Pimsleur is very underrated. It's fantastic!

I’m on Lesson 3 right now. And it’s as fantastic as WaniKani! Now I’m getting more and more comfortable talking Japanese and understanding basic dialogues. And I’ve just started!

I’m pausing the audio and writing down all the new phrases. This helps me understand it deeper.

Pimsleur has built in SRS which is fantastic for retaining information. My speaking progress without it was snail pace if not slower. Now I look forward to a new lesson every day. Hope, the trend continues :slight_smile:

Basically, I spend arround 50 minutes on a lesson a day.
It has 5 levels, 30 lesson’s in each level. So it’s arround 150 days total.
It’s suggested you complete one lesson a day. Which means, you speak every day!
And the language is real life. Not some wierd textbook words, you’ll probably never use.
I love it! :slight_smile:

The reason I decided to write this post is because I feel like it’s not been discussed much. And for me it worked wonders!

The only downside is price. It’s price it’s super high unfortunately.
But there are ways arround it, like local library, iOS app subscription, etc…

Have you tried Pimsleur?
What Has Your Experience Been Like?


I Tried Pimsleur, and it’s fantastic as you said !!
It’s super efficient to retain vocabulary and you learn so much.
The Japanese voices are perfect, not too slow, not too fast.

It’s the reason I thought that Japanese could be accessible for anyone and decided to take Japanese course !
I’m event passing my N5 this december :wink:
Thanks Pimsler Sama,


From the Welcome to the Wanikani Community pinned post:

  1. Don’t be illegal: Illegal activity, including hacking, torrents, asking for sect names, illegal downloads, etc., will not be tolerated.

Please edit your post.

If you can’t afford it, ask at your local library if they have it or would consider getting it.


wuts a sect name? can i get one???
(and I agree don’t discuss illegal stuff here)

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Pimsleur is good, but not great. You really need to CONVERSE, not just repeat what’s being said. Nevertheless, it’s still reasonably worthwhile, and for anyone who has never tried it, worth trying it for a month.

The cheapest way to use Pimsleur, if you’re going to consume intensively is to get their iOS app. It’s a subscription instead of a purchase and only $20 a month. If you go through it pretty quickly it’ll cost hundreds less than purchasing a whole level. Also all levels are included.


I agree. My local library has a few Pimsleur cds and I’ve been trying them out. It’s also a good compliment to WaniKani because some of the readings are taught in Pimsleur.


Yes, sorry about that…

I’m all about supporting the content maker and paying for WaniKani was a no brainer.
But the price for Pimsleur felt way too high. Especially considering that it can’t be the only resource.
But you’re right, I edited the post. :slight_smile:



If it was really that good, wouldn’t they offer a monthly subscription or free trial?

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If anyone has used the app, is it an upgrade over just the CDs? I’ve often said that Pimsleur should be an app with much more content and randomization. The problem I had when I went through the CDs was that I just simply memorized the order of what they were asking after multiple listens. Not necessarily a bad thing, but as a properly implemented app could be monumental.

I didn’t get this part. I thought it was online. I don’t even think I own any CD anymore…

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The app has a bit more, but I felt like it really failed to meet the potential of what they could do. It has some other little games to play with the words and phrases from each lesson. Otherwise, 90% of the content is what’s on the CDs.


Let me give a different viewpoint :slight_smile:

Pimsleur is definitely good for improving pronunciation and getting a feel for the language, but the claims it makes about getting close to spoken fluency after doing all three courses are complete nonsense (paying a lot of money doesn’t equate to getting better results). IIRC you only learn a few hundred words (maybe 500?) across the entire thing, so it is actually a very slow way to learn. Combining it with other materials is essential if you even want to get to N5 level.

Now I admit that when I did Pimsleur it was an older version which had some pretty stilted Japanese. I’ve heard the newer one is much better in this regard. I also admit that after years of study I struggle to hold together a conversation…so my viewpoint might be worthless :slight_smile:

Edit: After reading the reply from the Pimsleur rep I think it fair to point out that I used their course 10+ years ago when it had only three levels. Other folks have given their opinion on the updated version.


About how advanced does the content get? I just did the free trial lesson on their website, and I’m not sure at what point I would want to jump into the course, because I think I’d be bored in the first level or two. I’m currently between N4 and N3 level

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Last I heard, level 5 is around N4, so you’d be beyond it already.


I’ve just started learning japanese several months ago and I feel that it’s great for a beginer like me. But for n3 it’s only usefull if you didn’t speak much.

Maybe try level 5. It has been made recently and it is said to contain real life japanese.

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Oh I like Pimsleur. You should check out the support thread for it on here :slight_smile: I’ve finished up to level 3 but wanted to invest the money into Italki instead.

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Yes. Unfortunately, I saw that thread after creating this one.

When you are a complete beginner (like I am), you can’t converse with a real person at first.

I feel like the best option for me would be to complete 5 levels of Pimsleur (which is 5*30 = 150 days) and than use Italki. Maybe after level 3, like you said. Simontaniously with Pimsleur.

Since ya’ll are talking about the price and mentioning preferring a subscription, Pimsleur is on Audible. Way cheaper than buying the CDs or from their shop.

Can confirm its pretty good, even if some of the things are a bit too formal or would sound unnatural to native Japanese speakers (ex- specifying “I” or “you” when contextually unnecessary).


I’m at an N4-N3 level and I feel like I’ve still benefited from doing Pimsleur. While the vocabulary is very limited, if you’re doing one lesson a day it is great practice for active listening and speaking in the case that you can’t/are too nervous to speak with a native.

I don’t think I will be completing all the lessons, but if I find I have a little bit of free time (like when I’m doing chores) I do a lesson to just stay sharp.


You can use Italki at any time. I had basically zero speaking ability when I started. I used it before I finished the first three levels. All the advice I’ve heard from experienced learners and polyglots is to speak with natives asap. I just had to get over some social anxiety x’D It’s a fantastic experience if you’d ever like to try it out :slight_smile: Best of luck! :smiley: