Pimsleur Czech-opinions?

Discussion in 'General Language' started by Lorelai, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. Lorelai

    Lorelai Member


    I bought the audio-only Czech CDs and I would like to understand written Czech as well. What does Pimsleur's comprehensive course include that the audio CDs don't? For the $150 difference in price they should give excellent books with everything spoken on the CD in written form with declension and very conjugation options. Please advise if you feel that the written form is worth the extra money.

  2. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    150! Jesus!

    I guess if you live abroad though post and packaging counts for some of that.

    I have never heard of this series, what level are you at? Maybe someone can advice you of some cheaper options?
    If you are starting out there are loads of great resources, if you're more advanced you might be stuck.

    Personally, if i had a CD of Czech without the transcript, i would not pay more than 10 euro for a transcript, because Czech is very phonetic so if you listen to it enough times you should be able to figure out the words and look it up in a dictionary, or failing that ask us here. If you get a nice declination chart you can work all that out by yourself. (you'll also need something like 401 Czech verbs to tell you what verbs go with what cases)
    If it was English I was learning I would pay more, because English spelling/pronunciation/reading is probably the hardest thing about it.

    But maybe it's a very good course, i don't know.
  3. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Did you get the CD yet? I believe it comes with a very short booklet that has a small vocab for each lesson. My friend loaned me that on cassette tape years ago. I would say its OK for a beginner to get a basis of Czech but I learned much more using other materials. I would have never bought it myself as its really just for someone sitting on an airplane wanting to get a small basis or phrases for their two week visit in CR. It doesn't get much deeper than learning how to order coffee or ask directions.

    If you are really wanting to learn Czech. I'd say return the CD, get your money back, and buy Step by Step or Hugo - Czech in 3 months. Those are much more in-depth.
  4. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    I agree!

    I haven't tried Czech in 3 months but I did look at it in shops and it looked good. Colloquial Czech by James Naughton is another good one, but i would say it's impossible to get past chapter 7 without using other resources. It only builds passive knowledge, not active. I think he approaches it like a grammarian as appose to a learner or a teacher of a language. Just, look at this, isn't that interesting, and look what else is interesting, aren't those Czechs an interesting bunch?
    But it is great for passive understanding of grammar, and a great way to learn vocab. It's also wonderful for me as an English teacher because grammar I'm not ready to use is explained to me, and then I realize why my Czech students make the mistakes they make. Such as constantly saying things like "If I will" in the wrong way or using would in place of will.. and almost every modal verb! When you understand a mistake you can explain things much better.
    Also I get a vague Idea of something, and then I study it later in some other book and that's where the active knowledge comes in.

    I'm ranting again.
    Step by Step by Lída Holá is the best book for learning Czech out there.
  5. worldtraveler

    worldtraveler Member

    I bought the Comprehensive Czech a while back. It really kick-started my studies in the right direction. On top of the 30 spoken lessons it came with a bunch of reading lessons and a booklet. Their approach to teaching reading is kind of unconventional. They start by teaching you the sounds of the language and how letters combine to form new sounds. It's actually rather smart. The focus is not on reading for meaning from the start. You start by mastering the sound system. Overall I loved the Comprehensive and only wished they had a level II and III like other more popular languages. I saw their Comprehensive course available on iTunes the other day! I wish they were available in that format when I bought my CD set because ripping 16 CDs to my computer, to then load on my iPod, was a pain.
  6. Lorelai

    Lorelai Member

    Thank you, all of you, for your input. I have been looking for 401 Czech verbs but can't find it in America.

    Thank you, worldtraveler, for your itunes information. I will look for that.
  7. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Colloquial Czech also does that, but for about 6 pages, most of which didn't make sense to me till i'd already been living here and studying for months.

    sounds good!

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