Pimsleur Japanese Review: Quick Summary
For listening and speaking, Pimsleur is the most effective product on the market.
Ease of Use
Easiest language learning product to use–just hit play and study for 30 minutes a day.
Value for Money
A bit expensive considering that it only teaches listening and speaking. Still good value considering high learning effectiveness.
Who Should Buy This Product
Perfect for those who only want to learn listening and speaking. No reading or writing instruction.
This Pimsleur Japanese review was written by Ryan Wiley. Mr. Wiley is a 10-year language learning veteran and author of 12 language learning textbooks. You can learn more about his qualifications at RyanWiley.net.
Being an expat who’s lived in 4 different Asian countries in the last 10 years, I know what it’s like to learn a language. It’s not always fun. In fact, it can be downright difficult. But as a language learner, language teacher, and language learning textbook author, I can tell you that it doesn’t have to be torturous either. You just have to get a learning program that suits you. So, before buying any language learning product, please read my post “How to choose Japanese learning software.”
The Pimsleur Method
The Pimsleur Method is a revolutionary language learning method method developed by a man named Dr. Paul Pimsleur. Millions of people have used it to master foreign languages in the quickest, most-efficient way possible. The Pimsleur Japanese language learning program is quite popular. To read user reactions to the product, stop by the user reviews page
over at Amazon.com.
The Pimsleur Method was designed around two core language learning theories–the Principal of Anticipation and Graduated Interval Recall. I’ll give you a very brief explanation.
Research shows that learners retain new information best when it’s presented at certain intervals. For example, you want to learn to say “hello” in Japanese. The word, of course, is “konichiwa.” If you repeat the word “Konichiwa” 5 times in 10 seconds, you will remember it in the short-term, but you will forget it in the medium and long-term. You may have experienced this phenomenon yourself in another context.
Perhaps you’ve been introduced to someone. They tell you their name and, in an attempt to memorize it, you say it over and over again in your mind. Then what happens? You see them two days later, and you’ve forgotten their name. Now imagine this person has told you their name is “Dave.”
You say it over and over in your head. Then 2 minutes later, another friend comes over and you consciously hear her say, “Hey Dave.” Then 10 minutes later, a different friend comes over and says, “Have you met Dave,” and you say, “Yes, I have.”
Then 2 hours later someone else comes along and says, “Who’s that?” and you say, “Oh, “that’s Dave.” Now when you see Dave 2 days later, you will know his name. Why? because you were exposed the “vocabulary word” at certain intervals, not too close together and not too far apart.
Proven by in-depth and published research, the ideal exposure intervals are 5 seconds, 25 seconds, 2 minutes, 10 minutes, 1 hour, 5 hours, 1 day, 5 days, 25 days, 4 months, 2 years. This groundbreaking information, of course, is very applicable to language learning. Dr. Pimsleur realized this and designed the Pimsleur language courses. You can learn more about the founding theories here and here.
Learning With Pimsleur Japanese
Is Pimsleur an effective way to learn the Japanese language? Absolutely. Over the last 10 years, I have studied with just about every language learning program on the market–and a few that I’ve made myself.
By far, though, I’ve found Pimsleur to be the best no-nonsense way to learn to speak Japanese. Note that I put the words “speak Japanese” in bold. Pimsleur Japanese is a 100% audio-based program that only teaches listening and speaking. You cannot learn to read and write Japanese with this program.
What’s it like to learn with Pimsleur? It’s easy–very easy. All you do is hit play and follow along. During this time you’ll do one thing, have simulated conversations using the Japanese language. You complete one 30-minute lesson per day–no more no less. That’s it!
Who should buy Pimsleur Japanese
If you want to learn to speak Japanese, you should buy this program. It is the simplest, easiest, fasted way to start speaking Japanese. If you don’t like messing about with flash cards, learning games, and grammar drills, Pimsleur is the program for you. Finally, if you’re a strong audio learner, you’ll feel right at home with Pimsleur Japanese.
Who should NOT buy Pimsleur Japanese
If you’re looking for a good 4-skills program, one that teaches reading, writing, listening, and speaking, Pimsleur is not the program for you–it’s listening and speaking only. For a program that’s similar, but that also teaches reading, writing, and culture, check out Rocket Japanese. Also, some learners love to have lots of different language learning games and activities. They both learn well with and enjoy them. If that’s you, Pimsleur may not be the best program to choose. Check out Tell Me More Japanese and see what you think.
Recommendations for You
If you want to learn to speak Japanese in the quickest, easiest possible way, go with Pimsleur Japanese. If you like how the Pimsleur method works, but also want reading, writing, grammar and cultural instruction, go with the much more comprehensive (and cheaper) Rocket Japanese (Rocket Japanese official site). If you love lots of different learning games and activities, and if you really like voice recognition software, go with Tell Me More Japanese (TELL ME MORE Store Official Site).
However you decide to learn the Japanese language, we wish you the best of luck, and we hope that you come back and visit us soon! Have a question? Feel free to leave a message in the comments section or use our contact page to drop us a line.
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