June 16, 2010 | Greek
A Multi-Source Approach to Learning
In which I get spoiled having so many products to study with.
I took Pimsleur to Central Park with me tonight and enjoyed an educational walk. It also happened to be the first evening of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge, a 3.5-mile race, so I took pictures. I think there were something like 15,000 participants.
When I saw all the runners, I developed serious running envy. I mean really serious. I haven’t run in 11 days, and it is making me insane.
Gathering Before the Race
I Got Jealous Watching This
This Man Ended Up Winning
Back at home, I talked to a doorman in our building who happens to be Greek. I told him I was studying the language, and he asked what I had learned. I repeated some sentences from Pimsleur. As always happens when I repeat sentences from Pimsleur—for all of the languages I have studied so far—he seemed impressed. And happy to help, which is great.
Late at night I did some Rosetta Stone. I came across the sentence, Έχω κόκκινα μαλλιά, pronounced roughly Eho koKEEna malYA and meaning, “I have red hair.”
What I liked about this one is that I originally learned the words in it from three different sources. The first word, Έχω, meaning “I have,” I learned from Pimsleur. The second word, κόκκινα, I first saw on Rosetta Stone. The word μαλλιά I originally encountered in the book Your First 100 Words in Greek.
This multimedia assault is very effective, I find, though I realize it is impractically expensive and therefore isn’t reasonable to recommend, except to people with large language-learning budgets—and quite a bit of time to devote to the undertaking. I am benefiting from complimentary review copies at this point, which makes it affordable to hop around from one product to the next.
I find that learning with multiple products reduces my potential for frustration rather dramatically. Although I in fact have zero teachers, I feel as though I have several, because each product approaches the language training differently. If I find a concept confusing in one product, I get another chance to grasp it with a second product.
It’s also kind of exciting when I am presented with a new word or construction in one forum and I already know it from another source. You get to repeatedly play the role of annoying know-it-all kid who is always raising his or her hand to answer the teacher’s question.
At 1:16 a.m. I decided to log out of Rosetta Stone, because I couldn’t stay awake any more. It is fun, though.