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Pimsleur Japanese Notes and Resources

Updated on January 5, 2011

About Japanese Learning Software

Learning a language can be difficult if you don't live in the country where the language is spoken. To help immerse yourself further in the language, you might consider finding a japanese pen pal, speaking communities, watch cartoons and movies (while knowing that bad grammar and slang often come up in such media). However, another tool might be getting a Japanese Learning Program or a textbook with audio CD's.

Pimsleur Japanese Notes

Pimsleur Japanese doesn't come with a booklet. Everything is taught orally. This is so you can focus more on the speaking and listening without distractions, however some people still feel uneasy without a few resources to back them up.

About Pimsleur Japanese

Pimsleur is one such manufacturer, producing various programs and textbooks with grammar-appropriate listening samples for you to practice your listening comprehension of the Japanese language. The Pimsleur method focuses largely on aural repetition and not so much on written cues. Focusing far too much on visual tools (dictionaries, written words, etc..) can cause people to be overwhelmed or to focus far too much on written skills. Pimsleur method wants people to focus on speaking and listening.

There are various starter packages (basic and conversational are featured here but another called quick & easy features 8 lessons), but the real package is Japanese Level 1. All the lessons in the starter packages are in Japanese Level 1, so you can jump directly. However, if you want to first decide whether you'll be able to tackle on the Japanese language, or if you just want some basic speaking skills, the starter packages are a good choice.

The most basic course of Pimsleur Japanese, meant for absolute beginners. It features the first 10 lessons from Japanese Level 1 and Japanese Conversation (other Pimsleur packages, featured below). Because of its low price, it's an excellent package to decide if going forth to learn Japanese is right for you. Upon completing this package, it is expected for the learner to move on to Japanese Level 1

Conversational Pimsleur Japanese

Another "Test" tool, or a quick learning tool if you just want enough conversational skills for traveling and such. This package offers 16 lessons, 6 more than the Basic package, all of which are included in Japanese Level 1. Once again, if you just want to decide whether you should learn Japanese, or if you just want a quick brush up, this is a nice cheap package.

A solid Japanese course teaching you conversational skills about your family, moving about in Japan (asking directions), typical conversations, insights into cultural references and politeness, present tense of many verbs, asking for translations. Although it may only be 30 lessons, there's actually a lot of content. You will probably end up repeating the courses 2 or 3 times before feeling ready to move on to Level 2, so there's more content in this course than meets the eye

The sequel to Level 1, you'll learn to deal with longer and more complex sentence structures. Past tense, and work around for the future, will let you speak out side of the Present tense for richer conversations.

The last step of the Pimsleur Course focuses on increasing your vocabulary. Don't be afraid to go back and restudy older levels if this one seems too difficult. This is now an intermediate course, not a beginner course.

Other Great Japanese Learning Software

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      neoglitch17 6 years ago

      "Learning a language can be difficult if you don't live in the country where the language is spoken"

      I don't really agree with this; I mean yes, getting used to search for Japanese media and interact with it the most that you can everyday does take time and some patience, but aside of that it's not difficult; it's just a matter of "showing up". Also, cartoons may have a good amount of slang, but bad grammar? I just finished watching the first two seasons of Adventure Time and I can tell you: Tons of slang in English? Yes. Bad English grammar? Not really.

      Hmm... I've read in several blogs that Pimsleur is very "meh". I think you are far better off getting free podcasts from iTunes and using those $230 to buy some music, or some Japanese NDS games! :D