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May 27, 2018

Spring Awakening

In which my thoughts turn to studying Chinese, Arabic, and Russian.

Last week I thought to myself, it would be cool to learn some Chinese characters right around now. Even though I spent a little time on Chinese some years back, I focused on spoken skills and pinyin and never learned…

Reviews
Portuguese Reference Manual: This Book Is No Joke!

4 Portuguese, Books

This is, as the title indicates, principally a reference book and not something one would normally use to learn a language. If you are brave, however, and unafraid of grammar and piles of language data, Portuguese: A Reference Manual<…

View from the Street

4 Mandarin, Food and Drink, Shopping

I am a sucker for any tea or coffee shop that sticks the word “books” in its business name. Radiance Tea House & Books, located in midtown Manhattan, is Chinese-owned. You can enjoy a meal there, as well as buy…

This Is Before I Totally Beat It Up

4 Polish, Books

This Basic Polish book from Routledge says at the outset that it assumes no previous knowledge of Polish. Unlike many other language books, it sticks to that commitment. It begins at the beginning. I’m not going to…

Spanish Grammar Drills: Lots of Good Translation Exercises

4 Spanish, Books

“If you’ve picked up this book,” writes Rogelio Alonso Vallecillos (fabulous name!) in Spanish Verb Drills, “you know that to learn a language well—to read and write and to understand others and be understood yourself—at…

Basic Italian, by Alessandra Visconti

3-5 Italian, Books, Kids

I did not love Practice Makes Perfect: Basic Italian by Alessandra Visconti, but I found it pleasant. I am in general pretty fond of the ubiquitous Practice Makes Perfect series from McGraw-Hill and have used…