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      August 24, 2019

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  1. Rosetta Stone
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  3. German Pod 101
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Rosetta Stone vs Pimsleur

To help you find the Best German Lessons, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur.

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Learn German with Rocket Languages Today! Did you know that German is the 3rd most common language taught in American schools? Whether you’re looking to brush off skills you learned years ago, interested in the language of your ancestors, or wanting to have a grasp of basic German prior to traveling through Europe, now is the time to start!

German is spoken by 90-95 million people throughout the world, and not just in Germany. It is also recognized as an official language in Austria, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, as well as portions of Italy, Poland, and even Brazil.

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Best Reviews

2019

German Lessons Reviews

4.5 stars
Rosetta Stone

ROSETTA STONE Visit Site

Cost:

$179 for 12-month online access for 1 user (regular price $299)

$249 for lifetime online access for 1 user (regular price $249)

Other options available for downloading individual levels/sets

Rosetta Stone is a well-known, highly effective language-learning program. Their approach to language learning is known as "Dynamic Immersion," which utilizes interactive technology with native speakers. Rather than teaching through translation from English to German and back, or through rote memorization, Rosetta Stone prioritizes helping students learn naturally, in the same way that a child learns his or her first language.

Learning German with Rosetta Stone, students will see a significant emphasis placed on gaining language skills that are near-native. Users are regularly prompted to speak words, phrases or sentences, and their speech is compared against a broad range of native speakers, helping the learner to bring their accent as close as possible. Rosetta Stone German has a free demo that presents several words - without translation, so as to be immersive - and walks the learner through several simple exercises using reading, listening, and even speaking skills. (We did notice on more than one occasion that the speech recognition marked answers as incorrect when we imitated the German accent, but marked them as correct when we spoke German with an "American accent".)

Rosetta Stone offers a wide range of ways to access their courses. At the time of our review, there appeared to be special pricing in place, depending on whether the course is accessed as an online subscription ($149 for 6 months, $179 for 12 months, $199 for 24 months) or instant download ($199 for levels 1-5, $179 for levels 1-3). The site was somewhat unclear with respect to its "lifetime" membership; while lifetime access for a single user seems to match the description, the "lifetime" German Family Pack for up to 3 users is described as access for 24 months.

We were pleased to see that Rosetta Stone has updated its guarantee/return policy: in the past, their 30-day, no risk, money-back guarantee only applied to their CD products, but it has since been expanded to include any of Rosetta Stone's Personal or Homeschool editions, no matter if the product is used as an online subscription, download, or CD-ROM.

Rosetta Stone is one of the most professional-looking products we reviewed. There are many reviews, both on their site and on others, that describe learning German with Rosetta Stone as enjoyable, helpful, and a good value for the investment. However, there are nearly as many reviews that criticize Rosetta Stone for not delivering what it promises: namely, language acquisition that happens as fluidly and naturally as one learns as a child. Also, it is difficult to deliver a truly immersive experience without actually living within an environment of German speakers, despite Rosetta Stone's best efforts.

Overall, using Rosetta Stone is a very solid option for beginning to learn German - as long as students understand that no program is likely to deliver true fluency in a box (or as part of an online subscription).

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4 stars
Pimsleur

PIMSLEUR Visit Site

Cost:

$150 per level on DVD (30 lessons)

$450 for levels 1-4 on DVD (120 lessons)

Options available for MP3 and CD delivery

Pimsleur is one of the most recognizable names in language instruction. Known for teaching languages in basic 30-minute audio lessons, Pimsleur continues to be the method of choice for students who learn best by hearing. Prospective customers can download a free 30-minute German lesson from the website, to see if the style works well; we found that the trial lesson left us with a good understanding of a simple conversation.

Unfortunately, the trial lesson doesn't include any access to the non-audio portion of Pimsleur's German program included with the software DVDs, which includes flashcards, matching games, and other visual components. We would have liked to see more of what Pimsleur has to offer beyond audio lessons, in order to more accurately compare its German instruction to other programs we reviewed, and especially because approximately 40% of students are visual learners (compared with 10% of students who learn best auditorily).

Pimsleur does offer a Proficiency Guarantee, but the terms are very specific: users must purchase a Pimsleur Level 1 program, complete the course, and take a novice-level test on an independent website. If the user is unable to pass that exam, Pimsleur will issue a full refund. We're not sure if this applies to a purchase made that included levels 1-4.

Of all the products in our reviews, Pimsleur is the most expensive: four levels of German provided via DVD (i.e. including both visual and audio lessons) sells for $450 and includes 120 lessons, while single levels are available for $150. And, while you might think that you'd save money by purchasing just the MP3 or CD edition, you're in for a shock: 81 hours of MP3s costs $550, while those same lessons cost $1,190 on CD!

Because of its strong emphasis on auditory learning, we recommend Pimsleur for those who want to learn a language on the go: in the car, on an MP3 player (though you may want to download the audio tracks from the DVDs rather than buying the MP3s, based on price), or while working around the house.

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Continued from above

And, with the increasing popularity of genealogy, or family history research, many people are interested in learning German as a way of connecting with their roots. In the United States alone, there are as many as 50 million people who claim German descent as part of their heritage, making it one of the largest, if not the largest, ethnic groups in the nation.

From new students to the German language to those looking to fine-tune their grammar and pronunciation, there are a variety of providers of German language instruction that can help. When choosing the German lessons that will be the best fit, it is wise to get a feel for each program's methods.

Some German lessons take advantage of multiple learning modalities and strive to meet the needs of all types of learners - visual, auditory, and so on - making use of flashcards, pronunciation practice using a microphone, games, and online resources.

In contrast, some German lessons make use of a single approach to learning (for example, workbooks or audio lessons) that might not be a good match for your preferred learning method(s). For that reason, it is highly recommended that you take the time to choose the provider of German lessons that will fit both your learning objectives and your personal approach to learning.

When looking for German lessons, there are several factors to consider. Some of these include:

  • Instructional Methods. Do the German lessons use a teaching methodology that fits your personal learning style?
  • Skill Level. Are the German lessons designed for novice learners of German or those with significant experience with the language? Do the lessons provided allow you to progress from one level to another for the same price, or do you have to purchase subsequent products?
  • Value. Do the German lessons give you a good value for the money invested?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best German Lessons available today. We hope these reviews help you learn one of Europe’s primary languages with ease and enjoyment!

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