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Pimsleur Review

Monday, June 17th

2024 Japanese Lesson Reviews

Pimsleur Review 4.5 Star Rating


4.5 Star Rating
  • Pricing from $14.95 to $20.95 per month or $134.95 to $164.95 per year
  • Listening approach
  • 7-day free trial
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Conversational Japanese lessons
  • Can use both online and in the car
  • Mobile apps for Android and iOS
  • 4.5-star average user rating

Benefiting from nearly fifty years of expertise, the Pimsleur Method, devised by Dr. Pimsleur, stands at the forefront of self-directed language learning. Originating with Modern Greek, Pimsleur has broadened its scope to include more than 50 languages including Japanese. Renowned for its emphasis on auditory learning, the program has transitioned from cassette tapes and CDs to an online subscription format, making its content easily accessible to modern students.

1 free lesson in every language

Starting your Japanese lesson journey with Pimsleur is simple. Make sure you're on the Pimsleur home page, and then click on "free lesson" to access a complimentary trial of the Pimsleur Japanese program. However, you'll need to provide your personal details or log in via social media before accessing any content on Pimsleur. Once you're on the site, you can easily preview the first lesson in any chosen language. If you previously used Pimsleur for another language, don't worry. You can still try a single free lesson in Japanese at no charge.

Audio-focused learning program

Based on our research into the free trial, Pimsleur's lesson structure is divided into different skills and activities. The main part of the course involves listening to an audio lesson, followed by supplementary activities on the same page. Each audio lesson lasts approximately 30 minutes and focuses on conversational Japanese. An English speaker will guide you through the conversation so that you're not just listening to information in a foreign language. In the preview lessons, there was no video content and the visuals were limited to text or static pictures. However, if you upgrade to Premium, there is a "picture this" exercise available to visualize some of your learning. Nevertheless, students who studied Japanese with Pimsleur were troubled that the visual aids weren't part of the main methodology.

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Perfect for busy students and auditory learners

Pimsleur stands out by allowing up to four students in one household to access a subscription on unlimited devices. So, if you want to learn as a family, everyone can access one Pimsleur account. Pimsleur also offers a Driving Mode so you can practice your Japanese while you're commuting to work. Since the lessons are mainly audio-based, it's convenient for students with busy schedules. Although Pimsleur lacks a gamified approach, it's a solid option for auditory learners.

Priced monthly and annually

Pimsleur allows you to choose between monthly and annual payment plans. The plans are split between three categories: audio-only plans, Premium (which includes visual tools), and All Access plans that offer you access to all languages available on Pimsleur. Here's what the prices shake out to:

  • Audio-only
    • Monthly: $14.95
    • Annual: $134.95
  • Premium
    • Monthly: $19.95
    • Annual: $149.95
  • All Access
    • Monthly: $20.95
    • Annual: $164.95

30-day money-back guarantee

Pimsleur showcases its confidence in its teaching method by offering you a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you purchase directly from Pimsleur, you can cancel your membership within 30 days if you feel that the lesson materials or teaching approach doesn't suit your learning style. However, subscriptions with a 7-day free trial might have different refund policies, so you may want to verify the specifics before you sign up for the free trial.

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Praise for quality and progression

Overall, Pimsleur maintains a strong reputation. According to language learning blogs and review sites focused on the Japanese language, Pimsleur consistently earns an average rating of around 4.4 stars. The Pimsleur 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 of reviews talk about how much progress individual students are making with this program.

Top contender for auditory learners

Pimsleur stands out as a reliable choice for students who thrive best in an auditory-focused learning environment. Pimsleur's Japanese program is mobile-friendly, and the audio lessons are perfect for busy learners who need to study on the move. Although Pimsleur may not offer as many advanced features as some other platforms, language experts and bloggers praise its effectiveness. Consequently, it earns a very high rating, standing out as one of the top services for Japanese students who prefer audio learning to direct grammar instruction or gamified exercises.

Where Can You Find the Best Japanese Lessons?

Learning a new language opens up a world of opportunities, and Japanese is one of the most intriguing languages you can choose. Suppose you're fascinated by Japanese culture, anime, manga, or traditional arts like tea ceremonies and calligraphy. In that case, delving into the Japanese language can provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of what you love.

Fortunately, with the increasing popularity of online learning, you can easily find Japanese lessons on the internet. Whether you're a complete beginner or seeking to refine your conversational skills, online Japanese courses offer a variety of teaching styles. From immersive audio lessons and interactive quizzes to multimedia resources and virtual language exchanges, online platforms offer an engaging learning environment.

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

Japanese Lesson FAQ

Japanese is in the top 10 most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 130 million people who use it. 99% of those speakers live in Japan, but there are over a million people in the US, Brazil and Guam who also speak fluent Japanese.
Yes, but you probably won't encounter anything beyond Standard Japanese unless you travel throughout Japan itself. The Japanese you learn will be understood throughout the country, and differences are mostly related to accents and some vocabulary. It's not unlike what you find between speakers from different regions of the US, or between people from England and Australia.
If we're being completely honest, we'd say that Japanese is one of the hardest languages you could attempt to master: even the US State Department ranks it with Arabic, Korean and Chinese as one of the four most difficult! Part of that stems from the fact that Japanese has three separate writing systems (Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji). However, if you've got the grit to work hard and be patient with your studies, Japanese shouldn't be out of reach for you to learn.
You're going to need to wrap your head around the three Japanese alphabets: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. You'll find all of them as you learn the language! As you learn the alphabets, start memorizing basic vocabulary for how you intend to use Japanese, whether that's for business use or just to understand your favorite anime! Speaking of TV, it's a great way to pick up the accent and pronunciation naturally, especially if you don't have the chance to talk with native speakers on a regular basis.
There's no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for a one-semester Japanese class at a university when you can get on-demand instruction for much less. You may not even be able to find in-person classes near you, but there are always options online that let you learn Japanese as quickly (or as slowly!) as you desire.
You need to take a few extra steps to enable the Japanese language on your computer. The steps differ if you're using a Mac or Windows-based PC, and you'll have to search for the instructions based on your operating system. There are also online Japanese keyboards that let you click on characters without modifying your settings.
They're very affordable. You can get month-to-month subscription plans for less than $25/month, or make a one-time purchase of a Japanese lessons package for under $500. Either way, you'll get much more for your money than if you were paying for a semester or two of college courses.
You'll want to read the terms and conditions of any language platform you're considering. The subscription plans typically allow customers to cancel at any time but don't offer a refund of previous payments. The Japanese lesson packages that are one-off purchases may have a 30- or 60-day money-back guarantee. We suggest that you use all of the free resources that the language program has to offer - such as a sample lesson, or a trial period - so that you will already know how it approaches instruction and if it's a good fit for your preferences.
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Continued from above...

Whether you dream of exploring the bustling streets of Tokyo, immersing yourself in the serene landscapes of Kyoto, or simply connecting with Japanese speakers, learning the language can be a rewarding experience.

Japan has a rich cultural heritage, steeped in centuries-old traditions and modern innovations. From the graceful movements of traditional dance forms like Noh and Kabuki to the intricate artistry of sushi-making and bonsai cultivation, Japanese culture offers art, history, and innovation. By learning Japanese, you gain access to a vibrant cultural world that spans ancient history and contemporary pop culture phenomena like J-pop music. From the elegance of Japanese architecture to the dynamic energy of modern city life, learning Japanese allows you to delve deeper into the heart and soul of Japan.

In today's interconnected world, proficiency in Japanese can open doors to many personal and professional opportunities. Japan is a global economic powerhouse, home to leading technology companies, automotive giants, and influential cultural exports. Whether you aspire to work for a Japanese corporation, pursue academic research in collaboration with Japanese institutions, or engage in cross-cultural exchange programs, fluency in Japanese can significantly broaden your horizons.

As you embark on your journey to learn Japanese, it can be hard to narrow down the options. Here are some key factors to consider to help you find the best resource for your Japanese lessons:

  • Teaching methodology. Identify your preferred learning style - whether auditory, visual, or kinesthetic - and select a Japanese course that works best with how you learn. Whether you thrive on interactive exercises, audiovisual content, or structured grammar discussions, make sure you prioritize platforms that offer methods that support how you learn best.
  • Free trial option. Look for Japanese language platforms that offer free trials or sample lessons. This allows you to check out the program before committing to a subscription. Some platforms offer course previews or multi-day trials. These will give you the best chance at trying a language program before you have to pay.
  • Cost. Evaluate the cost of Japanese language courses with respect to the value they offer in terms of educational content and language proficiency outcomes. Many Japanese language lessons are free, but you may not get full proficiency from those sources. On the other hand, some programs are very expensive, but you still might miss some key features. Balance the cost and value of the language instruction to find your best fit.
  • Reputation. Research the reputation and credibility of Japanese language platforms through customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials. Explore third-party review sites, language learning forums, and social media channels to see if your favorite Japanese lesson provider offers the results you want. Look for platforms with positive feedback regarding instructional effectiveness, customer support, and learning outcomes for a rewarding and fulfilling learning experience.

To help you get the most out of your language studies, Top Consumer Reviews has tested, evaluated and ranked the best options for online Japanese lessons today. We know this information will give you all the info you need to choose the best program for your learning style and schedule.

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