damn, am I fed-up with people pushing crap, either
the rote-learning-crap or
the "pimsleur don't work: because I haven't tried it but it's the same as all the others" crap.
IF you want to CONVERSE/THINK/FUNCTION in the language, AUTOMATICALLY,
at a level more-fundamental than having to think to engage it as a language,
then Pimsleur's the only way I know-of that GETS it:
It's based on the same mechanism that babies engage when learning language:
soundshapes & meaning, weaving 'em into one-another while learning 'em both, at-once.
Within a couple of lessons, if you accidentally hear some discussion in the language you're learning,
you'll experience the quite-surprising feeling of having your mind tracking it as a language
that is engaging your language-brain.
The difference is that quick-to-notice, and that-fundamental.
Rote-learning is for blockheadedness, and people who figure that doing some other route
( other than the one babies engage when learning language, our fundamental-est language-learning-circuit )
gets results faster, or at a more-automatic level, well, that's fine, but no adult *I*'ve ever heard-of learns as fast as a small child ( in language ),
and that particular circuit would seem to be difficult to beat. .
Note that babies don't learn the basics of language by rote, or by anything-written, whatsoever.
Accept that the basic circuit is language, not written anything, and accepting that, dive-right-in, gaining the root dimension of it.
Or, go sabotage the swift progression into it to have a more-conventional progress that includes written stuff,
and try to ram that progress down to the fundamentallest-level, until you're functioning at an automatic-ish-level,
approximating the results you would have had by doing it the way nature wrote into your brain. . .
What idiocy. Get the "Instant Conversation" edition of Pimsleur for whatever language you care about
( that is the most-cost-effective edition they make -- about $50 US ),
and try it: if you NEED to function, and discover just how stunningly effective Pimsleur is, then go the whole-deal.
Playing-at learning language is for people who like playing-at it, and it must have its place, eh?
( the "playing-at" comment is only because the culture+pictures+context+etc play-games start at the second level of language, not at the first, and if you're trying to learn a language, beginning with step-two isn't the maximally-effective way of getting automatic-competence.
The Rosetta Stone isn't a brand I've tried, or maybe I have ( don't remember the name of the program it was, a friend who swore by it ), but the method misses the fundamental level's near-instinct-competence growing )
Cheers whichever choice you commit, and don't be surprised by the methods nature wrote into your brain being more effective than others, no matter how "nice" they are ( simply because nothing prepared me for how that having-my-language-brain track someone else's conversation felt, after only, 3 or so lessons ).