Spanish and Polish/Czech language CDs
November 2, 2005 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations for learning Spanish and Polish or Czech via CD?

I see from this thread that Michel Thomas's CDs have a lot of fans. Is the accent fairly neutral? I know that it doesn't matter a heck of a lot for basic grammar, but as my past and future experience is with Mexico, not Spain, I'd prefer to avoid picking up mainland accent/grammar habits if possible. (Yes, I know that "Latin America" has a very wide range of accents and dialects as well!)

Also interested in picking up some Polish or Czech and would welcome recommendations of CD courses.
posted by desuetude to Education (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For Polish at least, I'd recommend the Pimsleur CDs. I really think they're just amazing, especially for an introduction to the language. They also offer Spanish, but I believe the accent is European Spanish. And I don't think they offer Czech.
posted by INTPLibrarian at 8:24 AM on November 2, 2005

Yeah, I'd second the Pimsleur suggestion (and they do offer Czech, I think)...they are a really good introduction to many languages, but keep in mind that it only teaches you a very limited form of the language. It's more about teaching you the basic ways of getting by in a language rather than helping you understand the language as a whole. Although you did mention that you didn't care about grammar, so that might be fine.

Oh yeah, keep in mind that Pimsleur is stupidly expensive...I think it can be upwards of $1000 for all 3 levels of a language...
posted by johnsmith415 at 10:22 AM on November 2, 2005

At least one of the major language on CD producers has a Spanish series that is specifically sold as "Latin American Spanish." I don't know offhand which one, but they're out there. I'm still puzzled by how many people want to go this route...

As you get the grasp for sounds and basic words, don't forget to supplement the learning CDs with actual media. Working with stories or concepts or news that you are familiar with can help you follow the story and build competency in vocabulary, listening comprehension, and overall "getting it."
posted by whatzit at 10:30 AM on November 2, 2005

Upon googling it seems the series I was thinking of would be Berlitz, Teach Yourself, or Hugo.
posted by whatzit at 11:32 AM on November 2, 2005

Definitely Pimsleur, Dr. Pimsleur is the man. Make sure to check local libraries for the pimsleur tapes before you buy them. Or, at least, buy them second hand.
posted by matkline at 12:21 PM on November 2, 2005

I used Michel Thomas as an introduction and once that was done went hardcore on Pimsleur. Don't expect to do it all with only one product. But when you work on learning a language be consistent, and work on. Dedicate a half an hour every day. Every day. Even if it's in the car on the way to work or whatever. And don't worry, it will come. I'd also recommend the Rosetta Stone but it's crazy expensive.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:31 PM on November 2, 2005

Also, I wouldn't worry too much about the accent when you're just starting out. Once you get through one of the beginner levels and can understand the basics, then work on an accent.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:38 PM on November 2, 2005

You can buy the Pimsleur used on eBay, and then sell them used on eBay when you're done for not much of a loss.
posted by smackfu at 12:55 PM on November 2, 2005

Response by poster: Okay, honestly, the Castillian accent drives me batty -- I'd never get through those CDs. However, I know that it's commonplace in teaching materials. Can I avoid this with either Pimsleur or Thomas for Spanish?
posted by desuetude at 2:27 PM on November 2, 2005

I haven't listened to the Spanish Pimsleur tapes/CDs, but I found this:

"The Spanish on the Pimsleur tapes represents a standard "educated" Spanish that will be easily understood by any native speaker. The native speakers on the recordings are from Latin American countries, but their pronunciation is clear and free of "giveaway" accents. By imitating their pronunciation you will develop a speaking ability that will make you understood practically anywhere in the Spanish-speaking world."
posted by INTPLibrarian at 7:28 PM on November 15, 2005

« Older Write anywhere?   |   Tiger's QuickTime Misperforming on an iBook G3? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.