Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Pimsleur Difference – Pimsleur Reviews

The signs are everywhere: to know and to have tried Pimsleur, is to love Pimsleur.
This passion people had for Pimsleur was immediately apparent to me as a new employee.  Several friends who congratulated me on taking the job had personal Pimsleur success stories to tell and, the Pimsleur reviews I read on Amazon and were raves, and of a very personal– “these courses changed our lives,”–nature.  And everyone who worked on Pimsleur treated it as far more than just a self-help commodity.
Pimsleur Reviews - Pimsleur Chinese Mandarin UserTwo weeks into the job I was the happy recipient of an offer from a philanthropist in Lexington, MA – the next town over from our offices in Concord—who knew Pimsleur and was passionate about language learning and what it could do for World Peace (a longer story).  He made an offer to donate $500,000 if Pimsleur would develop a course program in Pashto and give it away free to the troops in Afghanistan. That offer has blossomed with into over 23,000 courses in units of both Afghan languages, Pashto and Dari, made available at no charge to the troops, working with the USO as our partner. That’s some 350,000 hours of instruction.

Pimsleur Reviews - Pimsleur Spanish UserIn 2012 we installed a mechanism where our users could post Pimsleur reviews directly to and some 1,655 have done so, providing great feedback and great reviews and testimonials on the site. To bring this passion for Pimsleur to life we asked some of those who had written Pimsleur reviews and testimonials to let us film them for a short video. They were even more enthusiastic in person when describing their experiences with Pimsleur and their quest to learn new languages and speak with people in their native tongues.

Pimsleur Reviews - Pimsleur Italian User
Many of them reinforced the notion that if you follow the course as outlined by Pimsleur, that learning a new language is far easier than we are lead to believe — or far easier than the way it was when trying to learn conjugations in taught in most high schools in the US. Several users mentioned the a-ha moment when a bell goes off, or when you begin to think there’s some “special sauce” being dished out, that makes you realize there’s more to Pimsleur than meets the eye. (It’s in the ear.)Pimsleur Reviews - Pimsleur French User
I’ll admit to unbridled glee on seeing a 15-year-old high-school kid smile as he spoke about “secretly studying” Pimsleur’s French Course on software, and finding afterward that he had not just caught up with his peers, but exceeded them in his knowledge of French.Pimsleur Reviews - Pimsleur Haitian User

However the most universal desire when you read through all of our Pimsleur reviews, or listen to the participants in the video is the most basic human desire to be able to converse with people, particularly people in a foreign land, in their own language and to be understood.

The Nelson Mandela quote about language always seems the most apt:

 “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, it goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, it goes to his heart.”

The Most Commonly Spoken Languages In The World Infographic

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Pimsleur Language Programs conducted a survey called “Americans and Language: Perceptions and Realities” to find out how much we really know about languages. The results may surprise you. Below is an Infograhic that outlines the survey results.

Learn what languages are commonly spoken worldwide and the sexist language


And the Oscar Goes to: How to Learn a New Language through Foreign Films

Every February, Hollywood Boulevard shuts down and traffic backs up for miles as Tinseltown celebrates its most prestigious annual event: The Academy Awards. Spotlights illuminate the night sky and camera flashes rain down upon the Hollywood elite as the best films of the year compete for that elusive and handsome gentleman known only as Oscar.

Since 1956, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded the “Best Foreign Language Film” Academy Award. The first to take home this prize was the legendary Italian filmmaker, Federico Fellini, for his neorealism classic, La Strada. This incredible achievement changed the landscape of foreign films forever.

Foreign Films Soar to Record Heights

How to Learn a New Language by Watching Foreign Films by Pimsleur

As the decades pass, the number of foreign films submitted to the Academy continues to grow. In 2013, a new record was set as 71 foreign language films were submitted for consideration to be nominated for an Academy Award. As the 2014 ceremony draws near, this record has once again been broken as 76 films, all from different nations, are in consideration for the upcoming January 16 nomination selection.

The popularity of foreign language films is growing in staggering numbers as audiences flock to these transformative tales. Providing audiences with amazing storytelling and stunning imagery that American viewers aren’t accustomed to, foreign language films entice moviegoers to broaden their cultural horizons and partake in learning a new language through film.

How to Learn a New Language through Foreign Films

Foreign language film provides us an accessible way to transport us to the great unknown and offers a unique possibility on how to learn a new language. There was a time in which only a handful of foreign language films would visit theaters a year and only for a short amount of time. Now, multiple foreign films can be seen virtually every month of the year in theaters across the country. This provides the audience the ability to hear the foreign language in practical use in context.

1. Use the Subtitles

Generally, foreign films released in America contain subtitles that translate what is being saying into English. For the most part, an average moviegoer will use this text to simply enjoy the story. However, these subtitles can be used as a tool to help you understand the native language being spoken by the movie’s performers. With multiple films being released in the same language annually, using subtitles to help you learn a new language in one film can help you translate the dialogue in another.

2. Use the Performance

Along with subtitles, it is imperative to study the actor’s physical cues as they perform to help you understand the meaning of the foreign words. Pay close attention to the visual language, and soon you will find yourself understanding the meaning of the words without having to read them on the screen. This will help you understand the language as it pertains to emotional situations and the major events transpiring on screen.

Film is truly an ever-evolving art form. As more films become available, audience members seeking a means on how to learn a new language are embracing the myriad of upcoming movies. If you are seeking an exciting new endeavor, then it’s time to call lights, camera, and action on the worthwhile task of how to learn a new language.