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.
Includes 30 lessons, reading instruction, and Culture Notes as MP3 download (16 hrs), plus Culture Notes Booklet, Reading Booklet, and User’s Guide.
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.
- 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
- 80 minutes of reading practice of the Japanese hiragana, katakana, plus an introduction to select kanji characters
- 60 minutes of recorded Culture Notes to give you some insight into the Japanese language and culture.
- in total, over 17 hours of audio, all featuring native speakers
- a Reading Booklet, Culture Notes Booklet, and a User’s Guide
What You’ll Learn
Builds upon skills taught in Pimsleur’s Japanese Levels 1 and 2.
In the first 10 lessons, you will expand your vocabulary and increase your fluency to an even higher level. You’ll gain experience participating in many informal and some formal discussions on practical, social, and semiprofessional topics. You’ll skillfully form longer, more complex sentences, and most importantly, you’ll find yourself being understood, even by native speakers unused to dealing with foreigners. You’ll be able to join in conversations eagerly, confident of being understood.
In the next 10 lessons, your skills will demonstrate ever-increasing mastery of Japanese. Speaking with grace and complete naturalness, you’ll enjoy fluid conversations on many new subjects. Delving deeper into cultural norms and situations, you’ll find yourself responding effortlessly, and able to choose from a wide accumulation of vocabulary and structures.
In the final 10 lessons, you’re nearing fluency with agile responses, and a natural sounding, near-native accent. You’re able to utilize the language in subtle ways, and speak using past, present, and future tenses. Self-confidence soars as you no longer experience the language and culture as a foreigner, but as someone with a deepening insight into the Japanese-speaking world.
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.
Twenty reading lessons are included in this program. In these lessons, you'll continue to practice reading hiragana and katakana, and learn to recognize and “read” some kanji characters of familiar words.
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.
One hour of recorded Culture Notes are included after the reading instruction. 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.
- Lessons can be downloaded using the Pimsleur Course Manager App for iPad®, iPhone® and Android™ devices, and Mac® or Microsoft® Windows® computers, or
- Lessons can be downloaded as a ZIP file of MP3 files for use in iTunes® or Windows Media Player®.
- All purchased courses are backed up in your Pimsleur.com cloud-based digital library account.
- Lessons can be played on your iPod® or any MP3 player.
- The Pimsleur Course Manager App can be installed on several devices, for personal use only.
- Lessons are non-DRM (Digital Rights Management) MP3 files and can be copied onto a CD or DVD for playing in a CD/DVD player.