Pimsleur language courses sometimes seem to have a bittersweet reputation. On one hand many say the courses are effective, efficient, and one of the best audio courses for learning a foreign language.
On the other hand others have claimed that Pimsleur teaches a limited vocabulary and overly formal language.
Overall the Pimsleur brand has stood the test of time ( a few decades at least). You can read more about the ins and outs of the Pimsleur method and courses in our Ultimate Pimsleur Review.
Here in this post we’re only going to talk about Pimsleur’s Hindi courses and how well they help Hindi learners speak Hindi.
Summary of Pimsleur Method
Review of: Pimsleur
Use: Audio courses for learning foreign languages
With Pimsleur you will be able to speak at a functional level
$14.95 per month
Each lesson is 30 minutes
Ease of Use
Lesson are simple: just listen and repeat when prompted
Pimsleur courses are well designed and structured to teach you a foreign language
- Actually gets you speaking & listening
- Functional vocabulary
- Emphasizes pronunciation
- Easy to use
- You can switch between languages
I Don't Like
- Formal language
- Only masculine vocabulary used
Summary: Pimsleur courses are known as some of the best audio courses for learning to speak a foreign language.
Their method includes a question/recall/response technique that is very effective for helping you internalize the basics of a new language. Many people who use Pimsleur cite a marked improvement in their speaking abilities.
Pimsleur is also one of the few language courses that focuses heavily on correct pronunciation. This helps a lot when trying to remember new words in a foreign language.
However Pimsleur courses also have their drawbacks. They tend to use highly formal language that is too respectful for most day to day situations. The courses are also sometimes criticized for teaching limited vocabulary.
Monthly subscription for $14.95
Pros of Pimsleur Hindi
Pimsleur actually gets you thinking in Hindi
Pimsleur is the only audio based Hindi course I know of that gets you thinking in Hindi. It's call and response method is similar enough to real life conversation, that your brain is forced to think in Hindi.
This kind of focused practice and repetition helps cement new vocabulary and grammar into your memory, in a way that's not possible with other Hindi courses.
Pimsleur gets you readin in Hindi
The newest version of Pimsleur weaves reading lessons throughout its audio courses. At first learners will read short words and phrases phonetically, as the course introduced them to the Hindi sound and writing system.
At this stage you won't be reading for meaning so much as you'll be reading to become familiar with the Hindi script and pronunciation.
After this you start to see words and phrases from the audio lesson pop up in the reading lessons, and you begin to read for meaning.
In the dialogue prompts 9 times out of 10 you are man in the given scenario. This is fine if you’re guy but if you’re woman it’s annoying. Your gender will affect the words you use in Hindi, and if you’re not a guy you won’t be practicing correct Hindi. Pimsleur seemed to overlook this fact for some reason.
Only two levels
A major downside of Pimsleur Hindi is that it only comes in two course levels. Other languages have up to 5 Pimsleur courses and can help you reach an upper intermediate level of speaking ability.
With only two levels you’re not likely to make it past an upper beginner level. Pimsleur tends to focus on the langauge courses that sell the most. Unless Hindi becomes a more popular language for English speakers to learn don’t expect more Hindi courses.
What other people are saying about Pimsleur Hindi
I have Pimsleur CDs for many different languages (Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and several others) and have found it very helpful for learning different Asian languages - however, this one for Hindi was not that good.
There are certain sounds in Hindi that are much easier to pronounce correctly if you know where to place your tongue. In Pimsleur programs for other languages, this kind of helpful information is usually offered, but on recordings for Hindi it was not.
I still consider these CDs a valuable addition, but out of several different programs that I purchased for learning Hindi, so far I have found Colloquial Hindi to be the most useful and Rosetta Stone Hindi has also been helpful.
Amazon.com Reviewer (Pimsleur Hindi)
We listen to this in the car while driving to kids' activities, sports, on errands, when not listening to audio books or Bollywood. After beginning with a brief Hindi conversation, each term is introduced and briefly explained, then broken into parts for the learner to pronounce.
The pause after each "how do you say" prompt helps the listener to remember what to say because the brain is triggered to recall new learning.
Amazon.com Reviewer (Pimsleur Hindi)
Alternatives to Pimsleur Hindi
20+ minutes a day
Rocket Hindi is built around recorded audio in the form of dialogues. The dialogues have English explanations and usually teach the language in "chunks" or phrases versus individual words (this is great for conversational Hindi).
Overall Rocket Hindi is a comprehensive course that does a good job of incorporating speaking and listening, as well as reading and writing.
From $4+ per month
15+ minutes a day
Hindipod101 features audio lessons in a podcast format. Lessons are great for grammar and vocabulary. Each lesson is designed around a Hindi conversation between native speakers, and the teachers do a great job of keeping things engaging.
While it's not as structured as Pimsleur it's still a substantial Hindi learning tool (it's also much cheaper too). The site features transcripts, an in-site flashcard system, and many other useful features.
$6+ per hour (varies between teachers)
30 minute or 1 hour lessons
An intro video from one of Italki's Hindi teachers.
Italki is an online market place that connects language learners with language teachers for one-on-one language classes via video or audio chat.
You can connect with language speakers from around the world and practice your speaking skills. Italki is one of the only sites offering lessons with professiontal Hindi teachers.
*with a purchase of $20 or more. After your first purchased lesson a credit of $10 will be added to your account
Pimsleur Hindi is a solid learning tool true to the Pimsleur name. Unfortunately there’s only two levels so you’re not likely to reach a high level of speaking ability.
The unique features of the Hindi language make the reading portion more worthwhile than some of Pimsleur’s other courses; and on top of Pimsleur’s usual emphasis on formal language the course assumes the listener is male.
You can get one week of full access to all of Pimsleur's Hindi courses for free. Take the coursesfor a test drive and see if Pimsleur Hindi meets your learning needs!