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What is your review of Pimsleur Japanese?


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What is your review of Pimsleur Japanese? I've listened to Pimsleur 1 Japanese, however I don't recognize some of the words being used in regular Japanese conversations... I think the what they use in Pimpsleur is business or formal type of Nihonggo...? What's your opinion?

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  • 1 month later...

I like the Pimsleur materials because they focus on conversation. The audio materials leave time for you to repeat the phrases after listening. It's handy if you have a long commute to work. For Japanese, using Pimsleur is a good starting point because it temporarily removes the distraction of learning Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. While these are all good to learn, most of the people I know who have become fluent in Japanese speaking, listening, reading and writing have focused on becoming conversational first.

One drawback to Pimsleur is cost. If you are thinking you want to invest in the audio materials, check to see if your local library has Pimsleur materials you can borrow to determine whether Pimsleur works well for you before you buy.

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Thanks for the advice. My friend gave me a copy of the Pimsleur japanese 1, Hopefully I can master it in a couple of months. Sometimes I get stuck on a lesson and it takes me a few days to move on. Anyway, checking out my local library is a good idea! I hope they have a lot of audio books!

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  • 2 months later...

Never actually heard of it but I just googled it. It looks pretty credible to me, Dr. Pimsleur has an impressive background. I'm just shocked at the prices! Maybe I'll give the free trial a go, but I couldn't see myself actually being able to afford the real thing. It's a shame because it seems like it really works.

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I've had the same problems! After I've finished pimsleur japanese 1, I watched animes in nihonggo but I only recognize very few of the words they used in pimsleur. I think the conversations they used in pimsleur was too formal and business like. I wish Michel Thomas had Japanese courses, in my opinion I think his courses are way better.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've had the same problems! After I've finished pimsleur japanese 1, I watched animes in nihonggo but I only recognize very few of the words they used in pimsleur. I think the conversations they used in pimsleur was too formal and business like. I wish Michel Thomas had Japanese courses, in my opinion I think his courses are way better.

I wouldn't recommend Pimsleur for recognizing words in anime, as the process focuses on business or formal Japanese that you would use more in daily conversation, rather than how they speak casually in anime.  As someone who watches a lot of anime, but took a fair bit of Japanese in high school, they are fairly different.

Pimsleur is a good addition to other ways you are learning Japanese, but I wouldn't use it exclusively.  I tried it for a few weeks, but I sort of dropped it after a while.  As a female, I found some of the conversations very "male-centric" because some of the phrases and words you learn really make it seem like he's teaching you to try and talk with Japanese women. :laugh:

I got it free from a friend, but I don't think I would pay for it, unless you have the extra money to spend on it, and want to know how to speak it for business or formal meetings, or again, to use it on the side of other studies.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love Pimsleur! It's how I first got started.

What you guys say is totally true though - 1. it is expensive 2. it is rather formal.

I don't have a problem with either though for the following reasons:

1. The quality is well worth the price. It really does teach you to talk and listen. Which is the corner stone of any language.

2. While in Anime you'd often use informal talk in Japan you would find yourself often using the formal talk. Unless you become friends with somebody...then you could switch to informal of course, but you will start conversations in the polite form 99% of the time. Besides they will teach you the less formal form later in Pimsleur 3? Maybe already in #2...not sure! Not to mention you will pick up most of the informal talk from Anime and whatnot.

All in all, Pimsleur was my survival guide in Japan. I had absolutely no problems getting around. It was tough having conversations above basic level but if you incorporate vocab you pick up from watching Anime and such you'll do fine.

Unfortunately it will be inevitable to move away from Pimsleur and hit the books to really learn the grammar and of course the writing. But as a starting point Pimsleur was pure gold. Especially if you're going for a vacation to Japan and you want to learn some basic phrases and vocab to get around. It does really help.

I understand though, the price is a big thing, so if you're just a student it could pose a serious problem. You could ask your parents for it as a gift though. Besides should still be cheaper than any actual Japanese courses. But I guess that depends on where you're located.

So if you can afford it - awesome starting point!

Cheers

Richard

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I am quite surprised at the prices of Pimsleur Japanese, but that's pretty much expected.  However, I still choose language school.  I am more of a traditional learner, and I very much prefer to learn the old-fashioned way.  Also, after you've completed a class with fairly high marks, there's the satisfaction of learning more. These additional materials are more for supplementary usage as well as being a refresher.

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