Adventures in urban language-learning

January 13, 2017 | Review Period
Learning Review Period

Swahili and Norwegian!

Pimsleurcising continues, along with ice-cream eating.

I am now 10 lessons into Pimsleur Swahili, and I am flipping back and forth between that and Pimsleur Norwegian, of which I have so far done four lessons. There are 30 Pimsleur lessons available for each. A language appetizer. Impressions: Swahili…

December 30, 2016 | Review Period

Pimsleurcise Update

All is going as planned, except for the holiday chocolate and cookies. And pie.

I am totally loving my Pimsleurcise program. Today I walked about eight miles and did several Turkish Pimsleur lessons. It rained on me the entire time, but I have a rain slicker from MoMA’s gift shop that protected my…

December 17, 2016 | Review Period

My Polyglot Conference Talk

In which I speak about product lust!

In October I took my first visit to Greece, ever, in my life. The reason for my visit was the fourth annual Polyglot Conference, a congregation of language nerds for the purposes of language nerdery, camaraderie, and a whole bunch…

December 10, 2016 | Review Period

Done with Pimsleur Ukrainian, Now on Turkish

More pimsleurcising!

I am struck by how much easier Pimsleur Ukrainian was for me than Russian and Polish. I did blobs of lessons at a time instead of having to redo lessons before proceeding. The things that seemed grammatically craziest about Slavic…

December 6, 2016 | Review Period

Pimsleur Fitness Program!

I am, once again, pimsleurcising.

I’m not quite sure how this plan will go, but at present I am intending to use Pimsleur to walk my way through the winter. I want to language-learn myself back into shape! I did it in 2009 and I…

July 6, 2016 | Review Period

A Summer Linguabinge!

I am running from one language to the next, awakening slumbering friends.

I did not mean to abandon Pashto. I love Pashto. I merely put it on hold. More on that another time! In preparation for my talk on language-learning products at Polyglot Conference Thessaloniki 2016, I am now giddily regarding my language…

July 4, 2016 | Review Period

Polyglot Conference Thessaloniki 2016

Greece, here I come!

In late October I will be going to the 2016 Polyglot Conference in Greece, where I will give a presentation entitled “Language Utopia! One Polyglot’s Product Fantasies.” It will be X-rated. From the Polyglot Conference Home Page! Just kidding. It’…

July 3, 2016 | Review Period


A Dazzling New Entry in the Global Language-Learning Market

Last October, using a big discount offered to Polyglot Conference attendees, I acquired for my personal language library a healthy portion of the products offered by Glossika, a small but shockingly productive publisher based in Taiwan. Glossika Language Pileup! I…

February 2, 2016 | Pashto

Grammar Books for Protection?

In which an Arabic verb book may possibly have protected me from a crazy person.

Today in New York I got into a verbal altercation with a woman at a cafe who refused to move her belongings off an adjacent seat so that I could sit down. (There were no other seats.) Here’s what…

January 16, 2016 | Pashto

The Art of Pimsleur Pashto

The mellifluous voice of the woman on the audio recordings makes for excellent Pashto promotion.

Until a couple of weeks ago I was zipping along with my Pimsleur audio lessons for Pashto. When I don’t like a voice on an audio recording, it is a huge bummer. It doesn’t happen much — I am…