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Pimsleur v Rosetta stone

byronic 3 | 30
2 Aug 2008 #1
i am trying to learn polish and have decided to invest in a good quality course, can anyone tell me which is better? pimsleur or rosetta, or neither?
sledz 23 | 2,250
2 Aug 2008 #2
I have rosetta stone its a good program but has its limitations,
you will need a Pol/Eng dictionary to help because it doesnt tell you what the
words mean in English.

I like this program better, and its cheaper:) oductDetailsPage&SiteID=transpar&Locale=en_US&ThemeID=22600&productID= 81519000

Heres a download, you will get the full version for free if you purchase the
above product.
Vincent 9 | 892
2 Aug 2008 #3
there is another thread about this somewhere...worth a look.

I have had a sample of both, and prefer Rosetta. Pimsleur is good for mp3 player, but the lack of a written dialogue makes it hard to look up words. Rosetta as you know is visual too and there is written material with it...I have heard it said that both can be downloaded from the web, but I would not encourage you to do that:)
Wojnowski 1 | 3
2 Aug 2008 #4
I got Pimsleur from the Library about a year ago and wasn't thrilled with it. It teaches sentences, which is good, but lacked the spelling/reading side. I quickly lost motivation with it.

About a month ago I invested in Rosetta Stone and it is so much better. The other poster is right that it doesn't tell you the English translation, but it allows you to assume it through process of elimination. Since it uses pictures and words, I can learn to read/pronounce as well. I think I am committing much more to memory on this program. It does, however, start very basic with single words, so it takes several lessons to get any kind of sentences or phrases.

If money isn't such a concern, I'd recommend Rosetta Stone.
okgirl66 3 | 90
2 Aug 2008 #5
I started with the Pimsleur course and found it good for helping me pronounce words but I wanted to learn to read and write too. Any way I found a good course called Colloquial Polish which does the written and spoken language so I'm trying that now. Pimsleur was a good to start with.
ArcticPaul 38 | 233
2 Aug 2008 #6
pimseurs is a good aid but useless if your using it as a primary method.
rosetta stone, again, can help but it's essentially deductive logic, not language theory or anything that leads to a person being able to compose their own dialogues.

both are available as free downloads.
OP byronic 3 | 30
2 Aug 2008 #7
thank you all for your advice. hmmm.... i still don't know which to try.
3 Aug 2008 #8
I am using Pimsleur right now because it helps me to get a better pronunciation, but it does not teach you how to write the words or sentences. But in the other hand you can learn the intonation and stress on the words and on a question sentence. I am going to polish classes too, so Pimsleur it is a good help.

I have the Rosetta Stone program installed and the BYKI program too (Before You Know It) and you can download all this three programs for free on the internet, you have to know how to search.

If you need help send me a PM.
serca 1 | 18
8 Jun 2009 #9
I have worked myself halfway through level one of Rosetta Stone.
Although timeconsuming and sometimes boring, it has given me quite some knowledge.Grammar is almost zero at the level where I am at now, but vocabulary starts to grow.

What I missed the most though was the conversation part. Repeating some words, as Rosetta offers it, is not really my thing.

But there Pimsleur comes into the game. I have done one lesson, and woooow... I love it. because I could not really speak yet, after one half of level 1 of Rosetta. Pimsleur really forces you into building sentences, which is what you need to hold a conversation, after all.

I think, mixing a couple of systems works the best.

I am considering purchasing the "301 verbs "book. Any one had good results with that book?


8 Jun 2009 #10
Unless you're American, Pimsleur can be absolutely infuriating. The amount of time spent on "I am American", "My wife is American", "Are you American?", "I have dollars, "I have X dollars", "Do you have dollars?" drove me up the wall!!
tomekcatkins 8 | 130
8 Jun 2009 #11
Basic and Intermediate Polish (Bielec) are very good imho.

Any one had good results with that book?

I have it and I found it really handy! Especially if you start to produce sentences yourself. :-)
crayden - | 2
9 Jun 2009 #12
Hi, I have 6 different courses including Rosetta and Pimsleur. I have had private lessons from a professor. I find Pimsleur to be way ahead of the field for ease and speed of learning, the only pity is it stops at intermediate level. But I would recommend it.
15 Jul 2009 #13
You can also try the third option - SuperMemo method:


Very effective method. Worth trying!
15 Jul 2009 #14
I've used both, and I prefer Pimsleur by far. I think it depends on what you want to get out of it, though. I think that Pimsleur teaches you to speak the language much faster. Which is good to impress your friends. I think if you are able to speak it, when you are confronted with a situation where you have to read, you can figure it out. I use Pimsleur and found a cheap book on basic grammar and pronunciation rules. With that I can speak and read fluently.
kiddo - | 2
14 Aug 2009 #15
based on experience with other languages, i'd choose rosetta stone over pimsleur any day.
lowfunk99 10 | 397
14 Aug 2009 #16
It depends on how you best learn. What works best for one will not work as well for someone else.

I liked the byki the best for me.

Pimsler worked well also.
25 Aug 2009 #17
Really depends what you want to achieve. Pimsleur is really a conversational method and Rosetta is much more of a vocabulary expander. With Pimsleur you will focus on conversational skills and with Rosetta, you will learn more vocabulary words. For that reason, I find Pimsleur more useful for a beginner and Rosetta a complementary method once you've exhausted Pimsleur and can now benefit from learning more new vocabulary. Rosetta for a starter can be quite a head scratcher since it doesn't help you to speak and put phrases together yourself.

Unless you're American, Pimsleur can be absolutely infuriating. The amount of time spent on "I am American", "My wife is American", "Are you American?", "I have dollars, "I have X dollars", "Do you have dollars?" drove me up the wall!!

The point is that you are learning structures in the language and once you know how to say "I am X", "My wife is X", "I have X", "Do you have X", etc. you have acquired some very important structures. That's the thing I love about Pimsleur, it helps you speak so that you can form your own phrases.
kiddo - | 2
26 Aug 2009 #18
seems that combining both rosetta and pimsleur would be a good idea...
2 Oct 2009 #19
I am using Pimsleur in conjunction with Rosetta. Seems to be working well since Rosetta will help me in the long term while Pimsleur helps me in starting up basic conversations. At least at the stage that I am at right now.
Leopejo 4 | 120
2 Oct 2009 #20
Pimsleur is just a (very good) introduction to the language. It is very useful to get "a feel" for the language and correct pronunciation.

But a normal 90 lesson Pimsleur introduces no more than 500 words. The Polish 30 lesson one probably stops at 150-200.
Not much grammar is introduced - IIRC, no informal speech (ty instead of pan/pani); no verbal aspects at all besides "Chciałbym pojechać do Krakowa. Jak dojechać do Krakowa? Proszę jechać prosto"; and cases also introduced lackingly.

If the Polish Pimsleur will be extended to the full 90 lesson course, at least it will cover pretty much of the usual grammar and you really get a feeling for the language - though again, just as an introduction. This was my experience with Pimsleur Russian.


On Rosetta Stone I have only bad things to say. It is good to solve word puzzles and that's it. It's evident that it is the same for each language, which means that it sometimes is pretty awkward. Besides, the complete lack of feeling for the target country, all those pictures of multiethnic people in Washington DC or being cowboys kills it for me.


If you can get Pimsleur for free (library?) and have free time in 30 minutes chunks, then go for it just as an introduction. If you like audiocourses (you can't really read or write while commuting), try also Michel Thomas - again, just as an introduction, and with plenty of bad sides too (awful students, too many idiotic mnemonic rules, no repetition value: who wants to listen to those three again!).

But find a good textbook with audio and use it as your primary study method. Listen to the dialogues plenty of times before reading and translating them. There is the free one at, there are Teach Yourself and Colloquial and all others mentioned in these forums. If you are lucky to know French or Italian, find Assimil Le Polonais (new) or Assimil Le Polonais sans peine/Il polacco senza sforzo (old).
17 Apr 2010 #21
Well, I tried both - rosetta and pimsleur, when I first approached japanese. After first Rosetta lesson I could look at the picture and say "neko to kuruma" ("cat and car").

After first try of Pimsleur I could say "watashi wa nihongo ga sukoshi wakarimasu, demo mada jouzu ja arimasen" ("I understand japanese a little, but I'm not very skilled yet").

On top of that thanks to the Pimsleur course you get useful information such as - it's polite to say such and such, or in spoken language such and such word is usually omitted.

I'd recommend Pimsleur, and mixture of some other courses that teach you writing and grammar. I'm not saying that Rosetta is worse, but it reminded me of english lessons which I attended being a teenager - and it was rather a chore not fun at all.
Lean Cassius
18 Dec 2010 #22
Here's my take on Pimsleur v. Rosetta. I have been learning Russian for 3 years now. I took introductory Russian as my final elective at university and fell in love with it. After graduation, I began my self-study. I have done all 90 Pimsleur lessons for Russian, and I am almost finished with the Rosetta Stone, and what I can tell you is this: one method alone will not get you anywhere close to fluency.

Pimsleur is GREAT as an introductory tool to learn 300 words or so, as well as their pronunciations, and you really pick up a lot of things intuitively as well, much like a child. Rosetta is a GREAT vocabulary builder and immersion program. It encourages you to not look up anything, but again, to learn as a child would. Associate words with pictures, not with their English meanings.

In addition to these, I have added many other methods to the learning process. I am working through the best Russian grammar/vocab book (according to, I listen to Radio Moscow, I watch Russian TV online all the time, and I even have a Russian book of short stories that has the Russian on the left-hand page, and the English interpretation on the right-hand page.

If you want to get fluent in a language such as Polish, you should really use any and every means possible to get there - the same way we all learned English.
jasiu71 - | 1
18 Dec 2010 #23
where can i find rosetta for a free download???? dziekuje
Leopejo 4 | 120
20 Dec 2010 #24
I was going to reply... until I noticed I already replied a few lines above (though over a year ago)...

I stand by: Rosetta Stone completely useless, Pimsleur a good (but looong) INTRODUCTION, Assimil, especially Assimil Polish by Barbara Kuszminder, fantastic. In English Polish in 4 weeks is somewhat similar to Assimil.

For vocabulary acquisition, if you want to go the hard (and inefficient, in my opinion) way of single words instead of context, instead of Rosetta Stone try wordlists or a Spaced Repetition Software, like the good and completely free ANKI.
sunbreak 14 | 20
3 Jan 2011 #25
I don't think Rosetta Stone offers a free download of Polish anymore. In earlier versions, it used to offer free samples of many lanugages, but now it seems like it only has a few language demos and they are online only. It is possible online to buy an earlier version of Rosetta Stone from other vendors (not directly from Rosetta Stone).

You could download a simple vocabulary program (just words, no pictures) from here:
17 Jan 2013 #26
The thing that is good about Pimsleur is however, that even though you do not learn to read or speak from it, it gives you conversational skills better than Rosetta. When you are a child, you learn to speak first, then write later. If you can speak it, then it makes learning to read and write it so much easier. My recommendation would be to Use pimsleur first, then when you have confidently completed the course, then start learning to read and write. It is a far more natural process for the brain. Especially with japanese, which is a very phonetic language. It is a language that is extraordinarily easy to learn how to spell it in our character set. Once you figure that part out, learning the kana isn't hard. I would wait on the Kanji though.... that is a language in itself with its intensity.

read or write* sorry, typo.
28 Jul 2015 #27
Merged: Best method to learning Polish?

I'm trying to learn Polish, and what I know so far is from speaking to my Polish friends. But I really want to give it a real go and try to learn it. Personally for you what was the best method?

Everyone has heard of Rosetta Stone, but there seems to be mixed reviews. Some people say it's great. Others say it doesn't work for them. I've recently found one called Pimsleur. But again there are mixed reviews. There is nothing written down so you don't know how to spell the words ect. And it's basically learning through repetitively saying it over again. Are there any other that are better than these 2? How did you learn? And what would you recommend I buy to help me learn Polish? I would love to move over there, and that would help me a lot. But I'm sure it will be hard for me to get a job before I move.

Thank you in advance.

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