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Summary

The Pimsleur® Method: the easiest, fastest way to learn a new language. Completely portable, easily downloadable, and lots of fun. You’ll be speaking and understanding in no time flat! Japanese Phase 1, Units 1-5 build on material taught in prior units. Each lesson provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation, and new vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation. Each lesson contains practice for vocabulary introduced in previous lessons. The emphasis is on pronunciation and comprehension, and on learning to speak Japanese.

©2002 Simon & Schuster (P)2010 Simon & Schuster

Critic reviews

"Pimsleur programs provide plenty of positive reinforcement that will keep learners on track, and we found that Pimsleur gave us more proficiency and confidence in speaking the new language than any of the other language programs we reviewed." ( AudioFile magazine)

What listeners say about Japanese Phase 1, Unit 01-05

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Learn how to speak like a sexist creepo

I stuck with this program up until Lesson 20 before I gave up on it and wanted to give a full review that would help others avoid this series and choose other more constructive Japanese language resources out there, namely the one by JapanesePod101.

First off, the PROS are that the sheer repetition of dialogue built on each lesson does indeed help you learn a number of different useful conversations. The CONS are that the phrases you learn will make you sound like a sexist creepo.

I'm a woman trying to learn Japanese and as this series progressed I got fed up with the scenarios and dialogues presented in this series. The content is very much geared towards teaching men how to pick up women "Would you like to have a drink at my place? How about my hotel? If you can't do tonight, how about tomorrow?" or towards teaching men how to be domineering husbands and women to be dependent housewives "George, I'd like to go shopping, may I have some money?" "What are you going to buy? A Japanese book? 1000 yen? That's a bit expensive isn't it?" Even the choice of vocabulary taught to refer to one's husband "shujin" which literally translates as "master" and to refer to one's one as wife as "kanai" which translates as "inside the house". Though these words might still be understood and used in everyday language, why not provide the more modern and egalitarian equivalents of "otto" and "tsuma"? Why not update the content so you're not stuck in the Edo period?

All that aside, the other big drawback of this series is that THERE IS NO ACCOMPANYING PDF RESOURCE for you to learn and connect the spoken words with any written Japanese. There is also almost no explanation of grammar or logic of verb conjugations, particles etc. You're just supposed to learn by straight parroting the phrases which is a ridiculous way to learn a language as it constrains you to only saying what you've heard in the course rather than being able to flex to the situation we're in.

In summary, avoid this series and get with the times. I'll be asking for refunds on all the credits I've spent on this.

33 people found this helpful

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Made leaps and bounds with this audio book.

Enjoyed every moment. Most certainly increased my ability to speak japanese, I will continue on to book 2.

2 people found this helpful

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Very short and as such low value for money :(

Effective way of learning from audio. Very short so low value for money which supprises me and makes me regret invest in so many units.

2 people found this helpful

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Better than I thought

Doesn't really help to gain a lot of vocabulary or in depth knowledge about the language. But the bigest problem I always had while learning other languages - I don't usually have anybody to speak with, so I end up knowing what I want to say, but too shy to actually speak. This course forces you to speak, and that's the best thing about it. Annoying thing about it - they keep forcing you to lie that you're american :D

Having a notebook to write down words that you just keep forgetting is a major help. Not for looking in it all the time while doing the lesson, but to quickly glance over the last 3-5 words once a day.

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Decent for total beginner

How this works is there are 5 units, each unit is around 30 minutes. Each unit introduces you to new words and phrases you repeat multiple times as well as testing you on these again at later units. Then you are to participate in a real conversation using words you just learned. Repeat the unit if you've understood most (80%) of the conversation or begin next unit the next day.

This is a great approach. Where this fails for me is not having transcripts or any accompanying documents because some longer phrases I found it difficult to make out all the words even after repeating several times. "Markers" are difficult to hear sometimes. They didn't even have to do this if they broke them down into smaller phrases. I had to refer to other learning material to break it down.

Overall I think the approach is great.

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too short for the price.

this introductory series is too short and not overly helpful. They fail to explain any reasons behind the grammar or word order of Japanese. they just say a sentence then repeat it in Japanese. it's awful. The Michel Thomas method is much much better in my opinion as they take the time to explain the language.

3 people found this helpful

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I recommend this soo much!

I used this as my free audio book and had a 30 day feel trial since its only rent and I learnt over 50 words! This is so useful for those who need to learn fast. I love this and are definitely buying the rest of these. This truly helped me and I really recommend this to anyone!

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Fantastic jump starter.

Loved this, it was great and had me speaking simple sentences in Japanese within a week.

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really helpful

really helped me to keep the words in my head and feel confident making and speaking sentences.

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Great

I’ve followed this course before but only the first dozen or so units. It’s simple to follow and understand. All I want to know at this stage is to speak some basic Japanese for personal entertainment and this is perfect for me.

I listen to a new lesson at night then repeat it in the morning. I’m generally surprised by how much I actually absorb this way. The lessons frequently repeat and return to what you’ve learned before reenforcing this while teaching you new things which, for me, has proven to be incredibly effective.

My only issue is, and I’ve seen others say this, the guy and the girl pronounce things differently. He tends to end certain words ‘em’ where as she sounds like she is saying ‘en’. From what I’ve seen I think her’s is slightly better but, I’m pretty certain most people will understand you no matter what you say.

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  • W. N.
  • 27-08-16

Best Language Learning

I've failed French twice in college, struggled through two terms of Chinese--somehow learning to write it better than speak it. When I speak Chinese Mandarin speakers tell me they don't speak Cantonese; Cantonese speakers the reverse. I've studied and taught ESL. So I have a lot of experience, and pain.
Pimsleur Japanese is amazing. I've learned so much in a week. I still hesitate a bit (I'm on Units 6-10), but when it comes out it's fluid, quick, my pronunciation is good. It's like being a child in the language-when I learn something, I don't recall it--it is just there, like my native language.
Being able to use one credit for five lessons is very smart. Try it out.
I can't comment on other languages, but the method is sound, so they should also be good. This is probably a secret weapon for taking a second language in school.
I usually concentrate on the lesson, while getting ready in the morning, driving to and from work. If my attention lags, or I'm distracted, I'll stop. Always I go back and re-do lessons. I was just in Japan, I watch Japanese movies and I'm amazed at how much more I understand.
Wakarimas-ka? Wakarimas.

50 people found this helpful

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  • Mynor Zúñiga
  • 29-10-18

Helps, but not that much

Not substancial enough and not consistent with polite language and particles from other learning resources.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Taty
  • 05-11-10

Excellent as a practice or for tourists

This system is great as listening and speaking practice for those who only need some basics for tourism. The work is well presented, it's fun to follow and quite challenging in good way. I missed having written materials, and real explanations of the grammar. My fear is that without those you end up like a parrot, able to repeat things, but without much ability to create your own much past what you have been repeating. Also completely unable to read anything.
The method presents itself that way, and it does what its system suggests very well.
I gave it a 4 because, though I don't believe it should be your only resource if you really want to learn the language, it most certainly is an incredibly helpful one.

35 people found this helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 17-06-21

Not worth Your Credit

This is an incredibly novice lesson, which is great for some…. But with its short run time and with each lesson spending about half the time recapping the previous lesson, you dont get much content. You could simply play lesson 1 twice and jump into lesson three and it would still sound like they are talking about lesson 1. Just get the Audible originals, they have much better content and its not nearly as dated, annnnd its free…. Sorry pims~ but your stuff is obsolete.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nick
  • 30-09-20

Need to slow it down but overall enjoying it

They speak way to fast and don't go over the words enough before moving on. I find myself having to rewind 20 times just to understand. However I do find it enjoyable.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shawn
  • 09-01-11

excellent

listen in the car to/from work and have used some of the conversation with Japanese co workers with success. Will be buying the second "pack" in the near future. Ja mata

9 people found this helpful

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  • Robert J. Welle
  • 09-02-17

only 5 units, but this course is excellent! veryez

too short, but very easy to learn and get excited about progress. the structure allows a lot of feedback and measures progress.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kristian Conroy
  • 23-07-15

Fine

Seemed good. All usefull information. I primarily use Rosetta stone so i find adding learning from alternative approaches usefull.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Vision
  • 11-05-16

Worth it.

Very easy to follow and understand. Bought the next three audio books. Highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Chris Paguio
  • Chris Paguio
  • 02-02-17

Satisfied

Satisfied and felt progress while having fun, it doesn't drop tons of vocabulary at once and constantly reminds you of past words from previous sections

2 people found this helpful