LANGUAGE APPS REVIEWS
Pimsleur Russian Course Manager
Simon & Schuster
beginner to intermediate
According to the Pimsleur website, this app is a “scientifically proven set of principles designed to take a learner directly to the heart of the language.” It promises to “eliminate noise, confusion, and information overload.” Therefore, Pimsleur starts every lesson with a short dialogue, after which the listener is prompted to say something in Russian. After a brief pause in the recording, a native speaker will state the “correct” answer in Russian, so that learners can compare their answers to those of a native speaker. The app also utilizes spaced repetition to help memorize vocabulary — listeners are periodically asked to repeat content that has been covered in past lessons.
Though Pimsleur is quite an investment, it was worth it for me as it helped me reach a basic communicative level in Russian. As it is audio-based, you are more likely to improve your listening and speaking skills over your writing skills. Note that Pimsleur is for beginners: it will only get you to a basic level in Russian, and will leave you with a useful though limited range of vocabulary.
Conor Clyne has lived in 8 countries and travelled to over 70 in the past 15 years. Although not talented at all with languages in school, he subsequently learnt or is currently learning to speak 12 languages, including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Romanian, Irish, Ukrainian and Catalan, in addition to, his native English. Inspired by the other polyglots who participated at the first Polyglot Conference in Budapest in 2013, Conor subsequently started his own website and YouTube channel called "Language Tsar" at www.languagetsar.com.
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