Pimsleur is very underrated. It's fantastic!

I used Pimsleur for a tiny bit of Arabic, and then to great effect (with other resources) for Korean.

Pimsleur is highly recommended… and I will be checking out the local libraries for the Japanese lessons when I return to California.

In the meantime, I’ve been using the freely available Foreign Service Institute (FSI) lessons a little bit. They are less engaging, but the help with speaking in a somewhat similar way as Pimsleur. Got the idea via a recommendation from the Langfocus youtube page and by browsing what was available via spotify/amazon music.

I like Pimsleur. It is good for pronunciation, the SRS is pretty good and the way it asks you how to say things is great to make you think in Japanese. I use it often in the car. I was using Japanesepod101 for awhile but I find with Pimsleur I’m much more active in speaking out loud and thinking in Japanese.

However, it’s awful for grammar. It introduces tons of constructions without breaking them down into their individual parts. For example, for a lot of verbs it just gives you the Te form and I don’t think it is best to learn things like tabenakerebanaranai as a stock phrase!

It annoys me when I hear the voice say “…” also means… It doesn’t!!! It means the same thing every time! It does this a lot for the particles like ni, de etc which - apart from a few like ga which are actually different particles - they never change their function!

I started it from day one and it confused the hell out of me. Now that I am a bit more experienced I can get more from its strengths without being confused by it’s weaknesses.

To be fair, I don’t know what any of the accompanying material is like and it might break down some of the grammar better, but hearing about the ‘multitude’ of meanings for things like ni is just confusing!.


You already have a sect name. You belong Sect Turtles. So do I. It’s the default one.
It is under Crabigator apprentice info
But there are many others. They were a thing back in ye olden days of Wani Kani. I don’t know exactly how it works… It never happend to me… but you could somehow end up getting another Sect name. Apparently, you’re not allowed to ask for one yourself. But if you encounter someone with another Sect name, then they’ve probably been around for a long time.


In fact, we do offer a 7 day free trial to try the entire course! Pimsleur 7 Day Free Trial


Even cheaper way to get Pimsleur is our subscription option, which starts at $14.95/month for full access. And if you want the Premium version, it’s only available directly from Pimsleur. You cannot get Pimsleur Premium from resellers! https://offers.pimsleur.com/free-trial-1406


Actually, you learn about 500 words per level with Pimsleur though for Japanese it’s a little less. More like 400 new words per levels. We currently offer 5 full levels of Japanese including a Premium edition, which includes flashcards, quizzes, reading lessons, etc.


I was around when sect names were still a thing, but they hardly ever come up any more, so I just couldn’t help commenting. :slight_smile:

OMG I can’t believe Pimsleur is here in real life.

I am here, but as for my wife, she is not here now. Would you like to go for a drink with me tonight? Wouldn’t you like to have a drink with me? Would you like red wine? Would you like white wine?


They might have just violated Wakikani’s terms for commercial advertisers.


Oh I see… I got started with wk late 2016 and around that time it was already barely a thing. I thought I was among the last generation… But I don’t remember exactly when they launched the new forum. I feel like it was pretty close to when I signed up. But I don´t trust my own memory on this.

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I think they usually don’t mind people popping up to provide information in response to a thread.

Their second comment is a bit heavy on the marketing front though.


I’ve bought all five levels and I really enjoyed (and still enjoy) doing them while driving in the car. I’ve studied with Genki I and II in parallel and I would say level 5 of Pimsleur Japanese goes up to about N4 level.

However for me it would be pretty worthless without studying with some textbook in parallel because in the Pimsleur courses you just learn one particular form of a verb or grammar point but you have no idea how it’s constructed, and therefore you mostly cannot use it with any other verbs or words. Certainly Pimsleur alone will not get you anywhere really except for maybe a few set phrases that you know off hand.

In my opinion it’s just great way to get a little repetition, pronounciation and immersion in addition to your other study materials. It’s nice when you have learned a certain grammar in your textbook and then it comes up in Pimsleur so you can repeat it. From my point of view it was well worth the price.


Update: I checked out the Basic Japanese Pimsleur discs from the library, as well as Level 2.

It’s helping me gain more confidence for speaking so far, and it helps when I know some of the vocabulary before starting lessons.

I think it works as a complement to textbooks, grammar resources, etc. My approach to learning Japanese so far has been to pick and choose whatever is helpful, and I’ll definitely continue with Pimsleur because it will help with listening and speaking, as has been mentioned, and it’s just more engaging than some other approaches that also teach speaking (because I am not attending a class now).

This thread convinced me to finally try Pimsleur and it’s great!! My speaking ability is awful but after about 15 lessons I can already feel an improvement. I like that they don’t try to explain grammar/etc but instead just give you tons of in-context practice.


I did all the basic pimsleur cds before coming to Japan in 2014. When I got here, I couldn’t understand anything anyone was saying to me. In reality, Pimsleur is good, but actual spoken Japanese is a whole different world.

i did pimsleur back in the day, followed by michel thomas, then jpod101.
at that point, i also worked through other resources, like tae kim or imabi. pimsleur got my feet wet back then.


I’ve just returned from my 10-day trip to Tokyo and Pimsleur lessons helped me tremendously in initiating and holding basic conversations. Not sure why your experience was different.
I haven’t engaged in deep conversations though since my japanese is super elementary.
But, as I said, I’m super happy with the results and I’ve listened to less than 10 lessons before coming to Tokyo…

Looks like I’m following a similar path… Was the jpod101 worth it? I’m considering buying 2 year membership but am not 100% sure about it.

was absolutely worth it. do a trial though, and figure out if you like the hosts and the format. i did, but if you don’t, then you’ll reject it and not learn much.

i did pimsleur in the bathtub btw, and continued that “tradition” with michel thomas (check youtube for that one), then jpod101 while out taking walks. :slight_smile:


I like the hosts and the format. I tried the 7 days trial and I like it but the price was a bit high.
Found 65% discount code and just subscribed, after your reply)
And thank you for Michael Thomas Method. I’ve heard about it before but haven’t had a chance to dive into it. Now I will :slight_smile: