Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone 2020: Which is More Effective to Learn Language

After a comparison between Babbel and Rosetta Stone, time has come to compare Pimsleur with Rosetta Stone. Like Babbel vs Duolingo, Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone is also kind of a tricky subject. It’s hard to compare the two since they both teach in different ways. However, we still compare them in some of the most aspects to help you decide which one is more effective for you to learn languages.

Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone VS Pimsleur Comparison Chart

  Pimsleur Rosetta Stone
Pricing Start from $14.95 per month $11.99/month to $ 249/Lifetime
Language Options 50+ languages available 30+ languages available
Pros 1. Short and effective lessons
2. All you have to do is listen and repeat
3. Your pronunciation will improve dramatically
4. Teaches conversational language and not tourist phrases
1. Tries to mimic how a child learns
2. Many languages available (more than 30)
3. Classroom modules are available
Cons 1. Very boring – especially for visual learners
2. Tends to teach in formal language instead of informal
3. No writing lessons and some languages (Chinese, Japanese, Swiss-German, and Ojibwa) don’t offer any reading lessons.
1. Repetitive exercises revolve around matching pictures to words
2. Lacks cultural information and translations
3. Only starts at a beginner level

Pimsleur VS Rosetta Stone: Pimsleur Pros and Cons

In a nutshell, Pimsleur teaches you through listening and repeating. It consists of 30 minutes daily audio lessons which work as follow:

  • You listen to native speakers pronouncing a sentence in your target language and its translation in English.
  • You repeat the sentences and answer questions your “language tutor” asks.
  • You move on to the next lesson once you can answer quickly and accurately to more than 80% of the questions asked in the lesson.
Pimsleur

What we really like about Pimsleur

  1. Pimsleur’s active participation is what really separates Pimsleur from the majority of language courses. Instead of playing a word to get you to remember it, the audio series asks you how to say something or to respond to a native speaker.
  2. Repetition of previously learned material. What you learn in one unit does indeed come back in later ones, thus reinforcing it in your memory. This is effective for learning a new language.
  3. Hearing native-spoken pronunciations and intonations. You can use the opportunity to learn to improve your pronunciation and sentence rhythm.

What we don’t like about Pimsleur

  1. It gets boring pretty fast, due to the fact that all lessons have the same format;
  2. Because it focuses on listening and speaking, it does not help you develop your reading and writing skills;
  3. The course is made for English speakers, which makes it a little harder for those who have English as their second language;
  4. It uses a more formal language, so you will not learn colloquialisms and slangs.

Pimsleur VS Rosetta Stone: Rosetta Stone Pros and Cons

Rosetta Stone focuses on the auditory and visual aspects of language learning. Their course is almost exclusively a combination of images and recorded audio. What’s distinctively unique about Rosetta Stone’s method is that they don’t use your native language to teach you. 

What we really like about Rosetta Stone

  1. This is an organized method of learning, relying on vocabulary building.
  2. There are pronunciation checks which help correct your language SNAFUs as they occur.
  3. There are several options for purchasing the courses, including subscription and downloads.

What we don’t like about Rosetta Stone

The major criticism of the Rosetta Stone method is that no explicit explanations or translations are given.

  1. No use of native language. While some argue this could be a benefit, it does make it much harder for new beginners to get comfortable.
  2. Lack of cultural relevance and personalization. There are many parts within the application that use cliché and political translations of different cultures.

Pimsleur vs Rosetta Stone conclusion

Now that you know the difference, you can know which one is right for you. Are you a more of a visual learner? Rosetta might be a better pick. Pimsleur if you are more of an audio learner. 

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