September 21, 2009 | Arabic

Arabic Vocabulary Crisis

VocabuLearn and Pimsleur problems, and not trivial ones either.

I did Arabic VocabuLearn in the shower today. I am recognizing more words. However, there are quite a few differences between VocabuLearn and what Pimsleur is teaching me, far more than there were between the Russian VocabuLearn and the Russian Pimsleur. That is confusing. Also, it’s hard to figure out complicated pronunciations when words are competing with the sounds of falling water. 

Oh my god. I just listened to the beginning of the first lesson on Pimsleur Level II for Eastern Arabic. The dialogue is a million times clearer than it has been in the Level I lessons. It’s true what Kelly at Simon & Schuster said; the antiquated version I was using of Level I is no good, and I should have replaced it. The quality of this Level II, which is a current version, is like the Russian was throughout: excellent.

Shit, I am now also noticing that some of the vocabulary is presented differently in Arabic Level II than in my out-of-date Level I. For instance, I was taught ewa for “yes.” On this Level II version, they use eh instead. Crap.

In addition, there is different vocabulary for some very basic things. Even the word for “husband” is different. Though I don’t mean to categorize a husband as a very basic thing.

I still have lessons 28, 29, and 30 left on Level I. What to do?

Comments (5)

Malik • Posted on Sun, July 28, 2013 - 9:14 am EST

I came across the same issue for level 2 since i had the outdated level 1, and i can’t find the new level 1 at the library. were you able to figure your way through level 2? i finished level 1 a while back but level 2 seemed daunting

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Sun, July 28, 2013 - 11:11 am EST

No, I quickly decided I had to do the correct Level I before proceeding with Level II.

You got your outdated Level I at the library, too? If so, it wasn’t the New York Public Library, was it? They should have purged those old ones by now.

sami • Posted on Tue, May 27, 2014 - 4:20 pm EST

you know some arabic words , some phrases ,but learning and understanding arabic in 2 months , i dont think so

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Tue, May 27, 2014 - 4:26 pm EST

My dear Sami, very true—which is why I never claim that, in real life or anywhere on this entire website.

dashmeet • Posted on Thu, June 26, 2014 - 4:18 am EST

Linguistically there are two techniques for improving your lexical strength (vocabulary) :

Active learning and Passive learning

1. Passive learning: New words are acquired subconsciously, while doing some daily life stuff, like reading a newspaper.

Vocabulary is an abstract skill due to reasons like reading habits, family background, schooling, culture etc. The conventional methods are very generic and are made of masses. They do not allow personalized learning to an individual’s current vocabulary.

2. Active learning: Active learning methodology has become a preferred way to change the traditional teacher oriented classroom into the newer student oriented approach to learning. In active learning, acquisition of new words is done with conscious and great efforts.

Usually active vocabulary building is quite rigorous and boring due to its monotonous nature.

Now introducing myself, I am co-founder of Improve Your Vocabulary - VocabMonk

Vocabmonk uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to track individual’s learning/quiz data and mashed up that data to recommend personalized quizzes to students, based on their current vocabulary size.

The tool uses game mechanics to make learning real fun and also provides competitive learning through challenges in your social circle.
There so special push towards, not just learning words but grasping it with application.

Various levels to be achieved as you progress in learning and the distinctive feature is that you can invite your mentor to look up your activities on the website.

Happy learning!

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