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 shelves, plotting what to review and what new stuff to test. There are quite a few things there that I have meant to try but haven’t gotten around to yet., a Polyglot Bargain, a Polyglot Bargain

A binge has already begun.

In the last three days I have redone numerous old Pimsleur lessons previously studied over the past seven years — in Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Greek, Japanese, Russian, Polish, and Dutch. I’ve done a little Glossika Polish (super fun). I’ve done some VocabuLearn lessons for Polish, Greek, and Japanese (even though at the moment my vocabulary is too minimal for me to fully enjoy and benefit from the looooong VocabuLearn audio lists of vocabulary).

I’ve also used until the wee hours of the morning to work on Japanese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Chinese, and Korean. (The last two were especially disastrous, though one thing I have going for me in the language-learning realm is that I remain cheerfully undaunted despite all the linguistic wreckage bobbing along in my brain.)

Reviewing is crazy fun. It is perhaps even more fun than learning the first time around — though each has much to recommend it. I enjoy seeing what I remember. I am less pleased to see all that I have forgotten — but the thing is, things are so much easier round 2 or 3. Vocabulary, sounds, and grammar all come back faster, they feel more natural, there’s less frustration.

For polyglottishly inclined language lunatics, I still recommend as a remarkable deal. For $8 a month (or less if you get an annual subscription), you get access to all of their languages. It’s high-quality content with audio, tons of really useful content, and lots of settings to customize your experience. I jump from one language to the next. It’s complete linguistic hedonism.

I love linguistic hedonism.

Comments (5)

Artie Duncanson • Posted on Wed, August 24, 2016 - 5:46 am EST

With all this verbal skipping around, do you fear that you will become the proverbial “jack of all trades, master of none”?

Haha, I love your term linguistic hedonism

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Wed, August 24, 2016 - 11:42 am EST

I don’t worry about that in the slightest, Artie. No expertise needed for linguistic hedonism! ;) I am 50 years old. I am allowed to have fun.

Artie Duncanson • Posted on Sat, August 27, 2016 - 3:28 am EST

haha, Fair enough. Keep having fun!

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Sat, August 27, 2016 - 9:08 pm EST

Hey Artie, one more thing! The ideal teach-yourself language product reviewer is someone who doesn’t know anything (or much) about the language being described. Otherwise you aren’t a great tester, because you tend to fill in the blanks that the product might leave. I am essentially deploying ignorance as an asset for my product review section. ;)

Est • Posted on Tue, September 06, 2016 - 4:35 pm EST

I am conversational in Spanish and Italian but I don’t seem to be satisfied with only these so I am also dabbling in French and Romanian at the same time with secret thoughts of learning Russian and German in the future. I feel like I am cheating on Spanish and Italian (my true loves haha) every time I pick up a French or Romanian book which is ridiculous! Do you ever find yourself thinking like this or am I the only one?! Why oh why can I not be content with two language.

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