Pimsleur Review 2024: Should You Choose It? (Course Overview and Alternatives)

If you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, you must have heard about Dr. Paul Pimsleur. He was a famous applied linguistics scholar back in the 1990s. But did you know there is a platform that follows his style of teaching students a new language? If you have ever searched on the internet for the best language-learning tools, you must have seen Pimsleur being one of them. Pimsleur is the app that follows his style. Does it mean it is an outdated platform? It is the biggest question many people have in their minds for Pimsleur. You may also have the same question in mind. 

To remove your confusion, I will share a detailed Pimsleur review based on how it worked for me. Hopefully, it will help you decide whether to choose it or not.

Pimsleur Review: Should You Choose It? (Course Overview and Alternatives)

What is Pimsleur?

Pimsleur is a language learning platform that follows the Pimsleur method of teaching the language. This platform is basically based on audio lessons which are available on the website as well as on the app. These audio lessons are different from Duolingo audio lessons. The content on this platform is divided into different lessons which are only 30 minutes duration. This platform encourages me to complete a single lesson each day. As the lessons are based on audio, the majority of the content will be in audio form. There were shorter lessons to help me, improve my reading and pronunciation.

I also get various games and flashcards that helped me in learning vocabulary. On this platform, I could improve my conversational skills and learn grammar and vocabulary through the context of the platform. There was no list of words and also no conjugation charts that I needed to memorize. I just had to listen and learn through it. Thus, if you are a person who is interested in learning the language by text-based approach, you may not enjoy this platform much.

What is the Pricing of Pimsleur?

Pimsleur platform has a lot of pricing options which will depend upon the area of living and the language chosen. Depending upon the language level and the number of lessons, I got a subscription plan. The starting plan for a language starts from $14.95 per month. There is also a one-time purchase on this platform for all the languages. As I chose to take the 5 lesson bundles, I paid $20. However, if you are a beginner, I will suggest you take a monthly or one-time plan.

Is there a free trial on Pimsleur?

Although there is no free version, you can still access the features freely by using the free trial. However, remember, that you have to add the details of the cards from which the payment will be deleted. Don’t worry your money is safe for a week. But make sure to cancel the plan if you no longer need it. An interesting fact about this platform is that the first lesson is free.

Pimsleur Review: Should You Choose It? (Course Overview and Alternatives)

What languages are offered by Pimsleur?

Pimsleur at present has 50 languages having more than 200 courses for these languages. These courses also helped me in learning various dialects as well. The most common languages that are offered on this platform are – 

  • Chinese
  • English 
  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Hindi

What is the course overview of Pimsleur?

Knowing the benefits and drawbacks is not the only factor in deciding whether to choose a course. It is also important to know the structure of the course. The course on Pimsleur is divided into the following sections-

1. Audio lessons

As mentioned above, the lessons on this platform are based on audio form and are generally of 30 minutes duration. When I start listening to each lesson every new day, it will be easy to take up on the platform. All the audio lessons on this platform are very interactive which means I get to practice within the real conversation. 

2. Explanations on the platform 

Pimsleur Review: Should You Choose It? (Course Overview and Alternatives)

There are explanations of the audio lessons from time to time. The lessons on this platform are very intuitive and there are good explanations about it. However, the main problem with the explanations available, is that there is not much grammatical knowledge of it. In my opinion, every language is incomplete without grammatical knowledge. Thus, providing a few explanations is an important aspect.

3. Actively practice

There are a lot of different exercises that you can take part in, to develop language knowledge-

a. Speaking prompts

There are a lot of speaking prompts within the lessons. In these prompts, I had to repeat after the native speaker to learn the pronunciation of the words and phrases. This follows the main principle of the platform where you will be getting the systematic prompting and reinforcement of various concepts in your brain.

b. Flashcards

There are a lot of flashcards where I have to choose between either ‘translating from your target language’ or ‘from your native language’. Once I chose what I wanted on the platform, I could see the audio and the written type of some material. However, here you will not get any extra information like gender or the verb tense. After viewing and listening to the word I had to choose the ‘skip’ or ‘got it’ option. When I tap on the skip option, it means that I am not sure about the right translation. Those flashcards will be repeated at the end of the specific set.

c. Quick Match

Here, I also got an exercise with multiple choice questions where I had to choose the right translation from the list of four options. There is no time bound on this exercise, I could take as much time as I want.

d. Speed round

One of the exercises that is very engaging and is like a game is the speed round. There are words and phrases on the screen coming their way down. All I had to do was to select the right translation before the phrases or the words reached the bottom. It means that it is like a time challenge. 

Pimsleur Review: Should You Choose It? (Course Overview and Alternatives)

4. Reading lessons

Reading lessons on this platform will start by teaching how to read phonetically sounds. Once the sound system is covered, there are comprehensions that I need to read. It means I will start by reading the sounds, then read the words and phrases, and gradually be at longer sentences. When practicing these exercises, I also read the translation within the exercises. 

What are the benefits of Pimsleur?

Following are the benefits of using Pimsleur-

  • When you are using this platform you will see that all the lessons are structured properly.
  • You will be getting both men and women as native speakers.
  • Here, you will be able to navigate through the exercises easily.
  • I liked it because it helped me learn the language rather than just making me understand the concepts.
  • It helped me gain confidence in basic conversations.
  • There is also some cultural knowledge in between the lessons.

What are the drawbacks of Pimsleur?

If someone says, that there are no drawbacks to Pimsleur, then he/she is wrong. Everything has its own drawbacks. Of Course, Pimsleur also has them. Here I am mentioning the things I felt are the biggest downfall of using Pimsleur-

  • The platform is quite expensive. 
  • Some courses are unmanageable.
  • There is a great repetition of phrases which makes it boring sometimes. (It may or may not be a disadvantage for you)

Pimsleur review: Should you choose Pimsleur?

Pimsleur Review: Should You Choose It? (Course Overview and Alternatives)

Now it’s time to answer the most awaited question, whether to choose it or not. Remember every person has a different learning style. Mine will be different from yours. Thus, Pimsleur can be a perfect choice for some and not for others. If you have already developed the basic knowledge, I think it’s time to shift to audio-based learning and Pimsleur is a perfect choice for it. If you still are confused, try taking the first lesson which is free to use, or take up a free trial. 

Alternatives of Pimsleur

Now you know how Pimsleur works. But what if the audio lessons are not your learning style? I would suggest you check some other alternatives. Here, I have mentioned some of the good alternatives of Pimsleur to learn the language properly-

1. Tandem

If you are interested in practicing with other native speakers, Tandem is what you need. It is a platform where you find a native speaker to be your language exchange partner. Both you and your partners could teach each other the native language. There are two inbuilt features on the platform – Auto corrections and translations.

2. Rocket languages

Rocket Languages is a platform where you learn the language effortlessly. There are only 13 languages to learn. Although the platform is paid, some course content is free to use. There are two types of subscription plans – One one-time payment and a 6-months plan. The platform has various types of exercises like Flashcards, quizzes, etc. The thing I loved about it was, I could track my progress and get cultural lessons.

3. Rosetta Stone

If you want a complete package, this is what you need. This is not just a pre-recorded course but also offers teaching services. However, the only thing I don’t like much is its pricing. Also, there are only 20 languages available on the platform. Again there are 30-minute long classes in addition to 10-15 minute long exercises.

Here is a quick comparison between Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone.


Pimsleur is a platform based on audio lessons to teach a new language. These lessons are of 30 minutes duration and are arranged in a systematic order from beginner to advanced levels. The pricing starts from $14.95 per month but is also based on the number of lessons you want to take up. Along with audio lessons, there are a lot of exercises for active practice. It is an enjoyable platform. If you think audio lessons are not for you, then you can try other alternatives like Tandem or Rosetta Stone.


Is Pimsleur really effective?

Yes, Pimsleur is really effective if you want to improve your speaking skills. It will give you a lot of audio lessons to develop your pronunciation skills.

Will Pimsleur make you fluent?

To become fluent, you must have a proper understanding of the language. This comes when you practice speaking it. Pimsleur gives you so many practice exercises that help in developing the right pronunciation.

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