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Japanese I, Comprehensive: Learn to Speak and Understand Japanese with Pimsleur Language Programs Audio CD – Audiobook, Oct 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Pimsleur; 3rd Edition, 30 Lessons + Notes edition (Oct. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743523539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743523530
  • Product Dimensions: 31.8 x 2.5 x 27.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,579,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Dr. Paul Pimsleur devoted his life to language teaching and testing and was one of the world’s leading experts in applied linguistics. After years of experience and research, Dr. Pimsleur developed The Pimsleur Method based on two key principles:  the Principle of Anticipation and a scientific principle of memory training that he called “Graduated Interval Recall.”  This Method has been applied to the many levels and languages of the Pimsleur Programs.

Customer Reviews

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By nomdevoile on Feb. 27 2004
Format: Audio CD
I rated it five stars because it satisfied my requirements. I do not know how it compares to similar products.
An evening walk was the only time I had available to learn Japanese. Pimsleurs audio-only approach requires a concentration level consistent with a leisurely walk. (It was too demanding to learn while driving.) I walked an hour per night for four months to complete Pimsleurs Japanese I, II, & III. I listened to two thirty-minute lessons each night. I also spent a short amount of time preparing vocabulary cards that I occasionally reviewed.
Normally I learn by reading and analysis, but I wanted to improve my aural learning ability. At times the rote learning frustrated me. At lesson 27 of Pimsleurs II, I capitulated to my analytic side and spent an hour studying Japanese verbs. My ear was hearing slight sound changes in the verbs, and my mind wanted to know what was going on. After understanding why the sounds were changing, I forced myself back to the aural-only approach.
What did I learn? I learned a small kernel of Japanese consisting of about 350 words (about one word per mile) and a handful of common speech patterns. There was almost no grammar instruction. Of the Pimsleurs course material I recognize 95%, I recall about 80%, and I speak fluently about 50%. When I speak with native speakers, I often stumble over words and phrases that I spoke easily while walking. However, I can speak many sentence patterns fluently, i.e. without thinking first. This is significant progress for me. My pronunciation is sometimes careless which confuses listeners. The Pimsleurs course is not a replacement for the immediate corrective feedback from a tutor. I tested my comprehension ability by listening to Japanese television (NHK).
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Format: Audio CD
I've bought tons of Japanese-learning material, both book and software, and most of it at least partially disappointing regardless of price point. Pimsleur, despite its lofty hype and even loftier cost(!), is no different. It's ok, but it's not the holy grail that most reviews would have you think it is, with my own reasons summed up thus:
1) You don't learn as much as you think you do. Yes, the method is sound, with the interspersed repetition and gradual introduction of new material, but the actual amount of language knowledge attained by the end of it is a LOT lower than one would hope.
2) The method (any method, in fact) NEEDS written material. I know it is a "selling point" of Pimsleur that it is audio-only, but in fact the course narration and design subtly discourage the student FROM writing things down or using other written material in conjunction with the course. I won't belabor the "why" since it's just plain common sense, but the bottom line is that some written material helps learning. Period. These courses are in bad need of some quality manuals/workbooks/whatever.
3) The speakers aren't very good. On Pimsleur I, for example, the female doesn't sound native in her pronounciation, and the male speaks WAY too quickly...ridiculously so! It's one thing to speak at a natural speed to get the ear "used" to what one hears in a natural Japanese conversation, but when the speaker speaks so fast that he practically mumbles half-sentences, that's an entirely different story. Despite everything else, this was my single biggest beef with these products, and lest the importance of this shortcoming escape you, remember that this is pretty much an all-audio course(!).
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Format: Audio CD
I'm 16 years old, I'm homeschooled, and I've been studying Japanese for 2 years right now. I was weary about such an expensive audio CD course for Japanese, but I gave it a try, and the conclusion I can draw is that it does what it's meant to do. An introduction (Level 1 of 3, so you can't expect deep coverage) of Japanese that starts you on your quest to Japanese mastery, or gives you a *really* good basic overview of the Japanese language.
As you've probably already read, each lesson is about 30 minutes long, and you should try to listen to one lesson a day. How did I do it? I sat in a room and concentrated on the lesson (I also cleaned the house frequently). Would I do just as well if I were focusing on driving in addition to listening to an audio course? I don't know. But I got it to work really good for me, and this mainly has to do with one's own circumstances, not the quality of the material itself.
If you have trouble on a lesson, just listen to the same one again (the same day, if you have the time), listen to it again the next day before you move on to the next lesson. I did this, and I felt I benefited greatly from this.
I finished Japanese I, and I am currently studying one lesson of Pimsleur Japanese II a day, and I'm on lesson 20. It's still working great, I'm listening to the audio lessons in addition to my regular studies. I plan to get Pimsleur Japanese III as I finish Japanese II.
To sum it up:
Pimsleur is the BEST audio-language learning company, period. Audio-language-learning courses and companies are never going to be perfect. They will almost always lack in one way or another. There has yet to be made the *perfect* language-audio course, but this is as close as you can get.
A great introduction to Japanese, and it is a GREAT (I mean, GREAT) boost if you're studying this in addition to regular study of Japanese.
(I felt that Japanese I was good enough that I just got my Pimsleur German I today.)
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