January 16, 2016 | Pashto

The Art of Pimsleur Pashto

The mellifluous voice of the woman on the audio recordings makes for excellent Pashto promotion.

Until a couple of weeks ago I was zipping along with my Pimsleur audio lessons for Pashto. When I don’t like a voice on an audio recording, it is a huge bummer. It doesn’t happen much — I am not that picky — but when it does, ugh.

Fortunately this Pashto-speaking woman’s voice is positively musical, just beautiful. Bell-like. Sexy consonants everywhere! The language is very appealing to me anyway, but when she speaks it, it is even better.

Automated E-Agents Do Not Make Good Conversationalists

Automated E-Agents Do Not Make Good Conversationalists

I am such a Pimsleur addict that when I approach a new language, the first thing I check is how many Pimsleur lessons are available for it.

Actually, that is not really accurate, because I pretty much have their whole 50+ language inventory memorized. I know for instance that they have 10 Twi lessons and 30 Croatian lessons and 30 Egyptian Arabic lessons and 30 Tagalog lessons and 30 Finnish lessons and 60 Greek lessons and 90 Russian lessons and 90 Modern Standard Arabic lessons and 120 Mandarin lessons and 150 Spanish lessons. 

If people walked up to me at random on the street all day long asking me, “Does Pimsleur offer Language X?” I would almost always be able to say yes or no, and if the answer was yes, also be able to tell them the lesson count and the approximate pricing. 

Mostly these decisions of how many lessons to make per language must be based on customer demand, I think. Fewer people want to learn Finnish than Mandarin. Fewer people want to learn Twi than Spanish.

If there aren’t many Pimsleur lessons available for a language that interests me, that is a huge disappointment to me. I wish Pimsleur could just suddenly explode with oodles more lessons.

When there are 90 lessons for a language, then I am happy. That is a great base to practice with. I really wish they had 90 Hindi lessons. And 90 Greek lessons. And 90 Egyptian Arabic lessons. And 90 Polish lessons. And a bunch of other stuff.

There are 60 for Pashto, which is not quite my ideal number, but given the demand in the general population for Pashto here (negligible), I am extremely happy with that allotment. The two main languages of Afghanistan, Dari and Pashto, both have 60 lessons on Pimsleur, a situation that can presumably be attributed to U.S. military history in Afghanistan.

Comments (2)

Kelly • Posted on Mon, January 18, 2016 - 8:57 am EST

I always imagine that at our Christmas party we should have a Pimsleur challenge.  If we ever do, we shall invite you. Oh! And Hindi Level 2 is in the works.

Stanzzii ( • Posted on Tue, January 19, 2016 - 1:06 pm EST

Good luck with Pashto! It’s such a beautiful language—I’ve been thinking about it since I watched a documentary on education that featured Afghanistan.

I haven’t used Pimsleur too much though because of it’s price. But I do like their little basics packages!

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