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Vietnamese Phase 1, Units 1-30

Learn to Speak and Understand Vietnamese with Pimsleur Language Programs
By: Pimsleur
Narrated by: Pimsleur
Length: 16 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

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! Vietnamese Phase 1, Lessons 1-30 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 of Phase 1, 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 are included at the end of Unit 30 to provide you with an introduction to reading the Vietnamese alphabet. These lessons, which total about one hour, are designed to teach you to sound out words with Vietnamese pronunciation and accent. A Reading Booklet to be used with the audio lessons is also included in PDF format.

©2004 Simon & Schuster (P)2004 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"Pimsleur programs provide plenty of positive reinforcement that will keep learners on track, and we found that Pimsleur gave us more proficiency and confidence in speaking the new language than any of the other language programs we reviewed." (AudioFile magazine)

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Listen to native speakers using Northern dialect!

Any additional comments?

I served in Vietnam in '68-69 and am planning to return next year with my two adult children to show them Danang, Hoi An, and Saigon(although it's officially Ho Chi Minh City, it's still okay to refer to it as Saigon because the locals use the two names interchangeably). Back in the 60's I was sent to language school for a year to learn Vietnamese with native instructors so for my return trip I wanted to brush up to impress my kids and better enjoy my visit. I promised my daughter that this wasn't going to be a boring(for her) battlefield tour! All the more reason to know some conversational Vietnamese. When I looked around for language training I couldn't find it taught in any college continuing education programs. The Berlitz school was way too expensive. Rosetta Stone also seemed expensive and I read some negative reviews about how effective it was. I'm a huge Audible fan and while searching for books about Vietnam I saw this Pimsleur course offering and quickly went through the thirty lessons which were helpful for listening to natives speak. I missed not having any written materials to study grammar or a native to converse with who could listen to and correct me. In my search for what to study next I searched on YouTube and found "Learn Vietnamese with Annie" which is fabulous. Annie is a young Vietnamese woman in Saigon who started doing free YouTube lessons a few years ago. I've watched these videos while running on my treadmill and learned so much about the language, especially the differences in the Southern dialect. Annie now has a weekly podcast series available by subscription of $5/month. The value of the podcast is that you listen to a dialogue between two native speakers in a typical situation(market shopping, for example) and then Annie and Jack, an American I think, discuss the dialogue words and pronunciation. There's also an audio vocabulary review and a pdf of the dialogue transcript. You can listen as often as you want. Here's something else I recommend. I noticed on Amazon that two new dictionaries came out in February, 2016. They are from Tuttle Publishing and are fantastic! One is English to Vietnamese and the other its twin, the Vietnamese to English. You must get them! One other thing I'm now doing. Annie offers one-hour one to one lessons on Skype. I pay $63 for five lessons. Imagine, here's this old geezer talking on Skype with a young Vietnamese language teacher who's in Saigon. I had never used Skype before and now I'm acting like I'm a geek! Anyway, it's fun. She's eleven hours ahead of me but is very flexible in scheduling(my lesson is from 8:30-9:30pm East coast time). One of the great things about the Skype lesson is that there's a margin space on the side of the screen so if I don't understand something she just types it in the margin for me to see instantly. At the end of my lesson I copy and print the margin notes for later study. Anyway, I hope I don't sound like a salesman because I'm not affiliated with Annie in any way. Try her videos. She has a captivating smile and a contagious laugh.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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A worthwhile tool marred by poor editing

I have used Pimsleur courses to help learn languages and augment my ability to communicate in said languages for a few years now. The Pimsleur method is one that has certainly helped countless people communicate in a second, third etc. language. The problem with the Audible version of the complete Vietnamese Phase 1 is not a problem with either the Pimsleur method nor the speakers used in this course. It is a problem of editing.

Most Pimsleur courses include a reading component. This component is introduced late in the Phase 1 courses, after the student has had time to familiarize themselves with the pronunciation of the language. This keeps the student from reading familiar Roman letters with an incorrect English pronunciation. However, the Audible version of Pimsleur Vietnamese Phase 1 places all the reading exercise immediately after the introduction to the Pimsleur method, before any of the speaking lessons are given. Thus, to effectively use the course, one must skip over all the reading lessons to get to the actual beginning of the course. Then, when it is finally time to begin the reading lessons, one must jump back to the beginning of the file to find the appropriate reading lesson. One must then continually jump back and forth through the file to use the course as it was designed to be used.

I have not had this problem with other Pimsleur courses on Audible. For example, the European Portuguese course correctly places the first reading lesson after the speaking lesson that says you will begin with the reading lessons at this point in the course. It then alternates between speaking and reading lessons for the rest of the file. I do not know why the Vietnamese Phase 1 course is put together in an incredibly frustrating and less helpful way, but I would warn against picking up the Audible version until this problem is fixed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Best resource for learning Vietnamese

This is the best resource available for learning Vietnamese. Hours of exercises in the typical Pimsleur fashion where I'm asked to repeat after a native speaker and then to respond to questions with the new words learned. Eventually I found the ebook that has the reading exercises. It's a PDF file that can be downloaded from the Audible website (full site in browser) under "My Library". I purchased the digital download on Audible. If you purchase the CD set it should have a book.