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5.0 out of 5 stars Splurge on German IV and have a little fun!, 19 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Pimsleur German Level 4 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand German with Pimsleur Language Programs (Comprehensive) (Audio CD)
I have just finished module IV of the Pimsleur German series. My experience was as follows:

New Material
The first 10 Units are, thankfully, not a repetition of the previous German III Plus module. This is good news, as the dialogues and vocabulary of German III+ seemed to stray more-than-a-little from the central themes of the previous, and now follow-up, modules. As announced by the publisher, the new material covers the vocabulary of business meetings, sight-seeing, accomodations, restaurants, etcetera.

Review of Previous Material
Much of the vocabulary, phrases, and sentence structures from German I, II, III modules have been rather cleverly incorporated into the German IV dialogues, thereby yielding a more-or-less full review of the entire Pimsleur German programme. This is really something of a "plus" since, as anyone who has used the Pimsleur Method can attest, reviewing the material represents something of a challenge.

Grammatical Emphasis
Pimsleur German IV places a particular emphasis on the use of the singular and plural "informal you" verb conjugations and pronouns. The declension of attributive adjectives and the use of relative pronouns are introduced, as are more complex sentence structure, and additional verb tenses and moods. However, as always with Pimsleur, one must refer to a grammar to understand what is going on; this is the major weakness of Pimsleur, meiner Meinung nach.

Vocabulary: 500 words, really?
Pimsleur's count of 500 new words "might" be valid. However, to achieve this number, they must have included as a "new" word, every occurrence of a noun, pronoun, adjective, or article, in every variant of gender, number, case, or noun-compounding. The same is true for verb conjugations; that is, every person, number, or tense of a given infinitive verb is counted as a "new" word. My count, which resembles that of most dictionary "entries", comes out to about 250 words ... and I'm being generous.

Pimsleur German I, II, III, IV
From what I understand, Pimsleur German was first introduced around 1978. Despite the well-deserved success of Modules I, II, III, and despite repeated requests for a follow-up Module, it took Simon & Schuster quite some time before deciding to issue Pimsleur German IV. So, while its arrival is indeed a welcome development, its recent publication should be viewed by two separate groups of users according to their needs and wishes:

(a) As a direct "continuation" of the Pimsleur German series
For those students who are currently studying, or have recently studied, the German I, II, III series, the publication of German IV is both a windfall and a must! Apart from the presentation of new vocabulary and the introduction of new grammatical forms in Module IV, both of which will help students advance in their studies, the very astute inclusion of virtually all of the material from the previous Modules provides a REVIEW of the entire programme that would be otherwise difficult to effect. Really, if you're intent on following the German I, II, III series, then you MUST follow-up with German IV! To do otherwise would be to diminish your investment of time and money in the previous modules.

(b) As a "return" to the Pimsleur German series
Given the amount of time that has passed since the original German I, II, III series was published, inevitably, there a numerous users of Pimsleur German who will have moved on to other methods, virtually all of which cover the material included in German IV and much more (Assimil, FSI Basic, Linguaphone). For these students, the question is: should I "return" to Pimsleur IV? Well, quite frankly, such students will find that German IV offers very little in the way of new vocabulary or grammar that they do not already know. So, should they spend the money anyway?

It was "worth it" for me!
I fall into the category of students who used the Pimsleur German I, II, III, III+ series a few years ago and who then moved on to more advanced material; specifically Assimil, FSI Basic, and Linguaphone, as well as a series of Graded Readers. I anticipated, quite rightly, that I wouldn't learn much from Pimsleur German IV. Nonetheless, I bought it anyway (as an mp3 download from Simon & Schuster) and I found the sheer experience of revisiting the Pimsleur method to be thoroughly enjoyable. So, was "worth it" for me! To draw a rather weak analogy, it was like watching an old movie that you've seen several times before and that you know you're going to watch again because it's just so darned pleasant! My advice? What the heck, if you've already studied Pimsleur German I, II, III some time ago, then "splurge" on German IV and have a little fun!
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