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Is Pimsleur Free?
By Debbie Lopez Updated on April 1, 2024
Thomas Mühlbacher Thomas Mühlbacher

Is Pimsleur Free?

Helpful guide covering whether Pimsleur is free to use, and what their free trial is all about

When it comes learning a new language, there are literally dozens of apps available today. Some of these tools are completely free, while others cost an arm and a leg. One of the most popular apps on the market for language learning is Pimsleur. In this article, we discuss whether Pimsleur offers a free version, what their free trial includes, and some potential hacks to get a large discount on one of the paid Pimsleur subscription plans.

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Video Breakdown

In the above video, team member John covers everything you need to know about hacks for getting Pimsleur for free, Pimsleur’s free trial, and a lot more.

Is Pimsleur Free To Use?

Yes, Pimsleur is technically free to use. However, there is a major asterisk behind that statement. It’s true in the fact that you can get access to Pimsleur’s language courses for a short period of time at no charge; however, after that point, you will have pay in order to retain your unfettered access to Pimsleur content.

Pimsleur Italian dashboard
You have full access to Pimsleur during the trial period

Therefore, while the technical answer to the question is yes, in reality, the true answer is that Pimsleur is not free to use. As you will find out though, the Pimsleur paid subscription plans are actually pretty affordable compared to others.

Does Pimsleur Offer A Free Trial?

Yes, Pimsleur does offer a free trial. In fact, the free trial is what I was alluding to above when I mentioned that Pimsleur is technically free.

How it works is that you create an account with Pimsleur, choose which paid subscription option you want, and then you’ll have seven days before your credit card is charged to use the course.

Within those seven days, you will have full access to the Pimsleur language courses. That way, you can see what the Pimsleur lessons are like, test our their Voice Coach feature, and see whether their mobile app is right for you.

Pimsleur French audio lesson
A look at one of Pimsleur’s audio lessons

If for some reason during those first seven days you find that that the Pimsleur Method does not align with your learning style, you can cancel and you will not be charged (hence the term free seven day free trial).

For the record, Pimsleur offers several different subscription options ranging from $20 per month up to $165 per year. It just depends on how long you want to commit to in advance.

Why Isn’t Pimsleur Free?

Given that there are several totally free language learning apps in the marketplace (e.g. Duolingo, Busuu, and Memrise), many people wonder why Pimsleur doesn’t follow suit.

Well, for one, the Pimsleur language courses do not include any advertisements. This is how other free language apps make their money. Instead of charging the consumer, they essentially sell your screen time to advertisers (similar to Facebook).

In my opinion, I think Pimsleur takes the right approach. I would rather spend a few dollars per month for an ad-free experience, rather than have ads consistently disrupting my learning process.

Next, there is a real cost component to creating the Pimsleur courses. In other words, they have more overhead, and thus need to charge a fee in order make their business profitable.

Pimsleur actually hires language experts to help create their interactive audio lessons, and also relies on expensive developers to refine their speech recognition technology.

In contrast, many other language apps rely on AI to create basic, repetitive drills and exercises. Thus, Pimsleur courses cost more to make.

Is The Pimsleur App Free?

Yes, you can download the Pimsleur app totally free of charge. The company’s mobile app is available on for both iOS and Android devices.

Pimsleur German drills
A look inside the Pimsleur app

However, keep in mind, while the app is free to download, you will have to pay a fee after the seven day free trial expires in order to maintain access to the language course of your choice.

Pimsleur Free vs Paid

Believe it or not, the free Pimsleur version is the exact same as the paid Pimsleur version. There are no differences as far as content goes. Even during your free trial, you will have full access to all Pimsleur content and courses.

Other language apps, like Babbel for example, only provide a limited number of free lessons within their free trial. In this instance, I don’t think you really get a complete feel for the entire language program.

Therefore, I think it is great that Pimsleur gives you full access to their courses, regardless of whether you are trying to learn French, Italian, or German. You can really get into the program and test out all its different features before fully committing.

In the end, the only difference between the free version and the paid version is time. The free version only lasts for seven days as I’ve outlined above.

How To Get Pimsleur For Free

Given that we have tested and reviewed multiple Pimsleur language courses, we are very familiar with the company and their policies. Luckily for you, this means we also have two hacks for you related to Pimsleur to hopefully save you some money.

First, many people are unaware that Pimsleur actually allows you share your account. That’s right, you can share your Pimsleur account with up to three family or friends.

Pimsleur German audio
Pimsleur German audio lesson

I bring this up because it’s an easy way to lower your monthly payments. Simply find a few family members or close friends who also want to learn a new language, and agree to split the cost.

If you do this, you can effectively lower the monthly cost from $20 to $5 by splitting it with three other people. And each user gets their own profile. That way, your family member or friend doesn’t interfere with your lesson progression.

Next, people are also usually unaware that many public libraries carry Pimsleur CDs. Therefore, you should check with your local library. Some libraries do, some do not. It’s totally hit and miss.

However, if they do, you can essentially sign up for a library card and get access to Pimsleur’s courses for free, so that’s something to keep in mind.


Is there a free version of Pimsleur?

Yes, Pimsleur does technically offer a free version of their app/language courses; however, it is only available for a limited time. Their language programs are not truly free like Duolingo or Busuu.

How long is Pimsleur's free trial?

The Pimsleur trial period lasts for seven days. During this time, you will have full access to the Pimsleur language courses. However, after the free trial ends, you will be charged based on what subscription plan you initially selected.

Is there a code to use Pimsleur for free?

No, our team tracks Pimsleur sales and coupon codes year round, and we have never come across voucher codes that allow you to get free access to Pimsleur.