Pimsleur Japanese?

Has anyone used pimsleur? I’m towards the end of genki book 1 and I’m pretty confident with my beginning Japanese. I can talk a bit although I’m slow so I want to practice with pimsleur for speaking and conversation practice. I’m actually using the first one for Korean right now.

I’m starting chapter 10 but do have issues with negative tense at times なかった くなかった sometimes I get them mixed up. Where do you think would be a good point for me to start at?
I have audiable so I can download about 5 at a time.



I use Pimsleur Japanese.

I like it because I can do the lessons while doing other things like making lunch, mowing the lawn, etc.

The other piece is shadowing. Shadowing practice is good practice for learning and nailing pronunciation.

The other thing it does is make you start to think in Japanese, if only for answering a question or two at a time, which is great.

The thing I don’t love is the content. They focus really hard on keigo which is good if you will find a Japanese or something where it’s required, but for talking to normal people day to day in real life, maybe not exactly the BEST way to speak to people.


I think it’d be a decent supplement but I really don’t want to pay to start from level one. I’ll have to have a look at the subscription methord. I really wish it wasn’t a subscription for one language because I am also using their Korean from level 1 and I don’t want to pay multiple subscription fees :sweat_smile: I’ll have to do a free trial and listen to the different lessons and see where I fit I think.

Pimsleur builds on itself over each lesson, so starting somewhere in the middle might not be ideal, depending on your skill level. I will say that Levels 1-5 really stick to N5 and N4 content, rarely touching anything higher.

I’d check your local library(ies) to see if they have any copies, or see if you can request they pick them up. They might be willing to get Level 1, if they don’t have it already, at the least.

If you’re curious about other people’s thoughts, there are several other threads you can peruse through too :slight_smile: Search results for 'pimsleur' - WaniKani Community

They do introduce informalities later on. But I agree it can be a bit of a slog to get through x’D


I’m in-between n5 and n4. I know some Grammar and vocabulary from n4 but I am still working though the end of genki 1 so I don’t feel comfortable saying I’m on n4 material yet. I listened to the dialog for the first 9 lessons and I think I’d die of bordem… I know how to say all of that. I think I’ll do a free trial and try and figure out if it’ll be any use for me then I can just get the level I need on my audiable.

I used Pimsleur for a while. Not sure about its usefulness as far as the vocab and situations it puts you in but the higher levels are good at helping you think quick and form japanese sentences. I found it very useful but you are supposed to do a lesson daily and I didnt have the time for that so I unsubscribed

I used Pimsleur’s years ago, but every time I’d get around to level 8 or so I’d get bored because I had no one to speak with. :frowning: Besides that, it doesn’t focus on the written language. Sure there are supplemental PDF materials, but the program’s all about speaking and understanding. I don’t know if they’ve changed their system at all from this in the intervening years.

I really prefer to learn visually, through books and websites and the like, even though I recognize that Pimsleur is really good at getting you speaking.

Don’t know if your time will be convenient on Saturday evenings 10PM Japan Time, but I’m currently attending a free online class at that time to learn and practice speaking Japanese with a native speaker in a virtual world called Second Life.

We are currently on Genki I’s Chapter 11 and we’re going at a slower place due to one of our classmates being on maternal break. So if you’re currently in Chapter 10, I think you’ll be able to catch up just fine.

At the moment, the class has about 3 students at most on average, excluding another native Japanese observer to translate any English queries to Yoshi Sensei. If you have specific grammar points you want to ask and practice, I think this will be a great place to do so without taking anything out of your wallet. The only down side is Second Life might be a bit confusing to use in the beginning but I’ll be happy to help.


Thank you for the offer! Unfortunately I work a 12 hour shift every Saturday :frowning: Otherwise I would have figured it out!

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Sooo I looked on Pimsleur’s website and it suggests that if you can do the first lesson of the next level you should just skip to the next level. I tried the first lesson of the next level and although it was easy, I do feel there is benefit in running through this level. It has a lot of vocab that I’m learning currently and although I can 100% reply without stuttering for the most part, I really think it will help me with my speaking ability.

My teacher said I need practice with the most, he said my written Japanese is great, but we really need to work on my spoken Japanese and my recall so that I can quickly say what I want to say. I’m going to run through Pimsleur.

5 levels and I should be able to commit to a lesson a day I should be able to get through it in 4 months. But I may well do more than one lesson a day of these level 2’s because although I know it says do one day at a time a lot of this is easy for me. When I get to about the level where I should be at I can slow down to one lesson a day. I’ve got a seven-day trial, so study mode is on!!

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I found Pimsleur to be helpful not with learning vocabulary, but learning how to pronounce words I could already read. So it might be worth it to start on an early level.


It can’t be used on its own to learn the entire language but the shadowing of Pimsleur, with its pauses that ask you to recall, can teach you to speak and start thinking in Japanese.

The Pimsleur method hasn’t changed. It’s essentially SRS for speaking and it’s what thee course was designed for. The US State Department used to use it; no idea what they do these days.

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I use Pimsleur while doing the dishes. At the beginning I found a lot of the vocab easy, but still found it useful (validating at least) to be able to recall things in their simulated conversations. Since I mainly use WK and Bunpro for studying, Pimsleur gives me some much needed listening and speaking practice.


My 2c: It’s a supplement rather than a way to completely learn the language. I use Pimsleur because it’s a really easy way to reinforce everything else I am learning while also working on pronunciation. I don’t worry to much about perfection. I just go with the flow and whatever I can pick up is great. The best thing about it is that it’s hands-free and convenient. I also found the first couple volumes at my library so it’s worth checking if you can find it at yours too.


So I have completed Pimsleur Lv 1 and 2 and am 1/2 through lv 3. Being someone who took Japanese in college and attempted the JLPT 4 2 years ago (didn’t pass but I wasn’t too far off), I would say that the material is not related to the JLPT at all. It’s honestly all over the place. The series honestly focusses on business conversation at least for the first three levels so much of the content is very form to extremely formal.

The formal japanese must be higher than N4 as some of the stuff I’ve learned I haven’t seen in the materials I’ve used for the JLPT. However, don’t expect to come out at an N2 level from it.

I think at level 4 is where they switch to more casual Japanese based on a youtuber I watched who gave a review on it a while ago.

I think it is great practice. I personally find a lot of the content easy, but I also struggle with speaking and listening so it really helps me train my Japanese ear and have to think on the fly.

Also as others have mentioned mirroring a native is really good for trying to sound better. I know so many people who have tried learning Japanese but pronounce the words soo off that I don’t understand what they are trying to say most of the time.

The way I personally use it is when I have to drive places. My biggest recommendation though is to make sure to speak out loud. If you’re going to feel embarrassed doing it where you’re at it’s not going to be as beneficial. Treat it like you’re actually talking to someone.


This seems like an interesting concept. I’m not sure if I’d be too advanced for the class but it sounds interesting. Is this open to anyone?

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You need to pay for Pimsleur, and it’s quite expensive :sweat_smile: But as somebody suggested further up, maybe you can get it from your local library…

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My comment was in response to the class @distantflower commented about. Sorry if there was confusion.

Oh, sorry! Totally misinterpreted that. Just ignore me please :slight_smile:

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It’s all good. I figured. :slight_smile: