July 29, 2009 | Russian

Come On, Everybody, Do Your Exercise!

Exercise helps with memory. The proof is in the Pimsleur.

Today I finished Pimsleur Level I and was promoted to intermediate Pimsleur: Level II. I feel as though I have graduated. However, I am mourning the loss of the lady on the Level I tracks. She had such a lovely voice. The new lady sounds like a creaky child, which confused me initially, because I couldn’t figure out why they would have me practice conversations with a child. Not that it’s not helpful and pleasant to be able to converse with children, but generally the idea, I think, would be to practice adult conversations.

Making the transition more problematic was that her voice at first reminded me of that doll Chuckie from those creepy horror movies. She’s probably a very nice lady, but her voice is annoying to listen to. Where did the first lady go?

I have heard that exercise helps with memory, and my own experiences with Pimsleur are already supporting that. (In case you don’t recognize the title of this blog entry, it is from an exercise-encouraging song in the 1970s children’s show Wonderama.)

My Creative Zen Device, Slightly Greasy, and Full of Pimsleur Lessons

After a series of technology travails, I finally got my Pimsleur lessons onto my new Creative Zen Mosaic portable audio device and went walking with it. I did a seven-mile walk, including a loop of Central Park, and completed more than four lessons. All of them went extremely well. Or much better than usual, in any case.

I think this Zen device, which I find user-unfriendly but which I am rapidly conquering, is going to change my language-learning life. I will now be able to do Pimsleur everywhere.

On another topic: it is impossible to believe how complicated Russian numbers are. They change form in each of the six cases, plus as far as I understand at this point, the changes can affect both the beginning and the end of a number word. Crazy. I think I won’t be mastering Russian numbers any time soon.

And telling time—also pretty crazy! For 4:10, for example, you have to say “10 minutes of the fifth hour.” Yikes.

In the meantime, I don’t think Pimsleur has yet taught me the words for “father” and “mother.” Aren’t those pretty basic?

Comments (4)

Katherine • Posted on Tue, May 18, 2010 - 5:42 pm EST

Yes Russian numbers are extremely complicated!  It is something that still needs to be worked on even at the highest level.  The good thing is, sometimes the endings kind of sound the same, so if you mumble the last bit of the word people will understand you, even if you did use the dative case instead of accusative case.

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Tue, May 18, 2010 - 7:43 pm EST

Mumbling: a communication strategy! Who knew? Thank you for this post, Katherine.

Leszek • Posted on Tue, December 30, 2014 - 8:25 am EST

Mumbling works pretty well. Yesterday I talked with a guy from Iraq and I forgot what was the masculine possessive ending in Arabic: -ak or -ek (it is actually -ak). Thinking a little I just mumbled the word:: shloonak with a sound in between and apparently it sounded good enough for him, to not think that I called him a girl :)

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Fri, January 09, 2015 - 9:07 pm EST

Hahaha! Good strategy, Leszek.

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