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Living Language vs Pimsleur

Monday, January 18th

2021 Japanese Lesson Reviews

Living Language Review 4 Star Rating

Living Language

4 Star Rating
  • Cost: $39 for 1-month online course
  • $50 for 3-month online course
  • $75 for 6-month online course
  • $150 for 1-year online course (includes 2 e-Tutoring credits)
  • $22.95 for Japanese Essential (2 books, 3 audio CDs)
  • $49.95 for Japanese Complete (4 books, 9 audio CDs)
  • $179 for Japanese Platinum (includes 1 year of online access plus Japanese Complete, along with 12 e-Tutoring credits)

Living Language uses all of today's modern tools - tablets, MP3 players, and so on - to put Japanese language lessons at arm's reach. They also have print and audio instruction for students who prefer a more traditional approach, and their Japanese Platinum package includes the best of both worlds.

Pimsleur Review 2.5 Star Rating

Pimsleur

2.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $970 for Japanese levels 1-4 on CD (120 lessons)
  • $450 for Japanese 1-4 on MP3 (30 lessons), available as CD for $345

If you like to learn by listening, Pimsleur was made for students like you. Their Japanese lessons focus almost exclusively on audio files that teach you how to speak Japanese by listening to and repeating conversations. Unfortunately, the extremely high pricing of Pimsleur's program puts it out of reach for most customers, without delivering results that are significantly better than other, more economical programs in our review.

Who Provides the Best Japanese Lessons?

As one of the 10 most spoken languages in the world, Japanese is a popular language for students of all ages. With more than 125 million people worldwide who use it on a daily basis, the opportunities for using Japanese are numerous, from business owners who are looking for a new partner in trade to middle schoolers who want to understand their favorite anime TV show without English subtitles.

Whether the only Japanese you know is "domo arigato" from Styx's classic 80's song, or you've got a basic grasp of conversational Japanese and want to take your skills to the next level, there are a number of programs that will allow you to learn the language from the comfort of your own home, car, or other location - without having to fit traditional classroom-based lessons into an already busy schedule.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

When choosing a Japanese language program, you should explore what each system and method has to offer and whether or not it will help you reach your goals. Some Japanese lessons focus solely on conversational ability, using audio lessons to teach, while others use a variety of ways to teach reading and writing in addition to speaking the language.

Of particular interest with respect to Japanese is the written language. You'll want to determine if reading and writing is a priority, as not all programs include this aspect of language learning in their lessons. There are three basic scripts used in written Japanese:

  • Kanji, which are symbolic and derived from Chinese (several thousand characters)
  • Hiragana, a phonetic alphabet primarily used for grammatical elements such as particles and noun suffixes (46 characters)
  • Katakana, another phonetic alphabet with more angular letter shapes, used for emphasis and for foreign words (46 characters)

As you can see, written Japanese is considerably more complex than English and other languages based on the more familiar Roman alphabet (such as Spanish, French, and German), so it's important to know how each program addresses the written component of Japanese if you'll need to be able to read and write it yourself.

In general, there are several things to consider when choosing a program for your Japanese lessons. These include:

  • Instructional Methods. Do you learn best by hearing, seeing, or a combination of both? Does the program use a style that is a good match? If offered, did the free trial leave you feeling fantastic or frustrated?
  • Skill Level. Can you reach advanced levels of Japanese with this program, or is it limited just to beginning instruction? Will you need to purchase more levels in the future, or is it all-inclusive?
  • Value. Does the program work? Is it worth the investment of your time and money?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Japanese Lessons available today. We hope these reviews help you to move quickly beyond "konnichiwa" and "sayonara" and towards a comfortable fluency level in the Japanese language!

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