When comparing Lingvist vs Pimsleur, the Slant community recommends Lingvist for most people. In the question“What are the best sites for learning foreign languages?” Lingvist is ranked 11th while Pimsleur is ranked 17th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Helps users learn thousands of words in a short amount of time
Pro Beautiful user interface
Pro Helps you to write fluently
Lingvist helps to greatly improve your target language vocabulary.
Pro Principle of anticipation
Rather than simple listen-and-repeat, you also have to translate phrases and answer questions in the target language during the lessons.
Pro Learn while you commute
Pimsleur uses daily 30-minute audio lessons. You can probably fit this in while you're driving to work.
Pro Very effective for beginners
Pimsleur is based on proven memory science, it's not perfect, but it is very effective. Intermediate learners may not get as much out of it.
Pro Graduated interval recall
Spaced repetition in and between lessons are timed for maximum recall. This also means you can't skip days between lessons, or work ahead. Each level takes one month.
Pro Teaches pronunciation well
Uses the backchaining technique with native speakers.
Con Few language pairs available
Currently only offers English and French. The website says there are 6 other languages in the works.
Con Not enough variety in exercises
Words are learned only through fill-in-the-blank style problems. The user is not challenged enough to be able to remember and use the learned words in circumstances different from the fill-in-the-blank sentences.
Con Sometimes teaches vocabulary out of context
Con No writing practice
Pimsleur is an audio-only course. This can be easier for beginners learning languages that don't use the Latin alphabet, but for serious language learners, it's a gap they'll have to fill using something else.
Con Limited vocabulary
It teaches hundreds of words. A great start, but not enough to achieve the thousands required for fluency, even with all three levels. Pimsleur deliberately focuses on the most common words of the target language for maximum recall.
All the CDs for one language cost nearly a thousand dollars. The .mp3's are about half that. Your local library may carry the CDs, those that don't may be able to get them via inter-library loan (ask your librarian). You can also find them used and re-sell them for nearly as much (depending on how long you want to wait), after you finish. Be certain to get the same edition for all levels.
Con Too slow-paced and repetitive for some learners
If you learn quickly, you may find that the 30 minute lessons covering only a small handful of vocabulary move too slowly for you.