Revised May 22, 2013
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication Date 2007
Price CD for $49.95; MP3 for $41.95
Skill Level Beginner
A Pimsleur lesson is a highly interactive, highly effective audio language-learning experience. I love Pimsleur. I am obsessed with Pimsleur. I’ve used it for every language I’ve studied so far.
Unfortunately, Irish is clearly not a big source of revenue for the company. Although Pimsleur has as many as 120 audio lessons for some of the world’s most popular languages, they offer a meager 10 lessons for Irish.
My first reaction to the sounds in my Pimsleur Irish lessons was: “Really?” I had no idea Irish sounded like that.
Pimsleur teaches the Irish of Munster, which is one of the three main Irish dialects. If you are trying to gain a little familiarity with the Irish language, this will be $41.95 well spent.
An observation: I found the fourth Pimsleur Irish lesson really, really hard. Every once in a while, for various languages, I have come across a Pimsleur lesson that is for me the linguistic equivalent of a two-story-high fence on an obstacle course. I keep trying to get over it, again and again, and it is just too high, with too few footholds. Finally, covered in mud, scratched and bruised, I make it over.
My ascent of Lesson 4 was graceless, and I got quite banged up, but in the end I made it to the fifth lesson, and it was worth it. That one took only one try to get through, by the way.
Language-learning is a weird experience sometimes, with random mental freezes and thaws.
I didn’t finish the tenth of the Pimsleur Irish lessons until Day 22 of my Irish studies. That is really slow.
If you are pursuing Irish, I recommend you consult a grammar book or some other language-learning source alongside the Pimsleur so that you can have a clue about what’s going on with Irish sentence structure and word mutations. Otherwise you might find yourself too perplexed. The language-learning directory on this site offers a number of options.