October 20, 2009 | Arabic

Enough with the Credit Cards!

I get a wee bit frustrated with my Pimsleur lessons.

In retrospect, I think my trouble last night was not the mailing, but rather, that these particular Pimsleur lessons are too hard. The term for “credit card” in lesson 9 (Level III) is impossible. So many syllables.

Also impossible was the Arabic translation of this sentence: “I want to speak to you about this trip.” The sentence wasn’t explained grammatically, and I didn’t know where one word ended and the next one began. Since I had no idea what was going on, I couldn’t remember the syllables.

I like to learn words that are interesting, and credit cards are not particularly interesting. Nor is reservation-making vocabulary. Enough already—especially since people who sell tickets, take reservations, etc., often speak English anyway!

In any case, I had to keep doing and redoing the same Pimsleur lessons today, over and over. The majority of this activity took place on a seven-mile walk in Central Park, begun around 6 p.m. It was a pleasant enough walk, but this time the exercise, which normally helps my mental acuity, seemed to have little effect on Pimsleur performance.

How do I say “art” in Arabic? Or “writer”? That’s the kind of thing I want to know.


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