Talk. “How to Learn a Foreign Language on Your Own”

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Learning Persian
July 30, 2014

Doing Dari

I couldn't resist the 60 Pimsleur lessons available for Dari.

Persian has multiple dialects. I have been focusing on the one from Iran, often referred to as Farsi here in the U.S., but there are only 30 Pimsleur lessons for it.  For Dari, the Persian dialect spoken in Afghanistan…

Beginner's Chinese: A Friendly Introduction

4 Mandarin, Books, Multimedia

This book by Yong Ho is for beginners, but I decided I needed to do a bunch of Pimsleur Chinese audio lessons first, before starting it, and I’m glad I did. Despite its inviting name, Beginner’s…

Älskling Has Onesies in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese...

5 Arabic, Dutch, French, General, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Shopping, Kids

This Upper West Side clothing store, on Columbus Avenue near 70th Street, has baby clothes in 30 languages. The store’s name, Älskling, means “darling” in Swedish. When I was there, the Swedish owner, Vivianne, gave me a tour of rows…

Meeting Up for Deutsch in New York

German, Classes/Conversation, Social

There are Meetup groups on five continents dedicated to German language and culture. (If you are on Antarctica, you are out of luck!) People get together and speak German, or speak about German, or do whatever that particular group…

You Can Buy Ha-yesod on

Hebrew, Books

I didn’t know about Ha-yesod: Fundamentals of Hebrew during my Hebrew unit, but a few months after it concluded, one of my readers—who knew I hadn’t found the perfect Hebrew grammar book—mentioned it to…

Read & Speak Japanese for Beginners: I Did Not Find This Book Usable

1 Japanese, Books, Multimedia

I found Read & Speak Japanese for Beginners by Helen Bagley just impossible given the challenges of the Japanese writing system. On principle, the books in this Read & Speak series—which are offered across multiple…