Free Audio Lesson
Learn a new language while commuting, while cleaning the house, or working out. Like millions before you, discover the power of the scientifically sequenced and portable Pimsleur Method.
Pimsleur includes 30, 30-minute audio lessons, reading instruction, and Culture Notes as streaming or audio download, plus Culture Notes Booklet and integrated Reading Booklet.
The Easiest and Fastest Way to Learn Japanese
Did you know that about 122 million people in Japan, and another 8 million worldwide speak Japanese? For Americans, it’s perceived as a difficult language to learn, but in fact, it’s quite regular. Once you get the basics down, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’re able to begin speaking it. And even knowing a little bit of the language will make travel to Japan far easier, and much more fun. Whether your goal is to travel, communicate with friends or colleagues, reconnect with family, or just understand more of what’s going on in the world around you, learning to speak Japanese will expand your horizons and immeasurably enrich your life.
The best part is that it doesn’t have to be difficult or take years to master. Thirty minutes a day is all it takes, and we get you speaking right from the first day. Pimsleur courses use a scientifically proven method that puts you in control of your learning. If you’ve tried other language learning methods but found they simply didn’t stick, then you owe it to yourself to give Pimsleur a try.
Pimsleur Makes Learning Easy
• 30-minute core lessons you can take anywhere, or do at home with Alexa®
• Synch progress across devices
• Stream lessons or download to use in offline mode
• Individual progress tracking for one main account holder and up to 3 additional household members
• Car mode for easy driving and learning
• Compatible with Amazon Echo devices for working through lessons at home
• Quick + Easy – Only 30 minutes a day.
• Portable + Flexible – Core lessons can be done anytime, anywhere, and easily fit into your busy life.
• Proven Method – Works when other methods fail.
• Self-Paced – Go fast or go slow – it’s up to you.
• Based in Science – Developed using proven research on memory and learning.
• Cost-effective – Less expensive than classes or immersion, and features all native speakers.
• Genius – Triggers your brain’s natural aptitude to learn.
• Works for everyone – Recommended for ages 13 and above.
• 30, 30-minute audio lessons
• 70 minutes of reading instruction to provide you with an introduction to reading the Japanese hiragana script or alphabet. These lessons are designed to teach you to sound out words with correct pronunciation and accent.
• 50 minutes of recorded Culture Notes to give you some insight into the Japanese language and culture.
• in total, 17 hours of audio, all featuring native speakers
• A digital Reading Booklet and a Culture Notes Booklet
What You’ll Learn
In the first 10 lessons, you’ll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more. You’ll be able to handle minimum courtesy requirements, understand some of what you hear, and be understood at a beginning level, but with near-native pronunciation skills.
In the next 10 lessons, you’ll build on what you’ve learned. Expand your menu, increase your scheduling abilities from general to specific, start to deal with currency and exchanging money, refine your conversations and add over a hundred new vocabulary items. You’ll understand more of what you hear, and be able to participate with speech that is smoother and more confident.
In the final 10 lessons, you’ll be speaking and understanding at an intermediate level. In this phase, more directions are given in Japanese, which moves your learning to a whole new plane. Lessons include shopping, visiting friends, going to a restaurant, plans for the evening, car trips, and talking about family. You’ll be able to speak comfortably about things that happened in the past and make plans for the future.
Reading and Writing in Japanese
By the 5th century AD Chinese characters began to be widely used in Japan. This early alphabet, kanji, created new literacy, but brought many complications in pronunciation. In the 8th century, two new phonetic alphabets, or kana, were devised to bridge the gap: hiragana and katakana. Hiragana is used along with the kanji to show the syllables that form suffixes and particles – “sounds” in other words, while katakana was used for foreign loan words, like “coffee” or “computer.” Today in Japan, the three writing systems are combined, with kanji, hiragana, and katakana often appearing within a single sentence.
Reading lessons are included in this program. In these lessons, you will begin to learn to read the hiragana alphabet.
Learning the sound of each letter alone and in culturally distinct combinations allows your brain to process what you’re hearing in the audio lessons from a new and different perspective. It’s a powerful combination that makes Pimsleur different from every other method on the market.
Fifty minutes of recorded Cultural Notes are included after the Reading Lessons. These Notes are designed to provide you with some insight into Japanese culture. A Culture Notes booklet is included.
The Pimsleur Method
We make no secret of what makes this powerful method work so well. Paul Pimsleur spent his career researching and perfecting the precise elements anyone can use to learn a language quickly and easily. Here are a few of his “secrets”:
The Principle of Anticipation
In the nanosecond between a cue and your response, your brain has to work to come up with the right word. Having to do this boosts retention, and cements the word in your mind.
Words, phrases, and sentences are selected for their usefulness in everyday conversation. We don’t overwhelm you with too much, but steadily increase your ability with every lesson.
Graduated Interval Recall
Reminders of new words and structures come up at the exact interval for maximum retention and storage into your long-term memory.
You work on multiple aspects of the language simultaneously. We integrate grammar, vocabulary, rhythm, melody, and intonation into every lesson, which allows you to experience the language as a living, expressive form of human culture.
Learning in Context
Research has shown that learning new words in context dramatically accelerates your ability to remember. Every scene in every Pimsleur lesson is set inside a conversation between two people. There are no drills, and no memorization necessary for success.
The Pimsleur Method + active learner participation = success. This method works with every language and every learner who follows it. You gain the power to recall and use what you know, and to add new words easily, exactly as you do in English.
The Japanese Language
Japanese is spoken by about 130 million people, 122 million of whom are in Japan. There are also speakers in the Ryukyu Islands, Korea, Taiwan, parts of the United States, and Brazil. Japanese has many “registers” or levels of politeness. Pimsleur’s Japanese courses will teach you how to speak at a polite register, which is appropriate in virtually any situation you are likely to encounter in Japan.
• Audio lessons can be streamed or downloaded for offline use in the Pimsleur App for iPhone®, iPad®, and most Android™ devices.
• Audio lessons can also be played on Amazon® Echo® devices using the Alexa® Pimsleur Skill.
• A desktop version is available for Mac® or Windows® computers.
• All purchased courses are backed up in your Pimsleur.com cloud-based digital library account.
• Pimsleur is designed for use by one registered user, plus up to three household members, and may be installed on up to four devices.