Glossika vs Pimsleur: These Guidelines Will Help You Make a Decision

By Ari Helderman
March 30, 2018

glossika vs pimsleurSince there are many different language programs out there, it might be difficult to pick which one is more for you. Today we’ll discuss Glossika vs Pimsleur. So if you’re on the verge of signing up for one of these programs, be sure to read this first. And if you have any doubts, I’ll make sure you pick the right program. Since both are different, they’re both good for different types of students.

Note: even though the site is about learning Russian, this is a general Glossika vs Pimsleur language learning program. Although I do not have experience with every single language for these courses, they are generally structured the same for every language.

Glossika vs Pimsleur

Let’s start off by saying that both courses are very different. Whereas Glossika focuses more on repetition, words and vocabulary, Pimsleur on the other hand is a course that gradually teaches you all the aspects of the language. So in general I’d say that if you’re a complete beginner and know absolutely nothing of the language, you might be better of picking Pimsleur. But if you already know some words and grammar and want to increase your working vocabulary and phrases – Glossika is the obvious better choice.

Watch this video where I tell you in Russian (with English subtitles) 9 reasons why Russian is actually easy to learn.

Pick Glossika if:

In the previous paragraph I already told you the main points for deciding which program. But let’s dive a bit deeper into it here. Glossika is a spaced-repetition audio course that will give you many new sentences and words to learn every day. Their main strength is that you can use the program in a short period of time (10-20 minutes per day) and learn a ton of new vocabulary and working phrases.

Now, the downside of this is that there isn’t too much grammar explained. And other aspects might be a bit hard to find out on your own. But, if you already know the language a bit and want to quickly learn a lot of useful words and phrases – and drill them into your memory, then Glossika is a very good option.

Also, it will teach you how to listen pretty well. The sentences are all spoken at a normal rate. Plus you can choose to disable the written language. So you really have to focus on what they are saying.

If you’re curious for more information about Glossika – you can read my full review of Glossika here. It’s for the Russian language, but the essence of the program stays the same for every language.


glossika works
Glossika teaches you a ton of useful words and vocabulary in an effective way!

If you’re looking to improve your writing. That’s also possible. Because you can choose the learning version where you have to write down the answer.

Glossika offers a free 1000-word trial at their cost. So you get the chance to try out the program and see if it’s for you. You’ll get a 1000 repetitions and can see how the program will work. Click on this link to sign up for the 1000-word free trial for Glossika.

Pick Pimsleur if:

Pimsleur on the other hand is a more ‘complete’ program. What I mean by that is that they focus more on grammar and explaining why things are the way they are. That can help a lot if you’re just starting out. You can start Glossika without any previous knowledge of the language.

So Pimsleur is great for complete beginners.

Another benefit of Pimsleur is that you can easily plug the audio files into your phone. You can do this with Glossika too, but for Pimsleur it feels a bit more natural listening to the conversation. A benefit of this is that you can learn a new language while walking your dog, doing exercises – or even commuting to work. Saves up a lot of time if you do your daily language lessons during those ‘dead times’.

Pimsleur does have some drawbacks. One is, for instance that most of the time the spoken language isn’t at normal speed. It’s ay 70% to 80%. So when you do hear a native person speak, it’s very likely going to be too fast for you.

Some other people also say that Pimsleur can be boring at times. I don’t completely get this, but if this is something that is important to you – then Glossika will be a lot faster. With new sentences coming to you all the time.

They actually complement each other

Instead of letting the fight Glossika vs Pimsleur continue, I’d argue that you’re better off using both of them together. Why? Because both courses are different and they’re both great for different aspects of a new language. Learning a language is something that requires knowledge/skill of grammar, vocabulary, culture, listening, speaking and a lot more.

Now, some language courses touch on all of these. But most of the time they are either very expensive, or cover everything just slightly. By combining Glossika and Pimsleur, you’re going to get the grammar, detailed explanation and background knowledge from Pimsleur. Together with the rapid vocabulary acquisition of Glossika.

And if you miss one or the other, you’re going to severely handicap your fluency. We all know a person who can read Spanish perfectly, and even understands it when it’s spoken. But it’s very hard for them to even have a simple conversation in Spanish.  That’s because speaking is one of the harder parts of learning. Glossika does a really good job at giving you useful phrases to say and installing the confidence in you to actually speak them.

This is very helpful in and of itself. But, when you add some background knowledge and grammar into the mix, you will make it a lot easier to create your own sentences.

Glossika vs Pimsleur conclusion

We’re reaching the end of this language course comparison. If you’re doubting between Glossika vs Pimsleur – for whatever language you’re learning. Then here is a short overview of what to pick:

Glossika might be for you if:

  • You already know some basics in your language
  • You’re looking to rapidly improve your working vocabulary and learn new phrases
  • You want to improve your listening skills
  • You want to become a better writer

Please note that Glossika is currently offering a 1000-word trial. So it allows you to take a sneak-peak into their program and see if it works for you. It’s available for any language. You can get access to the free Glossika trial through this link.


Pimsleur might be for you if:

  • You’re a complete beginner in your language
  • You want a little slower course that takes every aspect (grammar, vocabulary, listening, speaking, background knowledge) into it

You can get access to Pimsleur by clicking on the following link.


In the end both programs are different. So if you’re looking for a complete solution, it might be good to take both of them. That way you learn the general knowledge through Pimsleur. And get the benefits of rapid vocabulary and new phrase acquisition through Glossika.

I hope this Glossika vs Pimsleur comparison helped you with your decision. And if you have any questions about any of the programs, feel free to leave a comment! I’d be glad to help you assist in your choice.





P.S. enjoyed reading about Glossika vs Pimsleur? Pimsleur unfortunately does not offer a free trial – but Glossika does. Click here to get a taste how the program works by doing a 1000 free repetitions!

What should you do next?

Learning Russian does NOT need to be difficult. All you need is a solid plan that helps you improve the following things daily:

  • vocabulary
  • grammar
  • listening skills
  • speaking skills

That's ALL you need. If you can do this for a couple of weeks, you’ll already be making great progress in your Russian skills.

And the best part? If you improve a little bit every day, soon these practices will become daily habits.

And then you will start making progress on autopilot.

This means that learning Russian is now a part of your daily routine. So you won’t even need discipline anymore to get yourself to practice.

If you like the idea of this, but don’t know where to start, go here for more information.

About the Author

My name is Ari Helderman and I help people learn Russian through videos and blog posts where I share my experience.   I have been learning Russian since 2016. I often get mistaken for a native speaker these days, so I've learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn't if you want to speak Russian well.

Ari Helderman