Taking the world less travelled

Pimsleur Japanese I: An Effective Way To Start Speaking Japanese

Posted by on Jul 3, 2007 in Language | 0 comments

Pimsleur: Japanese I Review
I’m lucky in that I have access to a lot of Japanese resources. I’ve had Pimsleur Japanese I for a while now, but haven’t actually listened to them. Now I’m sorry that I didn’t get around to listening to them earlier! My early thoughts was that this would be boring, especially compared to Japanese Pod 101. Suffice to say, I was pleasantly surprised!

Now, I’m only on lesson eight right now, and while it has mostly been review for me with only learning maybe one word per lesson, I have to say I am quite enjoying the method, I think it will be very effective for me and I’ve learnt a bit about myself in the process.

Basically The Pimsleur Course is 30 mp3 lessons of about 30 minutes each. Each lesson begins with a short dialogue in Japanese. Following on from that you are asked questions and you respond in Japanese. You are mostly prompted as what to say in English. There will follow a pause, then a Japanese native speaker will say the correct response. There is then another pause for you to repeat what was said, and again the Japanese speaker repeats what was said. I’m finding it a great way to get speaking. Of course you are going to be far from fluent when the course is over, but it’s a great start. It’s good that you do not simply parot what is said but have to actively think yourself as to what to say.

One thing I immediately notice is that there is plenty of time to think of a reply and answer. For instance, with the Genki CDs I find that I barely have time to read and say the dialogue… However, I have found that, even though I know a response, it can take me a moment to process what to say and then say it. Pimsleur has pauses which I think are just long enough.

This has been a great learning experience for me. I know that speaking is an area I need to work on. Pimsleur is getting me talking and I’m confident that my response time will improve.

Another great thing about Pimsleur is that it uses repetition and builds on previous lessons. I am finding that this method is really working. I think it does help that so far what has been covered has be review. I think Pimsleur will work best for me as a review device.

One down side is that sometimes I worry that I’m not hearing the correct pronunciation on new words. Of course I get it, but I’m very much a visual learner and like to have documentation written that I can read as well.

Another minus for me is that it doesn’t exactly teach grammar. Now, of course that teaching grammar in this course isn’t really what it is, and that is fine. However, it does mean that it can’t be the be all and end all for me. I really do like to know the nuts and bolts of a language. For me at least, I need more sources to supplement my learning.

for Big pauses so that my slow brain can process what to say. Lots of repetition. Builds on previous episodes. Great speaking practise which I really need.

against I am a visual learner so sometimes it feels “hard” for me to learn effectively. It’s not a complete course in learning Japanese.

Overall I’m extremely satisfied with Pimsleur Japanese I. Oh, and if you see a girl walking a long talking to herself, it’s probably me listening to Pimsleur on my ipod.
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