Learning the script for Arabic, Greek, Russian, etc. seems too expensive an investment if one wants to learn just a little of the language (say A1 in the CEFRL). Likewise grammar beyond the very basics mostly pays off for the medium-to-long run.

Personal experience: I am studying Japanese, and when I finished a book that had 600 kanji, I felt that I pretty much had to choose between leaving it at this or going all in and learning 2000+ kanji.

Does it make sense for people who have different target levels to learn the same language differently? (If so, one needs to decide upfront how much one intends to learn.)

  • These are very different amounts of work. Cyrillic or Greek is an afternoon of work if you know the Latin script; Arabic is more challenging because learning to see the glyphs is harder when you are not used to the script, but still fundamentally a few dozen symbols. Iconographic scripts like Chinese, cuneiform, Mayan, Egyptian hieroglyphs etc is a completely different type of task because of the different character of the script. Japanese arguably adds another set of challenges because it is fundamentally an adaptation of Chinese to a language with completely different syntax and morphology.
    – tripleee
    Feb 1, 2023 at 8:17

1 Answer 1


Absolutely. If you are shooting for A1, I would recommend the first thirty lessons of any Pimsleur course. If you want to learn more, you can choose to buy 5 or more additional lessons at a time.

  • If you say that going beyond A1 means doing the same as A1 and then some more, should your answer not be 'no'? May 5, 2019 at 12:28
  • You asked if one's target level makes a difference, and my answer is yes. Rather than invest in an entire course, the benefit of Pimsleur in my experience is that you can buy as few as 5 lessons at a time until you are satisfied with the level of proficiency you attain.
    – K Man
    May 5, 2019 at 13:03

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