Pimsleur French Review (2023)

Test Prep Insight has reader support. If you make a purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.To know more

Pimsleur French Review (1)

Frances de Pimsleur

  • frequent discounts
  • money back guarantee
  • frequent discounts
  • money back guarantee
our score


  • Pimsleur French Review (2)
  • Pimsleur French Review (3)
  • Pimsleur French Review (4)
  • Pimsleur French Review (5)
  • Pimsleur French Review (6)

View our full review process

  • One of the most effective frameworks for learning French (the "Pimsleur method")
  • Guidance and English translations are very helpful in the initial phase.
  • The emphasis on audio and language exercises makes the program flexible for the classroom.
  • Modern digital platform offers a great user experience
  • New voice trainer features provide feedback on verbal practice exercises
  • Although effective, some classes are long (about 1 hour)
  • I wish there were more photos and graphics in the lessons.

Pimsleur French Review (7)

7 days free trial sign up today

bid request

to describe: Pimsleur Review (English)

  • Structure of the French Pimsleur program
  • How are the French classes at Pimsleur?
  • What We Like About Pimsleur French
  • What We Don't Like About Pimsleur French
  • Verdict: Pimsleur French Review

Use oskip linksto quickly navigate this article.

video review: Pimsleur French course

In the video above, team member John explains how Pimsleur French courses are designed and structured, offers a quick cost comparison with other French apps, and gives our verdict on whether Pimsleur French is worth taking. Read our written review below for a more in-depth breakdown.

Structure of the French Pimsleur program

First, let's explain how the Pimsleur French program is organized at a high level, before we get into the classes themselves. Starting from the top therea total of five levels to complete within the course, each increasing in complexity and difficulty.

In a sense, these five levels range from beginner to advanced, although Pimsleur doesn't explicitly say so.They just call them levels 1 to 5.

Pimsleur French Review (8)

Anyway, within each of them there are levelscomplete around 30 full lessons, each of which consists of several instructional components (which I cover directly below).

But honestly, that was all from a bird's eye view. They have five levels (from 1 to 5) and 30 lessons per level. It is avery basic structureregarding the organization of the course.

How are the French classes at Pimsleur?

Next, let's see what the Pimsleur French class is really like. At the beginning of each class you mustComplete a 30-minute audio workout, in which an English-speaking presenter guides you step-by-step through a simulated conversation in French.

you hear abrief exchange between two fluent French speakers, the presenter will pause to explain what you're hearing, offer some ideas and advice, and finally ask questions to help you engage and participate.

In a way, you can think of this exercise as a supportive conversation. That's probably the best way to describe it. Also, as the level progresses, the moderator will slowly start to speak less English as they become more proficient.fluent french,forces you to trust what you've learned.

After each lesson audio, review what you just learned.Series of exercises and exercises.. This includes short reading exercises, flashcards, quizzes, pronunciation practice and speed games to name a few.

Pimsleur French Review (9)

Each exercise or exercise takes about 3 to 8 minutes. In conjunction with aabout half a dozen of these exercises per class, Allow about an hour to complete the entire Pimsleur lesson, i.e. the audio portion plus the reinforcement exercises.

Also, one of the great things about Pimsleur is that you canskip from lesson to lesson or even level to levelif you like. You're not forced to stick to a rigid schedule like other apps we've reviewed. That way, if you come across a topic that completely bores you (like tennis or politics), you can skip the topic.

After completing each lesson,You get these "skill badges"to help you keep track of what you've learned. You can view the badges you've earned at any time.capabilitiesin the control panel for a quick update.

French Pimsleur subscription options and costs

After that overview, let's quickly dive into pricing and subscription options, specifically how Pimsleur compares to other apps.

In short, Pimsleur offers two different plans. The first plan is Pimsleur Premium, which gives access to the French course.for $20 a month. The second package available is Pimsleur All Access, which unlocks over 50 languages.just $1 more per month(i.e. $21/month).

Well when you compare these prices to the competitionChat,Busuuorosetta stone, Pimsleur es$5 to $10 more expensive per month on average.

So Pimsleur is definitely not the cheapest French show out there, but it's not outrageous either, if we're being honest.

Pimsleur French Review (10)

And indeed, when you're studying with a spouse, family member, or friend (which many people do),In fact, you can split bills with Pimsleur, which effectively brings the price up to $10/month, which I think is in line with the competition and incredibly reasonable.

Also, it's definitely worth noting that Pimsleur offers a 7-day free trial period, so you can always try this program out and see if you like it before you take the plunge, which is pretty cool.

Not all French apps do this.(Actually, very few of the ones we reviewed, maybe justfluidU). With that offer on the table, I'd suggest at least pedaling through the hoops on this app before diving in and buying.

What We Like About Pimsleur French

Now that we've covered pricing, program structure, and tuition, let's get into what I like about the Pimsleur French program (before we cover my negatives).

i love audio lessons

First off, I'm a huge fan of the Pimsleur learning framework and how its lessons prepare you to have conversations.And it all starts with Pimsleur Audio Lessons.

I like to listen and repeat like you, rather than individual words and phrases in a vacuum like you.other french learning apps on the market, Pimsleur's audio lessons are more practical and complete.

These interactive lessons challenge you to respond to fluent French speakers with phrases and sentences.in a detailed mock interview. You have to actively participatecontinue the conversationas you need to understand the situation and react at the correct intervals when prompted by the moderator.

Pimsleur French Review (11)

In my opinion, this active participation is very effective in remembering and using the French language as you would under pressure.real lifeThe situation.

This is perhaps the important point I am trying to make:With Pimsleur, you get simulated real-world experiences.And, in my humble opinion, this is the best course of action when it comes to learning French.

Great option for advanced students.

My second pro is a little late on my last point. I think the Pimsleur French course is ideal for all levels.Beginner, intermediate and advanced. And I say that in large part because Pimsleur has that very important conversational component that I just touched on.

With other language companies out there likeRosetta Stone and DuolingoFor example, her lessons revolve around new vocabulary, quick drills and repetition.Words and phrases in the void.

In these courses there really is no opportunity for the spontaneous use of language that mimics orsimulate full conversations like the ones you have with Pimsleur.

So overall, I have to give Pimsleur two big thumbs up if your main goal is to learn the French language quickly and converse in French (albeit fluently).

flexibility in learning

My third pro has to do with this.Flexibility of the Pimsleur Program. Since Pimsleur's core lessons are audio-based, I like the fact that you can do these lessons while working out, cleaning the house, walking the dog, or whatever.

it's good that youyou don't need to be connected to your computer or phone screenat any time, like you do with other apps out there. Honestly, when you're learning a new language, it's nice to change your routine and change of scenery to break the monotony, which Pimsleur's classes definitely allow for.

your mobile appit even comes with a special driving modeso you canlearn and complete lessonswhile you're on the go (a big plus for travelers). Therefore, the flexibility of the Pimsleur class is definitely worth highlighting.

New voice trainer feature

In the past, Pimsleur has not used voice recognition technology like its competitors.Babel ou Rocket French. This has always been one of our jabs at the company and its French course. There were no comments on their pronunciation during the verbal practice exercises.

In any case, this is no longer the case.Pimsleur recently added its own proprietary voice recognition technologywhich they call "Voice Trainer". This way you will know whether you are pronouncing words and phrases correctly or incorrectly during class.

No total,I have found the Pimsleur Voice Coach to be fast and accurate. Technically, the company did a very good job. I wouldn't say it's that goodrocketsSpeech recognition tool, but it definitely has its own thing.

fantastic user experience

I was very impressed with Pimsleur's digital platform and user experience.both through its desktop and mobile app. It has a modern feel and is very fast (much better thanmichael tomas). Also, everything is really intuitive and easy to follow.

Pimsleur French Review (12)

It's honestly super thin and easy on the eyes, which is always a good thing. If I'm honest I think soone of the best digital interfacesbe at the forefront of the entire language learning industrywith Babylon.

What We Don't Like About Pimsleur French

With my warm and fuzzy comments on French Pimsleur, let's switch sides to what I see as weaknesses in French Pimsleur.

Lessons on the Long Side

While I'm a fan of the audio lessons that form the backbone of Pimsleur's learning framework, there are also some downsides. And the first is that the lessons area little wordy. With a complete lesson (audio part plus accompanying exercises)lasts a whole hour, are some of the longest lessons I've ever seen (much longer than thatBusuuInstruction).

Of course, you can always interrupt a class and come back to it later if you don't have a full hour to finish one; However, if you want to complete entire lessons in one go or are looking for faster lessons (perhaps 10 or 15 minutes),so Pimsleur might not fit so well.

Also, class is going a little slow. True, the moderator keeps you busy asking questions and explaining, but after about 20 minutes of each audio lesson,My focus started to slip.

Personally, I think it would be nice if Pimsleur threw in some quick exercises or quick verbal exercises in the middle of the audio lesson just to shake things up and shake things up.add some variety.

Not ideal for visual learners.

My last drawback is that the main lessons are from Pimsleurrooted in audio-based practicemay not be the best option forvisualapprentices

In addition to the exercises after the basic classes,There really is no opportunity for him to read the words or phrases he is learning., which can be a problem for some types of students.

Pimsleur French Review (13)

In addition, Pimsleur French lessons are accessible with photos, videos and other graphics. Instead of using tons of images,Pimsleur's classes tend to be based onmentalpictures likevisualPhotos.

You are asked to imagine these different scenarios and situations and then learn words and phrases.in the context of these situations going on in your head.

This is somewhat the same concept,but different. In the end, it all comes down to whattype of learner you areand if you need a set of charts to help you learn the material.

verdict: Pimsleur French Review

All things considered, I am a huge fan of the Pimsleur French course. I think the learning structure that forms thisThe backbone of the program is highly effective..

I love the audio lessons that mimic real French conversations and the fact that the quick recall of words and phrases under pressure keeps you interested.

Also, the workouts and exercises that follow the audio lessons are quite engaging and do a good job.helps the material to sink.

In addition, Pimsleur's digital platform is super modern and easy to use. Pimsleur simply has so much to offer.

Yes, I have some minor issues with your program, such as the classes being a bit long, but overall I think Pimsleur is one of them.highly effective program that should do the jobfor virtually anyone who wants to learn French and converse.

Not to mention, I think Pimsleur is pretty decent value at around $20 a month (especially if you split an account). So, in short, I haveno problem recommending Pimsleur French. Our team will evaluate your course and your program in general very positively.

keep reading:The best language apps to learn French


Is Pimsleur good to learn French? ›

The Easiest and Fastest Way to Learn French

The best part is that it doesn't have to be difficult or take years to master. Thirty minutes a day is all it takes, and we get you speaking right from the first day. Pimsleur courses use a scientifically-proven method that puts you in control of your learning.

Can you become fluent with Pimsleur? ›

Many people wonder what level will Pimsleur get you. Pimsleur will not make you fluent like a native speaker, but it will give you a practical understanding of the language that will get you through most everyday social situations graciously.

How long does it take to complete Pimsleur French? ›

If you are a language learner of average ability, and you undertake an “easy” language, it will probably take you about 220 hours to get to the first level of mastery in speaking it, and double that to get to Level 2.

Is Rosetta or Pimsleur better? ›

Which is better, Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone? After a thorough review of the language learning courses from both Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone, our team gives the edge to Pimsleur as the better course. Compared to Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur offers a more robust course from top to bottom.

Which platform is best for learning French? ›

The 9 Best Online French Classes of 2023
  • Best Overall: Berlitz.
  • Best Budget: FrenchPod101.
  • Best for Kids and Teens: French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)
  • Best Audio-Based: Rocket French.
  • Best Dialogue-Based: Babbel.
  • Best Immersion-Based: Rosetta Stone.
  • Best for Humor and Entertainment: Frantastique.
Sep 20, 2022

Which is better Babbel or Pimsleur? ›

Babbel teaches more holistically, including grammar and written exercises – two areas mostly ignored by Pimsleur. Learners using Babbel would have a more well-rounded knowledge of the language, but lower speaking and listening skills compared with students using Pimsleur.

What does the CIA use to learn languages? ›

The Defense Language Institute (Where CIA Spies Study Languages) The Defense Language Institute (“DLI”), located in Monterey, California, is where the CIA, members of the U.S. armed forces and various other government agencies go to learn foreign languages.

Is Pimsleur better than Duolingo? ›

Though we rate Pimsleur out as the far superior language learning program, we do think there could be some benefits to using the two programs together. While Pimsleur provides a robust learning framework, Duolingo provides fun games to help fill in learning gaps and adds an additional way of learning new material.

How many Pimsleur lessons should you do a day? ›

How to Use Pimsleur. Each conversational lesson is 30 minutes long and is focused on developing your listening and speaking skills. It is recommended to do one lesson per day (you can break it up into several sittings if needed) and to avoid referring to outside materials or taking notes.

How long would it take to become fluent in French? ›

French is a Category I language, so it's relatively easy to learn for native English speakers. It will take approximately 580 hours or 23 weeks of study to reach complete French fluency.

How much French can you learn from Pimsleur? ›

This program includes Pimsleur's French Levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. With this program you start from zero, learning first survival phrases and vocabulary, and eventually progress to a high-intermediate level of speaking and understanding.

Does Pimsleur only have 30 lessons? ›

In addition, audio lessons can be played using the Pimsleur Skill for Amazon® Echo® devices. The course also includes an integrated Reading Booklet. This course includes Lessons 26-30 plus reading instruction from the Punjabi Level 1 Program featuring 3.5 hours of language instruction.

Can you really learn a language with Pimsleur? ›

Pimsleur is one of the most accurate and effective programs for learning to speak and understand a new language. This audio-based system won't teach you reading or writing, however, nor does it have any games or interactive exercises for many of its languages.

What language level will Pimsleur get you to? ›

This program includes all of Levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. With this program you start from zero, learning first survival phrases and vocabulary, and eventually progress to a high-intermediate level of speaking and understanding.

Which language learning app is most effective? ›

Best Language Learning Apps for 2023
  • Duolingo. Best for learning multiple languages. See at Duolingo.
  • Babbel. Best for an online school-type experience. See at Babbel.
  • Drops. Best for visual learners. See at Drops.
  • Mondly. Best for helping you remember specific phrases. ...
  • Memrise. Best for learning to speak casually in a new language.
Jan 9, 2023

What is the fastest way to learn French fluently? ›

10 tips to learn French fast
  1. Watch films. Watching films in French with French subtitles is one of the best ways to learn. ...
  2. Learn with songs. ...
  3. Read. ...
  4. Find a partner. ...
  5. Don't be scared to try and make mistakes. ...
  6. Listen! ...
  7. Practice. ...
  8. Sign up for an intensive course.
Aug 12, 2016

How can I learn French fluently in 3 months? ›

Here are some of his best tips for learning a language in three months:
  1. Speak the language out loud from day one. ...
  2. Learn practical phrases first. ...
  3. Forget about learning strict grammar. ...
  4. Practice by Skyping with a native speaker. ...
  5. Listen to local radio stations. ...
  6. Practice a one-minute introduction to yourself.
Mar 14, 2014

How can I learn French professionally? ›

10 Ways to Learn Business French Like a True Pro
  1. Read La Tribune online. ...
  2. Watch a business report online on France24.com. ...
  3. Give yourself a target of learning five words a day. ...
  4. Watch French business videos. ...
  5. Read a business article on Wikipedia in English and French. ...
  6. Read out loud every day. ...
  7. Write your CV in French.
Dec 20, 2022

Has anyone become fluent using Babbel? ›

You will most likely not become fluent with Babbel. It's a solid language app and can give you a strong foundation in your target language, but to achieve fluency, you'll need to use other resources. While it won't help you become fluent, Babbel can help you improve your language skills.

What is the cost of Pimsleur? ›

Pimsleur All Access subscription is $20.95/month. Pimsleur Audio subscription is $14.95/month. You will not be charged during the free trial period (the first 7 days of your subscription, as applicable). TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD.

Is Babbel worth it French? ›

From an overall pricing perspective, Babbel stacks up very favorably against competitors. Their plans are cheaper than Rosetta Stone's, Pimsleur's and Rocket French's just to name a few. For $7 to $14 per month, Babbel is definitely on the affordable end of the spectrum, and I would consider them a very strong value.

What program does the FBI use to learn a language? ›

The FBI-managed National Virtual Translation Center (NVTC) provides timely, accurate, and cost-effective translations for the U.S. Intelligence Community and other federal agencies.

How many hours a day should I study a foreign language? ›

For most people, around 30 minutes of active study and 1 hour of language exposure a day is a schedule that will give you great results. It's a model that's sustainable over a long period to help you reach fluency.

What languages are in demand for the military? ›

Arabic, Chinese, Pashto, Farsi, Russian, and Korean are the languages most in-demand in the military. Every intelligence agency and branch of the armed forces has its own career and language requirements, but every linguist working within the military undergoes the same screening process.

Is anything better than Duolingo? ›

Busuu offers a language learning experience that compares to Duolingo. They have a structured curriculum that you can progress through involving audio, vocabulary, and other gamified experiences. However, unlike Duolingo, Busuu has a more limited free version as they have a premium subscription-based business model.

Can Pimsleur get you to B2? ›

72 hours is an extremely short time to reach low or high intermediate. If we compare Cambridge estimate of 500-600 hours to reach level B2 in English, it's really hard to believe Pimsleur can get even close to that.

What is the hardest part of learning French? ›

Without a doubt, the hardest part of learning French is the pronunciation. Written French and spoken French seem worlds apart at first, since there are a number of rules that dictate when certain letters are not pronounced, or words are suddenly squashed together.

How fast can the average person learn French? ›

How long does it take to learn French? According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), French is a category 1 language. This means learning French takes 23 – 24 weeks (575 – 600 hours) for most English speakers. This makes French one of the easiest (and fastest) languages to learn.

Can I learn French in 1 year? ›

Regardless of your definition of fluency, you'll need to practice the language if you want to master it. If you want a short answer, yes, you can become fluent in French in one year (or even less), especially if you follow the 10 steps included in the next section.

Is learning French language worth it? ›

First and foremost, learning French is the pleasure of learning a beautiful, rich, melodious language that is often called the language of love. French is also an analytical language that structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussions and negotiations.

Does Pimsleur have visuals? ›

Then when they're asked to recall it, they picture the spelling of the word – it's just how some people learn and retain new vocabulary. To be clear, the Pimsleur lessons do have a visual component to them, just not in the traditional manner you're used to.

Is French a language worth learning? ›

French is the second most useful language in the world for business. Studying French makes you smarter. French is one of the top ten majors most likely to lead to less unemployment and higher earnings. Studying in a French-speaking region makes you more creative.

Is Pimsleur worth paying for? ›

Pimsleur is definitely worth it if you want to become conversational in another language quickly. The audio lessons teach you useful words and phrases, and they help you communicate effectively with native speakers.

Is Pimsleur outdated? ›

Pimsleur's still great for what it is and even after decades, it remains a very unique product in a saturated market full of imitators. Pimsleur is a timeless classic that, after many decades, remains a viable and highly effective tool for language learning.

Will Pimsleur get you to B1? ›

Pimsleur recommends doing 1 lesson per day, so 5 levels take 5 months and cost $75. Pimsleur claims that Level 3 is equivalent to B1.

How advanced is Pimsleur Level 5? ›

In Level 5 the pace and conversation move quite rapidly, accelerating exposure to new vocabulary and structures, approaching native speed and comprehension. You'll learn to speak more in-depth about your personal life and emotional state, and be able to create complex sentences using a mix of tenses and moods.

What is the number one language learning program? ›

The best free app for learning a language is Duolingo, hands down. We recommend it enthusiastically no matter your level or language goals, as it has just about everything. It's available as a web app and mobile app, and it works well whether you're a total beginner or already have experience.

Can you become fluent with Duolingo? ›

We see this question a lot and the answer is: yes. Duolingo is a free language-learning platform, and every language and lesson is totally free!

Who is the best learning app in the world? ›

  • Memrise Easy Language Learning. Memrise. EDUCATION. ...
  • Photomath. Photomath, Inc. EDUCATION. ...
  • Duolingo: language lessons. Duolingo. EDUCATION. ...
  • Brilliant. Brilliant.org. ...
  • Khan Academy. Khan Academy. ...
  • edX: Courses by Harvard & MIT. edX LLC. ...
  • Simplilearn: Online Learning. Simplilearn Solutions. ...
  • Sololearn: Learn to Code. Sololearn - Learn to Code.
Oct 20, 2022

Is Pimsleur or Duolingo better? ›

Though we rate Pimsleur out as the far superior language learning program, we do think there could be some benefits to using the two programs together. While Pimsleur provides a robust learning framework, Duolingo provides fun games to help fill in learning gaps and adds an additional way of learning new material.

How much does it take to learn French fluently? ›

It will take approximately 580 hours or 23 weeks of study to reach complete French fluency. Which we could break down as the following: If you study for 1 hour every day, you can learn French in 1.5 years. If you spend 6 hours every day learning French, you can learn it in less than 100 days.

What is the most accurate language learning app? ›

Best Language Learning Apps for 2023
  • Duolingo. Best for learning multiple languages. See at Duolingo.
  • Babbel. Best for an online school-type experience. See at Babbel.
  • Drops. Best for visual learners. See at Drops.
  • Mondly. Best for helping you remember specific phrases. ...
  • Memrise. Best for learning to speak casually in a new language.
Jan 9, 2023

What language app makes you fluent? ›

Apps like Duolingo, Fluent Forever, and Lingvist are great for learning the basics of a language. Eventually, however, you'll have questions about your target language that these platforms just can't answer. In this case, your best option is to ask a teacher.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Last Updated: 09/09/2023

Views: 6084

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Birthday: 1999-09-15

Address: 8416 Beatty Center, Derekfort, VA 72092-0500

Phone: +6838967160603

Job: Mining Executive

Hobby: Woodworking, Knitting, Fishing, Coffee roasting, Kayaking, Horseback riding, Kite flying

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Refugio Daniel, I am a fine, precious, encouraging, calm, glamorous, vivacious, friendly person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.