Rocket Languages vs Pimsleur

Rocket Languages vs Pimsleur: Which Language App is Better?

Dennys Caldera Boka Published on August 25, 2023
Rocket Languages vs Pimsleur

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As a language learner, I’m sure you’re looking to achieve your goals quickly while having a good time. Rocket Languages and Pimsleur are two high-quality language learning apps that can help you learn a new language. Which one is better though? In any competition, there can only be one winner, and Rocket Languages takes that spot today. 

Editor’s Choice

Rocket Languages Overview
Rocket Languages offers quality content and a conversational approach. It has easy-to-follow lessons and a user-friendly interface, as well as a focus on your target language’s cultural background. 
Rocket Languages logo
Price $149.95
Free trial 7 days
Try Rocket Languages

You may be having a hard time deciding between Pimsleur and Rocket Languages. This is because both apps focus heavily on listening and speaking, aiming to improve your conversation skills from the start. However, as I’ll show you in this article, they have a different approach to learning a language.

Rocket Languages vs Pimsleur: A Quick Breakdown

Pimsleur offers a lot of different languages, and its audio-based lessons are a great gateway to start speaking from day one. It has a structured lesson plan where each lesson builds upon the previous one. This makes it easy to follow, especially for beginners. Rocket Languages offers short and manageable lessons that help you communicate effectively from the beginning. It has several tools to reinforce what you’ve learned and culture lessons that teach you the details of your target language. This is something most other language apps don’t offer.

The table below shows a comparison of Rocket Languages and Pimsleur based on the languages available, prices, and free trial offers.

Rocket LanguagesPimsleur
12 languages51 languages
Free Trial Lessons7-day free trial 
Try NowTry Now

Pimsleur vs Rocket Languages: Cost Comparison

Rocket Languages offers a wide range of prices, depending on the language, number of levels and payment plan. One level of a language costs $99.95 to $149.95 and is cheaper if you buy more levels at once. The six-month plan starts at $20.00 per month, and can go up to $75.00 per month, for all levels of a language with lifetime access to the content. There’s a free trial that gives you access to a few of the modules in each level. 

Pimsleur subscriptions start as low as $14.99 per month, which only includes the audio lessons.  You can also pay $20.99 per month for the Pimsleur Premium plan to access all the languages and other additional features. You can get lifetime access to the first level of Pimsleur’s course for $150, two levels for $300, or all five levels for $575.  There’s a 7-day free trial to try out all its features. 

While both apps are audio-based and focus on helping learners become conversational as quickly as possible, Rocket Languages is definitely worth the investment. Even though Pimsleur is very interactive, and has an excellent voice recognition system, it lacks alternative resources to practice with. Rocket Languages has many additional tools to help you practice and reinforce your learning, such as flashcards, reading and writing activities, and quizzes. Additionally, its content is more up-to-date and relevant.  

If neither option sounds right for you, here are some similar apps that might suit your needs:

Rocket Languages vs Pimsleur: How They Work

Both Rocket and Pimsleur are heavily audio-based. They’re designed to make you speak in your target language as soon as possible. While they cover the basics of grammar, there are major differences between the two. Let’s take a closer look! 

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

ReviewsRocket LanguagesPimsleur
Apple Store 4.34.8
Google Play Store4.74.1
Total Average Score4.0 3.9

How Rocket Languages Works

Rocket Languages courses start every module with an interactive audio lesson which can last between 15 to 40 minutes. You have a moderator who walks you through the coversation, and helps you understand the context of the situation better. Each audio lesson builds on the vocabulary of the previous one, which is a nice refresher of what you already learned.

beginner lesson on rocket italian

You then practice the vocabulary and pronunciation of key words in a conversation. The speech recognition software grades your pronunciation on a scale from 1 to 100. Additionally, there are language and culture lessons that have grammar explanations and useful insights on the language you’re learning. Here you can learn the differences between your target language and others, as well as cultural facts about regions where it’s spoken.

Rocket also offers survival kit lessons that feature vocabulary lists on day-to-day topics, especially useful for travelers. Depending on the language, you can find customized writing lessons. Finally, you have the chance to connect with other learners in the language forum, and get your questions answered when needed.

If you want to know more about the app, you can read this complete Rocket Languages review.

How Pimsleur Works

Pimsleur courses have a well-structured plan where you need to complete the lessons in order. The audio lessons are the core part of the program, and they usually last between 10 to 30 minutes. They feature two native speakers in a simulated conversation. After you complete the conversation, you review keywords and phrases. Pimsleur allows you to read and listen to key vocabulary, changing the speed of the audio as needed.

main features of a pimsleur lesson

Then, you can practice the vocabulary and grammar (to a lesser extent) with some activities, such as flashcards or skill drills.  Finally, you can use the speech recognition tool in a series of challenges, until you get the pronunciation right. This way, you are able to polish your speaking skills in every single lesson. 

You can download the lessons in your language course through the Pimsleur language app, so you can listen to them if you’re offline anytime, anywhere. To learn more about the app, check out this complete Pimsleur review. 

Rocket Languages: Pros and Cons

What I like about Rocket Languages is the culture lessons they provide along with the modules. It’s a great way to get context and understand subtle differences in grammar and vocabulary while still keeping it fresh and simple. Also, the lessons are easy to follow, and the conversations are entertaining. Then, there’s a focus on practice with the Play It! feature, so you can play both parts in every conversation. 

Another feature that I personally like is that Rocket provides the transcript for every conversation. For a visual learner like me, it makes a big difference. It’s also worth mentioning how it dives deep into grammar, by offering detailed explanations of relevant aspects of your target language. As a teacher myself, I do appreciate this.  

practice dialogue on rocket chinese

As good as it is, I think Rocket Languages still has a couple of areas to improve. First, the language offer is still very limited, covering only the most popular languages. Additionally, some languages like Portuguese, Russian, and Korean only have one level, so if your goal is to reach an advanced level, it won’t always be possible. 

Nevertheless, Rocket Languages will definitely help you establish a strong foundation in your target language. When you complete a Rocket course, you can move on to other resources to continue learning.

Pimsleur: Pros and Cons

The Pimsleur method is very famous for its top-notch lessons, and I must admit it’s a well-earned fame. Native speakers voice every conversation, and they break them down into their simplest components, making it easier for learners to understand the grammar and vocabulary. 

What’s more, its speech recognition system is a dedicated tool that works like your own ‘vocal coach’. It covers aspects like intonation, rhythm, melody, and pronunciation from day one, so you can speak the language accurately, even as a beginner. It even has a challenge mode, where you have to say a phrase in your target language with no previous cue.

speak easy feature on pimsleur

On the other hand, Pimsleur has a limited amount of vocabulary in the lessons, so don’t expect to learn many new words. Its goal is to teach you the structure or framework, so if you want to dig deeper, that’s up to you. Another point is that the language used in some conversations might be a little formal, making some dialogues sound a bit “unnatural”. 

As Pimsleur is an entirely audio-based program, it focuses mainly on listening and speaking, leaving almost no room for other important skills. This lack of variety can frustrate people who have different learning styles. In any case, Pimsleur is still one of the most reputable names on the market, and it’s always a good choice. 

Rocket Languages or Pimsleur: Which Language App is Better?

Both language learning programs do a great job in engaging learners and preparing them to speak from the get-go. They also have high-quality content, and their audio-based lessons are definitely some of the best out there. I have to point out, though, that Rocket Languages allows you to learn the target language from multiple areas such as listening, speaking, reading, or writing. 

Both apps are a great choice for anyone who’s just starting out, as they guide you through the basics in a systematic way. However, Pimsleur can get too technical in its explanations, so you would require a lot of attention for some of the lessons. 

All in all, Rocket Languages has smooth transitions between lessons, and it gives you the chance to practice what you just learned through different resources. Its interface is intuitive, and instructions are also very clear, so you know what steps to take and what tools to use. So, the winner of this match is Rocket Languages. 

Pimsleur or Rocket Languages: FAQ

Is Rocket Languages better than Pimsleur?

Rocket Languages is better than Pimsleur because it offers you more resources, a more diverse approach to learning and much more flexibility. While Pimsleur is well-structured, it’s very restrictive in its sequence. It also covers more languages and specific dialects than Rocket Languages. You can’t advance to the next lesson unless you have finished the previous one. On the other hand, Rocket Languages is way more flexible, allowing you to move freely between the lessons, so you can explore the modules as you prefer. 

Does Rocket Languages make you fluent?

Rocket Languages has high-quality audio lessons with excellent practice tools, so your speaking skills can improve quickly. It has a good mix of intense audio practice, insightful culture lessons, simple grammar explanations and enough vocabulary. In the end, it all depends on your effort, but Rocket Languages makes it easier to achieve that goal. 

Has anyone become fluent from Pimsleur?

Pimsleur is an all-time classic, and lots of people have become fluent with its help over the years.  It uses spaced repetition which helps you remember new vocabulary more easily so you can communicate effectively fast. If you’re a complete beginner, you can see real progress in a short amount of time.

Is Rocket Language Japanese worth it?

One of the most popular courses in Rocket Languages is Japanese, and it is definitely worth a try. The course is divided into 3 levels of 7 modules each, and you practice a lot of reading and writing, which is by far the most difficult aspect of Japanese. It has tons of exercises for you to read and write in all the three writing systems, and it even has a kanji writing tool. 

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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