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Pimsleur Review In 2024: My Personal Experience

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Person in public with language learning app on phone.
Pimsleur learning app helps you navigate challenging situations where there is a language barrier.
Image credit: panuwat phimpha, Shutterstock

I’ve always wanted to learn a new language. I took four years of Spanish in high school, studied abroad in Thailand, and had some impressive lesson streaks in the Duolingo language app. But language learning has never really been my thing. It just doesn’t stick, no matter how hard I try.

The other day, I was chatting with a coworker who learns new languages for fun—gasp, I know—and she casually mentioned that she was picking up yet another language (Punjabi). So, when she followed this revelation by recommending the Pimsleur app for language learning, I knew I needed to give it a try.

Pimsleur differs from other popular language-learning apps in that it’s primarily based on audio learning. I share my results during my seven-day free trial, including personal feedback on my progress from a bilingual English/Spanish speaker.

Visit Pimsleur’s Website

Pimsleur logo 250.

Product Name: Pimsleur Language Programs

Product Description: Pimsleur is a language learning app available on desktop, Android, and iOS.

Summary

Pimsleur mimics the way you learn as a child—it put the sounds of the language in your ear first before you start to reading and writing. The app’s blend of audio lessons mixed with flash cards and quizzes is a bit like internal training for your brain. This is a fantastic product for those who want to implement a new spoken language into their daily life.

Overall Score

4
  • Quality
  • Languages Offered
  • Customer Support
  • Cost

Pros

  • Excellent for learning to speak languages
  • Teaches practical language
  • Hands-free and convenient
  • 50+ language options
  • Free 7-day trial
  • Phone, chat, email, and FAQ support options

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited writing and reading
  • Doesn’t teach grammar
  • User may “tune out” during lessons

Consumer Reviews

0 0 votes
Reader Rating

This is the aggregate score of reader reviews we’ve received. Have a good or bad experience with Pimsleur? Feel free to leave your own review in the comments. Please note that only ratings with valid review content will be published and counted.

5 Key Features

  1. Spend 30 minutes a day, and it guarantees you’ll be proficient in the new language
  2. 50+ languages
  3. Available via desktop and mobile app (Andriod and iOS)
  4. Languages are taught via a “Listen and Learn” approach (similar to how you learn as a child)
  5. Premium features include flash cards, voice recognition (for pronunciation practice), mini-lessons, and quizzes

How Does Pimsleur Work?

Those familiar with language learning are likely familiar with the Pimsleur Method. Dr. Paul Pimsleur developed this approach while researching memory and how interval recall could be used to quicken understanding. According to Dr. Pimslear’s research, by providing optimal spacing between information and deliberately limiting the amount you learn at one time, you can accelerate learning, boost understanding, and activate new neural pathways in the brain. All you need to do is listen to the course, repeat the phrases, and follow along through each lesson plan in the level.

What Languages Can You Learn With Pimsleur?

Pimsleur offers the following language courses:

AlbanianItalian
Arabic (Eastern)Japanese
Arabic (Egyptian)Korean
Arabic (Modern Standard)Lithuanian
Armenian (Easter)Norwegian
Armenian (Western)Ojibwe
Chinese (Cantonese)Pashto
Chinese (Mandarin)Polish
CroatianPortuguese (Brazilian)
CzechPortuguese (European)
DanishPunjabi
Dari PersianRomanian
DutchRussian
English (ESL)Spanish (Latin American)
Farsi PersianSpanish (Spain-Castilian)
FinnishSwahili
FrenchSwedish
GermanSwiss German
GreekTagalog
Haitian CreoleThai
HebrewTurkish
HindiTwi
HungarianUkrainian
IcelandicUrdu
IndonesianVietnamese
Irish

My Personal Experience With Pimsleur

I work at a health food store that caters to a decent population of Spanish-speaking people. I often encounter customers who only speak Spanish, and while I took Spanish throughout high school, I still can’t speak it conversationally. So, when I’m asked, “¿Hablas español?” the best I can do is meekly respond, “No, lo siento,” and use an assistant to translate. I would love to better assist customers with their health needs. Considering this, I chose Spanish (Latin American) as my area of study when testing out the Pimsleur app.

Getting Started With Pimsleur

After downloading and opening the Pimsleur app, I was asked to start my seven-day free trial of the All Access monthly plan, which includes all 51 languages and special features. I created an account, added billing information, and started my subscription. Pimsleur doesn’t charge you right away, but the payment will go through after a week if you don’t cancel before the end of the free trial.

After creating my account, Pimsleur gave me a short tutorial of the app, which included setting up daily progress reminders and other notifications. Then, I was ready to start my first lesson.

Setting up Pimsleur app screenshots.
Setting up an account is super easy, and Pimsleur allows you to share your All Access account with three household members.

Training With Pimsleur

Each Pimsleur lesson consists of a 30-minute audio course, during which you are prompted to listen and repeat words and phrases in your language of choice. I like that the introductory audio lessons are dedicated to teaching phrases that you may need for communication.

For example, lessons of Spanish Level 1 were formatted as follows:

  1. Meet + Greet – I learned phrases like “Disculpe, ¿entiende inglés?” (“Excuse me, do you understand English?”)
  2. Polite Phrases – I learned conversational phrases such as “Good morning” (Buenos dias), “How are you?” (¿Cómo está?), and “Very well, thanks” (Muy bien, gracias).
  3. Survival skills – This section focused on communicating how much Spanish I knew. Since I can speak very little, I should say, “Hablo un poco de español.”
  4. Speak + Understand – Here, I practiced speaking the phrases I heard in the previous sections.

After the 30-minute audio lesson, I had the option to practice reading, flashcards (Spanish to English or English to Spanish), and quizzes.

Taining with Pimsleur app screenshots.
In one quiz called “Quick Match,” I was instructed to match the English sentence to the Spanish equivalent. In “Speak Easy,” users practice pronunciation by playing and repeating specific phrases. In “Speed Round,” Pimsleur asks you to match the correct words to win points.

Tracking Your Progress With Pimsleur

With your Pimsleur subscription, you can track your learning progress. The app tracks where you are located in a program, shows your practice streaks, and awards you performance badges.

Tracking progress with Pimsleur app.
I really enjoyed Pimsleur’s voice coach pronunciation practice, where I was given a performance score for how well I modeled a native speaker. 

Pricing

Pimsleur also offers an app that includes a 7-day free trial. After that, you can choose a monthly or annual plan. Pimsleur does not provide a student discount or lifetime subscription but occasionally offers coupons.

PlanPrice
All Access Monthly (51 languages)$20.95/mo.
Premium Monthly (1 language)$19.95/mo.
All Access Annual$164.95/yr.

Pimsleur also offers gift subscriptions, starting at $49.94. These are one-time payments that include all of Pimsleur’s 51 languages. Recipients can start their subscription date at any time.

Subscription LengthPrice
3 Months$49.95
6 Months$99.95
12 Months$199.95

The Verdict: Is Pimsleur Bueno?

Is Pimsleur good? I really enjoyed using Pimsleur, but I wanted to test my pronunciation skills face-to-face. So, I chatted with a co-worker who speaks Spanish fluently. She said she was impressed with my pronunciation, which is really the best compliment I could have received. While I’m not ready to speak Spanish conversationally, I’m making considerable improvements in a short period.

Is Pimsleur Right For You?

If you thrive with visual learning, then you should steer clear of this app. However, this app is an excellent choice if you prefer audio learning and like listening to podcasts. I found that I could easily practice a lesson during my morning walk or while I was cleaning the house. It’s a hands-free option that requires your ears for just 30 minutes a day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions our readers frequently ask about Pimsleur. Don’t see yours? Ask us in the comments.

Does The Pimsleur Method Really Work?

Yes, the Pimsleur Method is a very effective tool for helping you learn and understand a new language. According to Pimsleur, this method is so effective that the FBI, Homeland Security, Marine Corps, and Navy also use it.

Can You Become Fluent With Pimsleur?

You won’t become fluent with Pimsleur. It is intended as a resource for starting your language-learning journey.

What Other Options Are There Besides Pimsleur?

Visit Pimsleur Website

We hope our Pimsleur Review has helped you in your journey to learning a new language. Remember we’ve got a large language learning software review in which Pimsleur won the category for “Best Audio Learning.” You’ll find pros, cons, pricing, etc. for competing language learning software options—including Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone—that may be a better fit for your particular needs.

Which language have you always wanted to learn? Let us know in the comments.

Why Trust Safe Smart Living?

Since joining the Safe Smart Living team, Tara has covered a variety of personal development topics, particularly brain training. She has personally tested Pimsleur and other competing language learning apps to give you an honest review. This review included testing Pimsleur’s Spanish Level 1 for ease of use and learning.

Tara Maurer

Since joining the Safe Smart Living team, Tara has covered topics ranging from home security and identity protection to smart travel and educated living. After graduating with a BA in Multimedia Journalism from Simpson College, Tara began work in the wellness industry. In the past seven years, she has personally tested countless supplements and holds a holistic nutrition certification. Tara is passionate about personal safety, especially for women. It’s a sad truth that most women experience harassment while in public spaces during their lifetime, and we must learn tactics to protect ourselves. As a female runner, Tara has tested various safety products, including alarms, pepper sprays, reflective gear, and tracking devices. When not working, you’ll most likely find Tara running, reading the latest fantasy novel, or trying out a new healthy recipe.
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