Comments on the Spanish version of Michel Thomas

by Cynthia

I have been previewing this for a student, and I would say it is abysmal, especially in terms of the phonetics.

The main speaker sounds like a German/Polish Victor Borge.

The two students are a dim American girl, and an even dimmer British man, who in true brit fashion drops all his final r's. How many thousands of Spanish words end in r????

Much of the Spanish is actually mis-pronounced.
For instance, venir should be two separate syllables. The CD treats it as veneer (like the varnish).

Ditto with decir. It sounds more like duh-seer.

Spanish speakers have zero ability to pronounce short u, as in lunch, bunch, duh.

Therefore deh-seer, veh-neer. And gracias should be said more like grahssy -- ahsss.
Comparing this to Pimsleur with its native speakers and droll humor, I would give Michel Thomas a 12, and Pimsleur about a 95 on a scale of 1 to 100.

I should add that Pimsleur does not teach any grammar rules (they can be intuited after a while, just as you learned your native language), and Michel Thomas is essentially a recorded, informal grammar lecture with two people haltingly practicing the sample sentences.

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