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Pimsleur Japanese Basic Course - Level 1 Lessons 1-10 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand Japanese with Pimsleur Language Programs Audio CD – Audiobook, Nov 1 2005
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"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
"EXTREMELY ACCESSIBLE...each section within the lessons is short enough to hold our attention, and there is enough repetition to teach even those who consider themselves slow learners...Pimsleur [programs] are extremely thorough and easy to use -- quite lively!" -- Boston Herald
"Learn French while commuting, German while jogging, Spanish (or Russian, Italian, and Japanese) while cooking all with NO WRITTEN MATERIALS!" -- New York Daily News
"Designed for the ear and not the eye...the lessons provide PERFECT 30-minute bites of work." -- St Louis Post-Dispatch
"Learn to habla español or parlez français before your next trip aboard. The interactive LESSONS CHALLENGE STUDENTS to use new words in conversation instead of memorize them." -- American Way (American Airlines inflight magazine)
"I tried other language programs with little success...This is the best by far!" -- Pamela A. Mitchell, Pilot, International Society of Women Airline Pilots
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
By the way, the male Japanese voice does not seem to be authentic. For example, in すみません,すis not really pronounced as [su], which is one of the drawbacks of learning Japanese through Romanization, and the ending syllable shall be pronounced as [sen] instead of [sem].
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
-Lessons feature male and female speakers to give you a range of voice pitch
-Price of $15 for 10 half-hour lessons on 5 CDs delivered to you door is awesome!
-Some repetition and periodic reviews to help you learn and to keep you sharp
-You learn basics to get around, such as "Do you understand English?" and "Good morning, nice weather isn't it."
-5 CDs come with a nice black zippered soft-sided CD holder
-Each 30-minute lesson is an entire track, so you can't use the "scan" feature on your radio, you must rewind (or fast forward) manually, despite clear logical breaks (like learning the reponse to a question you just learned)
-No supporting book or pamphlet of words to visually memorize (I need all the help I can get)
-Lessons are not a full 30 minutes typically... would have appreciated more repetition on several words that get almost none (you can rewind, so minor point I suppose)
-Tip #1: CD recommends that if you master 80% of the material, you can move on to the next lesson. I couldn't disagree more, be nearly 100% to get the most of this (you can do it if I can), rewind if you must
-Tip #2: They say a word and you repeat it, there are a few seconds of delay time for you to respond. Learn to say each word not once in that time, but twice, so that you learn to speak at a reasonable speed. It would be annoying to go up to someone and talk too s-l-o-w-l-y...
-Sample vocabulary you will learn: excuse me, hello, good morning, good day, thank you, thank you very much, I, you, good, bad, weather, so it is (agreement), yes, no, I understand, I don't understand, do you understand?, skilled, unskilled, English, Japanese (language, heritage are different words), American, but, well (like I don't know Japanese very well), and so forth... and that's only a sampling of the first 3 lessons... there are 10 in all.
Bottom line: Excellent introduction, highly recommended especially for ~$15. Note: if you buy Pimsleur I, I believe these are the same five discs that begin that series. With Pimsleur I you'll get more CDs obviously, just note the overlap if you are considering it. If I knew then what I know now, I would bite the bullet and go right for Pimsleur I.
If you want to actually speak Japanese, buy these CDs. Even after the first lesson, you can easily see that the method works. I have tried many times to learn Japanese over the years (using books), completely unsuccessfully. After listening to these CDs, I can honestly say I feel more confident in my language learning skills. Although I haven't learned enough to actually hold a conversation, I can see the potential. The CD's teach you how to think in Japanese, not just translate word-for-word. The process is very fluid and natural. Not only does this product work as advertised, it is also lots of fun. Who knew learning a language could be fun?
Well...it works...for me, anyway.
With this "Basic Japanese" edition, you get the first 10 lessons of the Pimsleur Level I Comprehensive Program. The SAME ten lessons...SO...you can get to own them twice!
The same goes for the "Conversational Japanese" edition. You get the first 16 lessons. SO...don't buy the "Basic Japanese" AND the "Conversational Japanese" together...you will be buying the same ten lessons twice! Although, Amazon "claims" these two items are "commonly bought together". And if they truly are, all those people are wasting their money. Thanks Amazon :/
In the first ten lessons, you'll cover approx. 130 different words (give or take); NOT counting sentence structures.
Overall, the program works well enough...YET...not as efficiently as the company proclaims. The program is sorely lacking in a phonetic-spelling word list. Pimsleur claims looking over written words would only slow or hinder the lessons and your learning/pronunciation...yet...I guess Pimsleur never thought that someone hearing people pronounce words in a foreign language for the first time might benefit from the smallest amount of visual-aid in order to get it right the first time.
NOW...with every new word, the program DOES provide a slow piece-by-piece pronunciation...HOWEVER...anyone who has seen "Lost in Translation" knows it doesn't matter how slowly someone says "Lip mi Sockins", you're still going to need some clarification. (And YES, I realize that scene involves a Japanese Woman trying to speak English...BUT...just wait until you buy this program, and you will see...sorry...hear what I mean).
EVEN...The "full" visual-aid (i.e. a reading booklet) that comes with the "Comprehensive" Program ONLY has but the smallest amount of phonetically-written Japanese words in it. SO...I've been writing my OWN as I've progressed through the lessons.
NOTE: I'm currently on Lesson 11...which is, of course, not included in the "Basic" edition. The point is...having studied the entire "Basic" program I can honestly say...
If you only want to learn a decent amount of Japanese (for a trip, or what have you), I recommend the "Conversational Japanese" edition; assuming you have NO intention of ever buying the Level I "Comprehensive" Program.
However, if you merely wish to test out the Pimsleur program, then "Basic Japanese" is a good way to go.
AND ONE FINAL NOTE: Don't buy the "Comprehensive" Program(s) at the way overpriced amount(s). I found a Pimsleur reseller who sells new versions of it for only $156.95 ([...] and will even buy them back (in like-new condition) for $100! Although, you might find a better deal then I did, and should NOT take this as an endorsement for "Pimsleur Marketplace"...I just wanted to warn you before kicking out $345.
May this review be helpful to you.
Happy Japanese Learning ^_^
It is great; I love the CDs and the price is right. If I ever want to learn another language I will check for this deal first.
Also, the price I paid on amazon was cheaper than what they were selling for on Ebay...
1.) Basic Japanese - 10 lessons (13 dollars + shipping)
2.) Conversational Japanese - same as basic, plus 5 lessons (19 dollars + shipping)
3.) Japanese 1 - same lessons as conversational + 15 more lessons (160 dollars + shipping)
Basic Japanese is very inexpensive, and it's a good way to give the method a try without investing a lot of money. I'm very pleased with the CDs after the first 7 lessons, and I've decided to invest in Japanese 1.
I find it takes 2 to 3 times listening to each CD before moving on to the next lesson. While I haven't learned that much Japanese yet, I feel even the little bit I have learned will come in handy on my vacation in Japan in a couple of months.
The lessons are entirely audio-based, so they're perfect for listening to on your commute. They definitely demand one's full attention.
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