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      November 23, 2020

Home  >  Learn Korean  >  Rosetta Stone vs Pimsleur

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Rosetta Stone vs Pimsleur

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

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Learn Korean with Rocket Languages Today! With more than 71 million people worldwide who speak Korean, an increasing number of providers are offering lessons to help people progress in their use of the language. Whether you have ancestry in North or South Korea, have business interests in Korea, or you're fascinated by K-Pop music and want to sing along fluently, these language programs can teach you how to speak, understand, and often write in Korean.

You may not know that Korean differs significantly from Chinese and Japanese in terms of its writing system. Where Chinese and Japanese both use a character-based method, Korean is based on an alphabet known as hangul (or hangeul). Here, symbols represent consonants and vowels much like the English alphabet. This can make the learning process easier for students, as they only need to memorize symbols and their pronunciation rather than thousands of characters.

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Best Reviews

2020

Korean Lessons Reviews

4 stars
Rosetta Stone

ROSETTA STONE

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Cost:

$199 for 24-month online access for 1 user (regular price $249)

$179 for a desktop download for up to 5 family members, or CD-ROM for up to 5 family members (regular price $199)

Rosetta Stone is a household name when it comes to language instruction. Their language learning is done by what they call "Dynamic Immersion": rather than teaching Korean by translating back-and-forth from English to Korean and back, or by using traditional memorization, Rosetta Stone Korean tries to convey the language naturally, in the way that a child learns his or her first language.

Rosetta Stone Korean's brief free demonstration walks you through several basic words - with no translation, making the experience immersive - and asks you to match what you hear and see. We were pleased to see that the demo did include the written Korean, to give students an introduction to the Korean alphabet. However, it's difficult to tell how and where that alphabet - and the ability to recognize written Korean - is introduced and taught in Rosetta Stone's language program.

Rosetta Stone has developed a solid guarantee and return policy: although their 30-day, no risk, money-back guarantee used to apply strictly to their CD products, it now includes any of Rosetta Stone's Personal or Homeschool editions, including online subscriptions, downloads and CD-ROMs.

Given how widely Rosetta Stone is used to teach languages, it's not surprising that their reviews run the gamut: from complaints that the program doesn't actually teach language in a way that is as natural as learning to speak as a child, to compliments for the program's fun and useful approach to teaching. It may be that Rosetta Stone overreaches a bit in their hopes of delivering a language learning experience that can compare to what you would get if you actually lived within a Korean-speaking community, but the goal is still a respectable one.

Rosetta Stone's Korean program is a tried-and-true approach to learning the language, and their pricing is competitive with other programs. Although some users have said that they felt that Rosetta Stone left them a little short with respect to language acquisition, their satisfaction guarantee makes it a risk-free option for you to give it a try.

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2.5 stars
Pimsleur

PIMSLEUR

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Cost:

$495 for Levels 1-2 on CD (60 lessons)

$230 for Levels 1-2 as MP3 download (60 lessons)

Famous for teaching foreign languages with 30-minute audio lessons, Pimsleur helps students of Korean to learn basic conversational skills via CD or MP3 downloads. Although Pimsleur has expanded its offerings to include software DVD's that include flashcards, games, and other more visual methods of instruction to accompany their audio lessons, Pimsleur does not yet offer Korean language instruction that includes that software package.

Pimsleur does offer a free 30-minute audio lesson on their website. Our trial run left us feeling like we had a good understanding of a basic exchange in Korean.

Rather than providing a satisfaction guarantee, Pimsleur has Proficiency Guarantee with very detailed requirements: you have to purchase the Level 1 Korean program , complete the full course of instruction, and take a novice-level test using a particular contractor (which, incidentally, gave us a 404 Error when we tried to follow the link from Pimsleur's site). If you fail the test, Pimsleur will give you full refund. We were unable to determine how rigorous the test is, how it's conducted, or if it involves recognizing any written Korean - which would be decidedly difficult given Pimsleur's audio-only approach to teaching Korean.

Of all the products we reviewed for learning Korean, Pimsleur is the most expensive by far, especially considering that there is no instruction provided that allows students to learn written Korean. Their Korean language program may be ideal for students who want to learn strictly by audio and like the ability to get lessons via MP3 format (for their iPod or other portable device), so we strongly recommend that you try their free audio lesson before making such a sizeable financial commitment to Pimsleur's audio-only approach to learning Korean.

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Continued from above

When choosing a Korean language program, you should have your language goals in mind. If your primary focus is to master conversational language - perhaps you'll be teaching English in Seoul for six months, or just visiting on an extended vacation - you may not need to focus heavily on understanding the written language, and an audio-based approach may be the perfect fit.

On the other hand, if you expect to use the Korean language in a variety of settings and need to be able to read and write in Korean as well as speak it, be sure to choose a program that will address those needs. No matter what your goals are, the best Korean lessons use a variety of strategies to help learners, from flashcards and images to audio lessons and pronunciation practice.

What should you look for as you compare Korean language programs? There are several factors to consider, including the following:

  • Instructional Methods. Are the lessons presented in a way that feels like a good fit for your personal learning style? Many companies offer a trial lesson or free sample so that you can give it a try before committing to the program.
  • Skill Level. Does the program have an option for your levelóbeginning, intermediate, or advanced? Will your purchase include access to all of the levels available in the program, or will you have to pay for further access later as you progress?
  • Value. How effective is the program? Have other customers been successful with learning Korean?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Korean Lessons programs available today. We hope these reviews help you learn Korean quickly and easily!

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