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, Lessons 1-30 includes 15 hours of spoken language practice and one hour of Culture Notes in thirty, 30-minute lessons. In the first 10 lessons, you’ll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information or preferences, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more. You’ll be able to handle minimum courtesy requirements, understand much of what you hear, and be understood at a beginning level, but with near-native pronunciation skills.
In the next 10 lessons, you’ll build on what you’ve learned. Expand your menu, increase your scheduling abilities from general to specific, start to deal with currency and exchanging money, refine your conversations and add over a hundred new vocabulary items. You’ll understand more of what you hear, and be able to really participate with speech that is smoother and more confident.
In the final 10 lessons of Phase 1, you’ll be speaking and understanding at an intermediate level. In this phase, more and more directions are given in the target language, which moves your learning to a whole new plane. You can talk about your immediate family, go on a car trip, and ask for and understand directions. Lessons include shopping, visiting friends, going to a restaurant, plans for the evening and traveling with children. You’ll be able to speak comfortably about things that happened in the past and make plans for the future.
One hour of recorded Cultural Notes are included at the end of Unit 30. These Notes are designed to provide you with some insight into Japanese culture. A Culture Notes booklet is also included in PDF format.
©2002 Simon & Schuster (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
"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)
I have tried to learn with other courses with frustrating results. I usually practice twice a day while concentrating on other things. Following the instructions and giving at least 30 minutes a day 5-6 days a week I have just finished the program and am moving on to Jap 2. Some lessons seemed like such a jump from the previously covered material that it took several days and could be frustrating, while other lessons were mostly review and easy. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn basic Japanese and is willing to stick with it.
Pimsleur is, bar none, the finest language instruction program on the market. You will need to kern the very com ex writing system elsewhere, but for grammar and vocabulary, this is the top of the line. Every language student should try this program. It works, and this from someone who routinely failed a language as close to English as French. I cannot praise this program highly enough.
I had some prior familiarity with Japanese, but mostly through studying the writing system and specialized vocabulary in my professional field. So I wasn't starting from a blank slate, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this program. It got me up to speed on a number of everyday expressions that I either hadn't learned or hadn't spent much time getting familiar with.
The pace of the first 30 lessons seemed just right -- enough repetition to get the material into my brain, but not so much as to be boring. Generally, each lesson introduced enough new material to keep the experience engaging. Furthermore, this isn't just rote memorization and repetition - the program gently encourages you to take what you know (say, certain numbers or word forms) and make educated "guesses" on how to recombine them into new words and expressions. That keeps the lessons interesting.
The program also teaches you grammar in a very subtle way -- by practicing actual expressions rather than clubbing you over the head with excessive linguistic terminology. But it doesn't gloss over important distinctions such as wa は vs. ga が vs. o を either.
I did find it peculiar that Phase 1 teaches you the numbers up through the hundreds, and how to tell time from 1:00 to 10:00, but except for the "Culture Notes" at the end makes no mention of 11 or 12, either as numbers or hours on the clock.
Still, I found this course to be well worth the time I spent taking it, and a huge boost to my confidence in speaking and understanding basic, everyday Japanese. I'll definitely be continuing to Phase 2.
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