Castilian Spanish, Comprehensive

Castilian Spanish, Comprehensive

Learn to Speak and Understand Castilian Spanish with Pimsleur Language Programs
  • This Edition: CD ( Also available in: MP3 )
  • Lessons: 30
  • ISBN: 9781442348448
  • Availability: In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day
  • List Price: $345.00

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Description

Includes 30 lessons and reading instruction on 16 CDs, plus a reading booklet

Castilian Spanish

  • In the United States, the term “Castilian” or “Castilian Spanish” usually refers to the dialect that is the official language of Spain, where it’s used in television and radio broadcasts.  It is understood throughout the country, although there are marked regional differences.
  • The difference between Castilian Spanish as spoken in Spain and Spanish as spoken in the Americas (now called Latin American Spanish) is due to the diminishing contact between Spain and the Americas over the centuries and to the influence of local languages in the Americas.  These two main variants of Spanish are mutually intelligible; the difference between them is comparable to that between British English and American English. 
  • Pimsleur’s “Castilian Spanish” teaches the official dialect as spoken by the majority of Spanish-speakers in Spain.
  • Spanish is the official language of twenty-one countries and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.   Spanish is the first language of more than 350 million people, more than any other language except Mandarin Chinese. 
  • Furthermore, Spanish is a common second language --- the most studied after English, and the third most commonly used on the Internet after English and Mandarin.


Pimsleur's Castilian Spanish Language Program

The Pimsleur® Method: the easiest, fastest way to learn a new language. Completely portable, easily downloadable, and lots of fun. You’ll be speaking and understanding in no time flat! Castilian Spanish, Comprehensive includes 15 hours of spoken language practice and one hour of reading instruction in thirty, 30-minute lessons.
  • In the first 10 lessons, you’ll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more. You’ll be able to handle minimum courtesy requirements, understand much of what you hear, and be understood at a beginning level, but with near-native pronunciation skills.
  • In the next 10 lessons, you’ll build on what you’ve learned. Expand your menu, increase your scheduling abilities from general to specific, start to deal with currency and exchanging money, refine your conversations and add over a hundred new vocabulary items. You’ll understand more of what you hear, and be able to participate with speech that is smoother and more confident.
  • In the final 10 lessons, you’ll be speaking and understanding at an intermediate level. In this phase, more directions are given in the target language, which moves your learning to a whole new plane. Lessons include shopping, visiting friends, going to a restaurant, plans for the evening, car trips, and talking about family. You’ll be able to speak comfortably about things that happened in the past and make plans for the future.

Reading Lessons begin in Unit 11 and provide you with an introduction to reading Castilian Spanish. These lessons are designed to teach you to sound out words with correct pronunciation and accent. In addition, combined Reading Lessons from all the units are included at the end. A Reading Booklet to be used with the audio lessons is also included in PDF format.

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REVIEWS SUMMARY

by PowerReviews
PimsleurCastilian Spanish Phase 1, Units 1-30
 
4.3

(based on 18 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • It works (16)
  • Easy to use (15)
  • Portable (15)
  • Perfects accent (14)
  • Fun (12)

Cons

  • Pricey / poor value (4)

Best Uses

  • Travel (15)
  • Business/work (9)
  • Self-improvement (9)
  • Fun (5)
  • Family background/heritage (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Traveler (12), Business person (6), Student (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

The Best (and Worst) Castilian Method

This is, by far, the best language learning program I've come across (and I've tried lots). Not only does it work, it's also very enjoyable to use. I found myself looking...Read complete review

This is, by far, the best language learning program I've come across (and I've tried lots). Not only does it work, it's also very enjoyable to use. I found myself looking forward to the half hour I'd spend each day listening to my daily language lessons; and that's honestly all it takes, only 30 minutes per day. The Graduated Interval Recall system utilized by Pimsleur works. It absolutely, positively works. If you listen to these tapes everyday and use them as directed, you WILL learn your new language. But, unfortunately for me, I plan on moving to Spain eventually and hoped to learn Castilian Spanish, not the Latin American variation. Pimsleur's Castilian version stops after the first 30 lessons. I was unaware of this and would not have purchased the set if I had. I just assumed the the lessons would continue after stage 1, I didn't even consider the possibility that I wouldn't even have the option to continue my studies after the first 30 days (this is the only advantage other programs have over Pimsleur: the option to continue learning the language all the way to fluency). There is simply no point in stopping after lesson 30, you'll have barely scratched the surface of the language after 30 lessons. What I've learned so far has been incredible, like I said, the best, most effective method I've tried but there simply isn't enough content available to warrant a purchase. Pimsleur offers a full set for the Latin American Spanish variation but not for Castilian. If you'd like to learn Latin American Spanish, by all means, buy these tapes right now, do not hesitate, it will be well worth your money and you will not regret it. But the Castilian is worthless, it works great but falls drastically short. I truly feel this is a shame, I was so excited to finally come across a program that worked for me only to discover that, after one month of learning, my studies would come to a screeching halt. Great product but incomplete and, therefore, inadequate. There is absolutely no point in paying for a product that gets you started and then stops after 30 days. Would you pay full price for a car that stops working after the first year? Neither would I. No one would. Hence, the best (and worst) Castilian language learning product on the market.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

No plans to go past Phase 1.

The Pimsleur method is excellent. Graduated interval recall works very well. Pimsleur's strategy is to focus pretty much exclusively on listening and speaking skills, rather than reading and writing. I think that strategy...Read complete review

The Pimsleur method is excellent. Graduated interval recall works very well. Pimsleur's strategy is to focus pretty much exclusively on listening and speaking skills, rather than reading and writing. I think that strategy is good, as there are plenty of textbooks you can use to learn the reading and writing. Pimsleur also deliberately limits the vocabulary to a relatively few well-chosen words, with the expectation that you can work on vocabulary afterwards. I find this works well, particularly since you will be able to build your vocabulary exclusively using Spanish (asking someone to define a word using Spanish, instead of English) if you want to. It is wrong, though, that none of this is explained to you before you purchase.

The graduated interval method and related memory-related research is not exclusive to this product, but Pimsleur's implementation is very good. Pimsleur's method seems to be closely related to work done by Advance Memory Research, who also have implemented the method, with more vocabulary and less repetition. (Editors: Don't even think about removing my reference to AMR, or I'll come back and tell everyone you did that. If you don't remove the AMR reference, it is OK with me if you remove this parenthetical remark.) I find that using the two methods together is very effective. I also use other resources for reading and writing.

What is VERY BAD about this product is that it is seriously incomplete. I knew when I purchased it that it only had Phase 1, so I simultaneously purchased Latin American Spanish so I could proceed past what was covered in Castillian Spanish. BUT it wasn't until afterwards, when I emailed Customer Service, that I learned that there is no intention of producing any more Phases. This is all you get. That is a big problem. We really need more material, both to continue practicing the Castillian accent and to learn vocabulary that is unique to Spain, such as the vosotros forms, which are not even mentioned in this course, and which you WILL NOT get in Latin American Spanish, because they are only used in Spain. And they are very common there. There are also many other vocabulary differences between Castillian and Latin American, due to influence from other languages, such as indigenous American native languages, not to mention American English. So Latin American Spanish has many English cognates that aren't in Castillian, and which you need to learn somehow, but for which Pimsleur is of no help.

Pimsleur is very good for developing a good accent. The voice actors present three distinct accents which you should try to imitate. After getting part way through this course, I was able to demonstrate to the teacher in my Spanish class the ability to switch between Castillian and Latin American pronunciation (and not just the "th" stuff, but the whole accent).

Finally, I want to point out that the software is completely brain-dead. It looks like it was set up to run on a mobile phone and then patched up to work, presenting the same interface, on a desktop computer. The app insists on using its own PDF reader and MP3 player, not giving you the opportunity to use your system reader and player, for example. For example, when reading PDFs, the only way to turn pages is to click on icons. You can't use the mouse wheel or keyboard keys. The MP3 player is not so bad, though I still think you should be able to use your own. (You probably can use your own reader and player if you navigate the file system instead of going through the app.)

You can easily pause the MP3 player if you need more time to respond than is provided. I did not need this until lesson 27, and I recommend you repeat any lesson until you no longer need to use the pause button. It also has buttons to quickly jog backwards or forwards by 10 seconds, which is useful if you didn't get something the first time. I also didn't need them until lesson 27.

I completed the entire course (just one Phase, in case you missed it) in 7 days, which is 4 times the recommended pace, easily and with apparently no adverse effects from going fast. I should point out that I am a "former native speaker" of Castillian Spanish. I learned it between ages 2 and 5 (no reading and writing), and then forgot everything when we moved back to the US.

Reviewed by 18 customers

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5.0

Perfectly fit for anyone

By Norma

from Columbia, SC

About Me Non Profit Organization, Traveler

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Fun
  • It Works
  • Perfects Accent
  • Portable

Cons

  • Time commitment

Best Uses

  • Business/Work
  • Self-improvement
  • Travel

Comments about Castilian Spanish Phase 1, Units 1-30:

Just within a week, I was able to speak and understand my lessons. I would practice with people I know in Spain and they were impresses how fast I have learned. Castilian Spanish is my 6th language that I am learning.
I am so thankful and I do recommend it to many.
Already many of my friends are looking into ordering it.
Thanks again.

 
5.0

Highly Recommended

By mfears777

from Tampa, FL

About Me Business person

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • It Works
  • Perfects Accent
  • Portable

Cons

  • Only Level 1

Best Uses

  • Business/Work
  • Self-improvement
  • Travel

Comments about Castilian Spanish Phase 1, Units 1-30:

I purchased from Pimsleur after reading several reviews online and also searching for alternative options. However there are only two options for Castilian Spanish programs, Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone. Every review I found placed Pimsleur as a better teaching program so I went with them. I was very pleased that I could download and start the program immediately. I placed the MP3 files on my iPhone and using the Bluetooth system in my car, listen to the course on my commute to work. I'm on lesson five and I am very excited that I have been able to pick up the language in what I feel is a very short period of time. I would highly recommend Pimsleur's course. As others, I'm disappointed that the lessons stop at 30. I think that will be enough to be have conversational skills and I would like to take my learning further. To do so, I've decided to also purchase Rosetta Stone in hopes that it will take my Castilian Spanish skills to the next level.

 
5.0

Excellent system, very useful in Spain

By TwoCyclists

from Portola Valley, CA

About Me Traveler

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • It Works
  • Perfects Accent

Cons

  • No Advanced Castilian

Best Uses

  • Travel

Comments about Castilian Spanish Phase 1, Units 1-30:

I used the basic course in Castilian Spanish to prepare for a 3-week trip to Spain last spring, and
found it extremely useful in my interactions with restaurant, hotel staff, and shopkeepers. Despite my basic level and lack of previous Spanish study, I was able to communicate surprisingly well.

We loved our experience in Spain so much that we decided to return in November, and I have proceeded on to Phase I (which overlaps the basic).

The Pimsleur Castilian Spanish course is more effective than other systems I have tried to use in the past for other foreign languages. I suppose this is because you learn to speak fairly naturally by repeating the same phrases in various contexts until they are quite familiar and easy to produce, and then you combine the familiar phrases to create whole sentences.

Furthermore, though I can't properly trill my r's, the pronunciation I have achieved was accurate enough to be understood well on most occasions in Spain.

I think the most effective results of the method are (1) building a solid inventory in your memory of useful vocabulary and phrases that are easy to produce when needed, and (2) developing a good pronunciation by breaking apart the words and phrases to call attention to their sounds.

 
5.0

Can learn Spanish while taking a walk

By Martha

from New Orleans, LA

About Me Traveler

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Fun
  • It Works
  • Perfects Accent
  • Portable

Cons

  • Expensive

Best Uses

  • Just for fun
  • Self-improvement
  • Travel

Comments about Castilian Spanish Phase 1, Units 1-30:

Most days I listen to the lesson on my iPhone while I am taking a walk. The 30 minutes are perfect because that is about how long I walk. I have been intrigued and amazed at how cleverly the program developers repeat words and phrases learned earlier at unexpected moments. Great reinforcement!

After about 10 days, I took a trip to New York and was able to hold a simple conversation with a waiter and a chambermaid. Granted, I already knew some Spanish, but all-in-all I am quite thrilled with the product.

 
4.0

Good but I'm learning slowly

By Warren

from Marin County

About Me Traveler

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • It Works
  • Portable

Cons

  • Not Much Fun
  • Too Fast

Best Uses

  • Travel

Comments about Castilian Spanish Phase 1, Units 1-30:

We got the Castilian Spanish in preparation for a trip to Spain, where we're taking an intensive two week course. It's a genius program and well thought out. I do a practice once or twice a day. In the early lessons, I only needed to do them about twice to get 80% right, but as I get deeper into it (now on Lesson 15), i find that I have to do the lesson three or four times to reach 80%, and I still can barely follow some of the dialogue at the beginning of the lesson. I wish it was more fun; it's like a chore for me to do the practice. The integration of reading seems good to me, and I like that it repeats words and phrases from the earlier lessons, so that some of the early stuff really sinks in, and the variation and repetition really help me to get it right (as right as I can). However, I have trouble with some of the longer sentences, and I wish there was some more practice and breakdown of them. I tried several other products before getting Pimsleur, and Pimsleur is so much better that it's in another league. I only regret that the Castilian Spanish does not go beyond lesson 30. I guess I'll have to switch to Latin American Spanish if I make it that far.

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