Pimsleur Language Programs
|Founder||Dr. Paul Pimsleur, Charles A.S. Heinle, Beverly Heinle|
|Headquarters||Concord, Massachusetts, USA|
|Mary Green (Executive Editor) Tom McLean (Vice President)|
|Products||Pimsleur Language Programs|
|Owner||Simon & Schuster Audio / CBS Corporation|
Dr. Paul Pimsleur, a professor and expert in applied linguistics and a founding member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), wrote the original 5 courses: Speak & Read Essential Greek (1963), Speak & Read Essential French (1964), Speak & Read Essential Spanish (1966), German Compact (1967), and Twi developed for the Peace Corps (1971). The programs were originally called "A Tapeway Program".
Starting in 1969-70, having tried unsuccessfully to market the programs, Pimsleur gave them to Charles A.S. and Beverly Heinle at The Center for Curriculum Development in Philadelphia. The courses were repackaged and marketed as "CCD/Tapeway Programs". In 1974, Charles Heinle bought the rights to Pimsleur and set up Heinle & Heinle Enterprises. In the 1980s, Heinle opened the Cassette Learning Centers, a stand in the Harvard Coop, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prospective users were invited to sit down and experience "The Pimsleur Tape". "The Pimsleur Tapes" were published by Heinle & Heinle Enterprises based in Concord, MA.
In 1983 Charles Heinle introduced SyberVision Systems founder Steven DeVore to the Pimsleur Russian program. DeVore, who had used a similar method to learn Finnish, exclusively licensed the Pimsleur programs. DeVore sold the programs in SyberVision's catalogs that were placed in the backseat pockets of major international air carriers and also mailed to 3 million SyberVision customers every month. SyberVision also produced and successfully sold Pimsleur programs via an infomercial that featured Beverly Pimsleur. SyberVision marketed the Pimsleur programs until 1997 before the license was sold to Simon & Schuster.
In 1995, Simon & Schuster took on distribution to bookstores. Before Heinle & Heinle Enterprises sold Pimsleur to Simon & Schuster in 1997, they added 27 new languages to the Pimsleur catalog. Since the acquisition, Simon & Schuster Audio has added another 27 languages. Pimsleur's catalog currently stands at 59 languages and over 200 courses. The courses are still produced in Concord, MA and are available as digital audio downloads, CDs, and select languages are now available in interactive software format.
In 2005, digital editions of some languages were made available through various resellers.
In 2008, Pimsleur's first children's line, Speak Spanish with Dora & Diego, was released in coordination with Nickelodeon's Nick Jr.
In 2008, Playaway was licensed to distribute the entire Pimsleur line to the military on pre-loaded players.
In 2010, Pimsleur partnered with the USO, The Boston Foundation and Playaway to produce Pashto and Dari courses for U.S. troops serving in and being deployed to Afghanistan. This course is available for free to all military personnel. Operation Speak Easy was funded by a Boston-area philanthropist and Pimsleur-enthusiast.
In 2010, Pimsleur Digital line was relaunched in DRM-free format and at a new low price.
In 2012, Pimsleur released a new interactive software version of their Spanish, German, French, and Italian courses called Pimsleur Unlimited.
In 2013, Pimsleur celebrated its 50th anniversary with the launch of a new blog Pimsleur Speaks: On Language, Learning, and Culture.
In 2015, Pimsleur released 3 additional Unlimited languages (Mandarin, Portuguese, and Russian) in its interactive software format.
In 2016, Pimsleur made its Unlimited product line available as digital downloads worldwide.
- Corporate headquarters are in New York, New York.
- Editorial offices are in Concord, Massachusetts. All courses are developed, produced, and recorded at this location.
Pimsleur Language Programs' courses are available in the following languages:
- Arabic (Eastern)
- Arabic (Egyptian)
- Arabic (Modern Standard)
- Armenian (Eastern)
- Armenian (Western)
- Chinese (Cantonese)
- Chinese (Mandarin)
- Dari Persian
- English for Spanish Speakers
- English for Mandarin Chinese Speakers
- English for Russian Speakers
- English for Portuguese Speakers
- English for Italian Speakers
- English for Arabic Speakers
- English for French Speakers
- English for Vietnamese Speakers
- English for Farsi Speakers
- English for Korean Speakers
- English for Cantonese Chinese Speakers
- English for Haitian Speakers
- English for German Speakers
- English for Hindi Speakers
- Haitian Creole
- Portuguese (Brazilian)
- Portuguese (European)
- Spanish (Latin American)
- Spanish (Castilian)
- Swiss German