Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

Pimsleur Review

Wednesday, May 29th

2024 Arabic Lesson Reviews

Pimsleur Review 4 Star Rating

Pimsleur

4 Star Rating
  • Pricing from $19.95 to $20.95 per month or $164.95 per year
  • Listening approach
  • 7-day free trial
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Eastern Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic
  • Can use both online and in the car
  • Mobile apps for Android and iOS
  • 4.5-star average user rating

Drawing on almost five decades of experience, the Pimsleur Method, crafted by Dr. Pimsleur, has been a trailblazer in self-taught language instruction. While the program started by offering Modern Greek, Pimsleur has expanded to encompass over 50 languages, including Arabic. Pimsleur is celebrated for its focus on learning through listening, a methodology that has evolved from cassettes and CDs to an online subscription model. This evolution enables learners to conveniently and flexibly access the content, marking a significant advancement as Pimsleur jumps to join the more modern language initiatives.

1 lesson free for a preview

Embarking on your Arabic learning journey with Pimsleur is straightforward. First, you have to choose whether you want to learn Eastern Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, or Modern Standard Arabic. Then, you can begin with the free trial. There is also a free lesson offered from the top navigation bar of the main page. However, you can't start anything with Pimsleur without first putting in your personal information or social media account. Once you get on the site, Pimsleur offers a free Level 1 lesson. There were some difficulties on different parts of the site, however, where the listed Arabic options only showed Eastern Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic, which was confusing. But, rest assured, there are three dialect options to choose from.

30-minute conversation-style audios

Based on the trial of the Pimsleur process, the structure of the lesson is broken down by skills and activities. You listen to an audio lesson as the main part of the course, and then supplemental activities will be offered on the same page to help you further develop your learning. Each lesson is around 30 minutes and it's centered around multiple Arabic speakers having conversations that you need to listen to, follow, and review. An English speaker will explain the conversation for you, to help you break down and participate in the conversation by the end of the lesson. In the preview lessons, there was no visual content beyond written words (no pictures or videos to study). However, if you upgrade to Premium, there is a "picture this" exercise that allows you to visualize some of your learning. But, students who studied Arabic on Pimsleur said the visual aids were very limited.

Best Arabic Lessons

Audio lessons any time any place

Pimsleur offers a standout feature by catering to multiple learners in a single household, enabling up to four students to utilize a subscription on unlimited devices. The convenience extends further with a Driving Mode, providing an opportunity to practice Arabic during your commute. As the lessons are primarily audio, this is fairly simple and means that you can use Pimsleur during other activities, helping you fit your Arabic lessons into your busy schedule. Pimsleur does not include speech recognition tools or a game-based approach, yet it remains an attractive choice for individuals who value audio-focused learning methods.

Priced monthly and annually

While most languages on Pimsleur have a monthly and annual payment option, Arabic is a little more complicated since there are three forms of Arabic offered on the site. Pimsleur has Modern Standard Arabic, which is only available in the "All Access" subscriptions. You can either choose All Access Monthly for $20.95 per month or All Access Annual for $164.95 per year. While Pimsleur also offers a Monthly Premium membership which is just paying for the 1 language you want to learn, this is only available for Eastern Arabic or Egyptian Arabic. The Monthly Premium membership is the most cost-effective membership at $19.95 per month, but you will be limited to just one language in this case.

30-day money-back guarantee

Pimsleur demonstrates confidence in its effectiveness by offering a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you buy directly from Pimsleur, you have the option to cancel it within 30 days if you find the lesson materials or teaching style aren't ideal for how you progress as a student. However, according to Pimsleur's terms and conditions, subscriptions with a 7-day free trial might not be eligible for a refund, so you may want to confirm this before subscribing.

Best Arabic Lessons

Students are enjoying the audio lessons

Overall, Pimsleur maintains a strong reputation, with various language learning blogs and review sites consistently giving the company an average rating of around 4.4 stars. The prevailing opinion is that the program is effective, benefiting from over 50 years of language experience in the industry. The mobile app also reflects a similar rating average on the Google Play store and even higher ratings of 4.7 out of 5 from the Apple Store. Students generally appreciate the effectiveness of the audio lessons, and although some have raised concerns about the voice reader being not "natural sounding" , the majority express satisfaction with their progress using Pimsleur.

Solid service for a busy student

Pimsleur is a solid option for those who prefer learning Arabic without relying on textbooks or formal grammar instruction or who have a knack for listening over writing. It is a particularly good choice if you need to learn on the go, making it ideal for those with busy schedules. While Pimsleur may lack some of the advanced features found on other platforms, bloggers and professional linguists commend the method's success throughout the years. As a result, it receives a solid rating overall, with the absence of certain methodological features preventing it from achieving a higher rating.

Where Can You Find the Best Arabic Lessons?

Are you interested in learning Arabic? You may find yourself contemplating a relocation to one of the many countries where Arabic is the national language, or maybe you're just planning a trip to see Egypt. Whether you're looking to reconnect with your culture, learn more about a new one, or brush up on some courses you took in school, learning Arabic can be a truly worthwhile experience.

However, finding Arabic lessons that fit your busy life, include your preferred learning methods, and don't break the bank can be hard. For most people, in-person lessons aren't an option either for cost reasons or time commitments. Fortunately, the realm of online courses continues to grow, offering new Arabic learning opportunities that were previously unavailable.

The Best Arabic Lessons Compare Arabic Lessons Compare Arabic Lesson Reviews What are the best Arabic Lessons Best Arabic Lesson Reviews

Arabic Lesson FAQ

It is estimated that there are over 420 million speakers of Arabic worldwide, making it one of the five most commonly-spoken languages around the globe. This includes both native and non-native speakers.
Generally speaking, there are two basic forms of Arabic: standard and colloquial. The former is used by the media and in universities, literature and formal writing. If you take Arabic lessons from a Western school, this is probably the form you'll get. But, this isn't the way Arabic speakers use the language in their day-to-day lives! If you know that you'll be using Arabic mainly in one particular location (e.g. Egypt vs. Persian Gulf nations vs. Lebanon), it might be worth looking for an Arabic course that at least introduces the dialect of that area. On the other hand, of all of the Arabic dialects, Egyptian is the most widely-understood by all speakers (largely due to the nation's popular music, film and TV industry), so learning the Egyptian dialect is a safe bet too.
If your first language is English, be prepared for your Arabic studies to require some work! Ranked as a Category IV language by the State Department's Foreign Service Institute, Arabic is "exceptionally difficult" on par with Japanese, Korean and Chinese. But, if you're willing to put in the time and effort, it's definitely doable!
Your first step should be to learn the Arabic alphabet, so that you don't have to depend on transliteration into English. Arabic experts also recommend that you memorize the plural forms of every noun you learn, because they can be very different (no tacking on an "s" like we do in English!), as well as the verb forms and any prepositions that go along with them. Finally, as with learning any language, give yourself plenty of time to study regularly; a few minutes here and there won't get you speaking Arabic fluently!
Availability, affordability and access: for those three reasons alone, you should consider studying Arabic online. Many colleges and universities don't offer courses in the language, and there's no guarantee you can secure one of the coveted seats in the class if your school does. Studying Arabic online can be done according to your preferred schedule, and at a fraction of the cost you'd pay per credit hour at a local school.
If you're studying Arabic online, you will probably need to take a few extra steps to enable the language on your computer. The steps depend on whether you're using a Mac or Windows-based PC, so search for the instructions according to your operating system. There are also online Arabic keyboards you can use without changing your computer settings.
No! They're definitely less costly than taking in-person courses. Some programs charge a one-time fee, while others use a month-to-month subscription format. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 for a one-off software purchase, or between $10 and $30 per month for an online course that lasts up to two years. You've got lots of options!
That depends on the provider you choose. Some offer satisfaction guarantees ranging from 30-60 days from the date of purchase or start of the subscription plan, while others only allow you to cancel future months without refunding past payments. We recommend that you use any free materials offered by the Arabic lessons platform prior to making your choice: you can often take full sample lessons or watch a demo of how the program works, which will help you get a feel for which Arabic lessons are the best fit for your preferences and learning style.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Whether you prefer hearing, writing, or speaking, various Arabic programs are designed to offer a range of skill-building exercises. Modern audio materials cover syllables, words, phrases, and sentences for effective repetition.

Alternatively, for visual learners, there are Arabic language platforms that cleverly gamify the entire learning process. These platforms not only cover grammar and writing exercises but also often integrate speech recognition software, allowing you to compare your pronunciation directly with that of a native speaker.

Nearly every Arabic platform offers cultural and historical aspects in their programs. Given the rich historical background and symbolic importance of the Arabic language, a thorough grasp of it requires exploring its historical origins and understanding its contemporary applications. Many of today's language-learning options also emphasize Modern Standard Arabic, mirroring the language you would encounter in general conversations. And, some companies focus on local dialects too.

As you navigate the wide array of online Arabic lessons, it might seem a little daunting to pick the best fit. To help you find the best Arabic lessons for you, we've put together some helpful criteria:

  • Teaching methodology. What type of learner are you? Are you inclined towards auditory learning, finding podcasts or narrations to be your favorite? Perhaps you enjoy engaging in written or gamified exercises to support your learning experience? While several Arabic lesson programs integrate various learning modalities, some platforms prioritize one style over others. Consider your preferred learning approach so you select the most suitable platform for how you learn best.
  • Free trial option. Top-notch Arabic lesson programs allow you to explore the program without making a payment. Look for platforms that offer free trials and pay attention to their duration. You should also look for sites that provide example lessons or preview videos on the site so you can see what you're getting into at a glance. Exercise extra caution if a company doesn't have these important details.
  • Cost vs. value. The cost of the subscription (or one-time payment) is a significant factor for your Arabic education. But you'll also want to assess the value you'll receive. Consider how much fluency you'll gain from the program and whether you can learn Arabic from one program or if you'll need two or three to supplement others that are less complete.
  • Reputation. While many Arabic lesson platforms aren't listed with the Better Business Bureau, there are reviews on third-party sites, linguistics blogs, and mobile apps to consider. Check-in on the ratings for your chosen Arabic lesson provider to make sure you're getting a language source with a great reputation.

To make sure you have the best possible experience learning Arabic, Top Consumer Reviews has assessed and rated the top options for Arabic lessons. We hope our reviews help you achieve your desired level of fluency, whether your goal is travel, cultural understanding, or simply enjoyment of a new language. Enjoy your continuing education in the beautiful language of Arabic!

Compare Arabic Lessons

Select any 2 Arabic Lessons to compare them head to head

best-arabic-lessons
See the Best Arabic Lesson
The Best Reviews of Arabic Lessons