Pimsleur vs Language Transfer

Pimsleur vs Language Transfer: Which App Is Better 

Dennys Caldera Boka Published on February 26, 2024
Pimsleur vs Language Transfer

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Learning a new language can be challenging if you don’t have the right tools. Language-learning apps like Pimsleur and Language Transfer are excellent resources that can help you see results in quickly. Both emphasize context-based learning, so you understand the language intuitively. However, as in any contest, there has to be a winner, and today, Pimsleur claims the top spot.

Editor’s Choice

Pimsleur Overview

Pimsleur has audio-based lessons that are specially designed to help you develop your conversational skills. Its method focuses on learning the language from the context of a dialogue. It uses spaced repetition, reviewing key content with progressively spaced intervals to improve memorization. 
pimsleur logo
Price $14.95/month
Free trial 7 days
Try Pimsleur

If you’re looking for an app that puts your listening skills to the test, Pimsleur and Language Transfer are two good options. But as similar as they might look at first glance, they have a different approach. Pimsleur’s scientifically proven method and top-tier audio lessons make for a superior learning experience. Curious to learn more? I’ll tell you everything you need to know in this Pimsleur vs Language Transfer comparison!

Pimsleur vs Language Transfer: A Quick Breakdown

Pimsleur provides a wide range of languages, and their audio-based lessons are awesome for diving right into speaking. Additionally, its course structure is well-organized, so you move smoothly from one lesson to the next. Language Transfer is completely audio-based, focusing on identifying word and grammar patterns. Lessons have a classroom style, where you’re encouraged to build an understanding of the language at its core.   

The table below shows you a quick comparison of Pimsleur and Language Transfer based on the languages available, prices, and their free trial offers.

PimsleurLanguage Transfer
51 Languages9 Languages
$14.95 per monthFree
7-day free trialFree
Try NowTry Now

Pimsleur vs Language Transfer: Cost Comparison

Pimsleur has various subscription options, with prices beginning at $14.99 per month for access to the audio lessons. Alternatively, you can opt for the Pimsleur Premium plan at $20.99 per month, which gives you access to all languages and extra features. There’s a 7-day free trial available to explore all the app’s features before committing.

Language Transfer is a platform that provides free language courses. It’s an independent project with no sponsors, advertisers, or affiliates. Language Transfer is sustained by donations made by language learners. Everything is completely free, so what you see is what you get. 

As Language Transfer’s language courses are free, you won’t have to pay for anything, unless you’d like to make a donation. If you’re on a budget and want to experiment with a different learning approach, this might be a good choice. However, Pimsleur is definitely worth its price. It offers more than 50 languages to choose from, and you can start learning for as low as $14.99 per month. With its scientifically proven method, it helps you develop your listening and speaking skills naturally from day one. 

if you’re looking for more options, here are some similar alternatives.

Language Transfer vs Pimsleur: How They Work

Pimsleur has audio lessons, which resemble podcast episodes. Speaking and listening are the core elements of its methodology. Each lesson teaches you grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation based on the context presented in the dialogue. While the Language Transfer courses have only audio lessons, the app’s approach is quite different. It has a classroom style, with very short lessons. The lessons provide a blend of grammar, new words, and speaking in each session.

Check out the table below to see how the apps rate across the web.

ReviewsPimsleurLanguage Transfer
Apple Store4.74.8
Google Play Store4.54.9
Average Score4.64.4

How Pimsleur Works

All Pimsleur courses follow a structured plan, where you must complete each lesson before advancing to the next. It places a strong emphasis on listening and speaking, within the context of podcast-style lessons. Each lesson typically lasts 30 minutes, where a moderator speaking English guides you through a simulated conversation step by step. You listen to a couple of sentences in your target language, and then the moderator will stop to explain the situation.

Pimsleur lesson

After you complete the lesson, you review and reinforce what you learned by working on a variety of hands-on drills and exercises. These reinforcement activities include reading drills, digital flashcards, quizzes, pronunciation training, and speed games. It also has vocabulary bonus packs and pronunciation training with its vocal coach software tool. The lessons conclude with opportunities to use the speech recognition tool in various challenges to refine pronunciation. 

The Pimsleur app enables you to download all MP3 tracks, allowing offline access at your convenience. To delve deeper into the app’s functionalities, check out this Pimsleur review.

How Language Transfer Works

Language Transfer’s courses follow a very simple structure. Each course has a certain number of lessons, which last between 5-10 minutes. In each, the instructor dives into the language, exploring its grammar, vocabulary, and phonetics. As he explains different aspects of your target language, he engages with a beginner student, posing questions about the covered material. The approach is designed to make you feel like you and your classmate are learning together, hearing the material for the first time. This way, you learn by hearing both their mistakes and correct responses as they navigate through the language.

The instructor is always relating words to each other, analyzing where they come from, and categorizing them into groups. There’s a heavy focus on explaining why certain grammatical rules exist while comparing English to your target language. The method is about words and rules that you can convert or transfer from one language to another. You can take the courses either on the website or the app, and no sign-up is required.

Pimsleur: Pros and Cons

The Pimsleur method is known for its top-notch podcast-style lessons. They feature native speakers who break down conversations to teach the simplest elements of language. This helps you understand how to apply your chosen language with ease. The courses are taught in an intuitive way, and the interface is user-friendly, as well. 

What’s particularly impressive is the speech recognition software, akin to having a personal vocal coach. It covers essential aspects like intonation, rhythm, melody, and pronunciation right from the start. This makes sure you can speak the language accurately, even as a beginner. Additionally, the reinforcement drills complement the lessons nicely, allowing you to refine your communication skills.

Pimsleur lesson

Pimsleur doesn’t teach many new words in every lesson, so keep your expectations low in that area. The main focus is on speaking and getting the language’s structure down. Plus, keep in mind that the lessons are more formal, making things feel a bit stiff. Some of the courses for less popular languages like Tagalog or Swedish are also less developed than the ones for languages like Spanish, Italian, or French. For this reason, is best to check what’s available for the language you want to study beforehand.

Language Transfer: Pros and Cons

Language Transfer takes an innovative approach to language learning. Lessons have a classroom-like style, where each lesson is like a friendly short conversation. The way the program helps you identify patterns shared between languages is very interesting. I appreciate how Language Transfer makes you think in your target language from the first few minutes. 

Another important advantage is that it’s completely free. Unless you want to donate, you will never have to pay a penny. If you just want to try out a language and don’t want to commit to a paid subscription, it’s a safe option.

On the flip side, I think the program is not very complete. As it consists of audio, it falls short of covering other key skills such as reading and writing. It lacks visual tools and resources, like flashcards, reading drills, or quizzes. The style eventually gets repetitive and a bit hard to follow as you advance through the lessons.

Language Transfer or Pimsleur: Which is Better?

Both Pimsleur and Language Transfer are heavily audio-based language courses that help you learn your target language using context. However, their similarities end there. Pimsleur has an interactive interface, which provides an immersive experience where you have several resources and tools available. Language Transfer relies solely on its audio lessons, lacking the necessary diversity to tackle different areas. While Language Transfer might be good if you’re a casual learner or just starting, it won’t be useful if you’re at an upper level.

In short, its comprehensive lesson plan, high-quality audio lessons, and effective reinforcement drills make Pimsleur the absolute winner of the day. My recommendation: choose Pimsleur if you’re serious about learning languages.

Pimsleur and Language Transfer: FAQ

What is the Language Transfer method?

Language Transfer centers on identifying language patterns relying only on audio lessons. These are like classes where an instructor teaches you how to build an intuitive understanding of the language. The idea is to connect the dots, trying to figure out what elements can be transferred from one language to another. 

Can you become fluent with Pimsleur?

Yes, Pimsleur’s spaced repetition method has helped many people to become fluent over the years. Its high-quality audio-based lessons and heavy focus on practical conversation can help you develop your listening and speaking skills quickly.

Is the Language Transfer app really free?

Yes, Language Transfer is absolutely free. It’s an independent project with no sponsors, advertisers, or affiliates. There’s no sign-up, no ads, and nothing to pay for. They do accept donations if you’d like to support the project.

Which app is better, Pimsleur or Language Transfer?

Pimsleur is definitely superior to Language Transfer. While Language Transfer is good if you’re just starting, Pimsleur offers a more comprehensive learning program. Its well-structured lesson plan, high-quality audio lessons, and effective reinforcement drills make it a far better choice to learn a language effectively. 

Dennys Caldera Boka

Dennys is a content writer at Langoly. He’s passionate about language learning and has been helping others achieve their goals and develop their language skills for many years. He’s interested in emerging technologies and how they can help people reskill and upskill. He loves cooking, watching sci-fi movies, and listening to podcasts. Connect with Dennys on LinkedIn.

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