June 11, 2010 | Greek
Greek: Going Great
I have so many different ways to learn Greek.
I am feeling very, very happy with all my Greek materials. Between Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, and my various books I have what feels like an endless supply of ways to learn. I couldn’t do any one of these things all day long, but when I can switch around from one learning tool to another, my brain’s endurance is far greater.
Today I spent a considerable amount of time on Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, and my Teach Yourself Greek book. I enjoyed them all.
They are overlapping moderately and reinforcing each other in thoroughly pleasurable ways. I hear a word on Pimsleur, then come across it in one of my books, at which point I practice writing it. I learn a phrase through Rosetta Stone, then come across it again in Pimsleur, maybe in a way that advances my understanding of it. I learn something through my vocabulary book and then relearn it through Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone, refining my pronunciation along the way.
By the way, I have mentioned that I use an iPod Shuffle for my Pimsleur lessons, but I wouldn’t generally recommend it for them. The reason: you can’t rewind within a lesson; you can only move from the beginning of one lesson to the beginning of the next. The only reason I use the Shuffle, as opposed to a higher-end Apple product, is that I can’t stand running with a full-size iPod. It’s too enormous.
On the other hand, a totally inconvenient thing about the Shuffle is that it, and its docking station, are so tiny that I am constantly losing them in our apartment. It is annoying, and I get frustrated when the only thing keeping me from running out the door is that I can’t find an electronic device about the size of a piece of Trident gum.
Tonight on the way home from the gym, where I did more (unfortunately Pimsleur-free) cross-training in the form of my first spin class ever, I passed a young woman, probably in her 20s, talking on her cell phone.
She said, “I thought he was 37, but he’s actually 43.”
Pause, as she listened for a moment.
Ηλιοβασíλεμα (Sunset, I Think)
Then: “My usual cutoff is 40. I just think that’s already really generous of me.”
Human beings are so entertaining! I would love to be able to understand such things in languages other than English. But grasping someone else’s quick, often subtle conversation while you are walking down the street requires really serious language skills.
At least I can enjoy the English versions.