Learning Review Period
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…

There May Be a Russian Meetup in Your Area!

Russian, Classes/Conversation, Social

Enter your zip code here to find Meetup groups near you focused on Russian conversation. In case you are unfamiliar with the Meetup phenomenon, there are Meetup groups for all kinds of interests, not just language. I personally am…

Doyers Street

5 Mandarin, Neighborhoods

The most well-known Chinatown by far in New York City (there are several) embraces areas that were once inhabited by Italian, Irish, Eastern European, and other immigrant groups. Historical residues are everywhere. You can get there on multiple subway lines;…

Teach Yourself Arabic? Nope, I Couldn't Teach Myself with This

2 Arabic, Books, Multimedia

I used Teach Yourself Arabic by Jack Smart and Frances Altorfer back in 2009, and it struck me as an example of language-learning marketing trumping actual usability. This book-CD combo was a total bust for me. I confess I…

Relevant Only If You Have the Second Edition of Alif Baa

3 Arabic, Books

This is the answer key to the second edition of Alif Baa with Multimedia, also reviewed in this directory. If you are using the newer, third edition of Alif Baa—which appeared in 2010, after I…

It's Hard to Find Good Hindi Materials, So I Am Grateful for This Book

4-5 Hindi, Books

Here’s some good news about the Hindi writing system: no capital letters, and no separate cursive forms to learn! Teach Yourself Beginner’s Hindi Script by Rupert Snell was one of my favorite products for Hindi. It…

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