CDs for free from the library, but the problem with borrowing from the library is that you don’t get to keep the stuff for when you want to review later. As of this writing (early 2013), the cost of 90 Pimsleur Russian lessons in MP3 format is $335. I know that’s not cheap, but in my opinion, cheap doesn’t get you good audio lessons. You can buy those off the Pimsleur website. You can also buy substantially smaller numbers of lessons for smaller amounts of money, through Pimsleur or even through iTunes.
One caveat: the Pimsleur approach could be frustrating to people for whom language-learning is a challenge. This is even more true for languages such as Russian, which has substantial grammatical differences from English, than in a more familiar language such as Spanish. However, for the highly motivated and/or linguistically adept, it is a valuable resource.
To see if it suits you, try out a free lesson on the Pimsleur website.