October 12, 2009 | Arabic

I’m Behind

I was much further along with Russian at this point than I am with Arabic.

I am way, way behind on Pimsleur compared to where I was with Russian at this point. I have to move it! I am only on Pimsleur lessons 20 and 21 (Level II). I should be further along. I will have to do slightly more than two lessons per day to finish Pimsleur III on time.

I need to work harder. Much harder. I have been losing a little steam lately, I think. Nothing that puts the project in jeopardy, or anything even close to that, but a little less diligence. It is very much tied to the lack of Arabic language books that appeal to me. Not to make excuses, but it’s true.

I just went to to see if they had an Arabic test. They do. I tried the first question to see whether I could even read it. I could, but barely, and I had trouble understanding the multiple-choice answers. Part of the problem is that the font is so tiny! I tried to increase the font size through Internet Explorer, but it didn’t budge. It would take me a million hours to take this test. I just am barely reading Arabic at all.

In an unbelievable combination of syllables, Pimsleur lesson 21 taught me how to say, “Are you able to read Arabic?” Here is what it sounds like: BTI i dree / TI er ee / AR a bee.

“I can read Arabic” is BI i der / E uh ruh / AR a bee.

Those are some serious vowel explosions.

Around 5:30 this afternoon, I set out on a five-mile Pimsleur walk in Central Park. It was cold (50ish), and all I had on for warmth was a sweatshirt, so soon my arms and hands were too numb to manage the buttons on my Zen Creative device. I tend to stop and rewind when I miss stuff, but I was so cold I had to just put the thing in my pocket and let it play through without rewinding. That’s what you’re supposed to do anyway.

I did lessons 22, 23, and 24. Initially I was seriously frustrated because I wasn’t understanding everything, but ultimately, it’s better if I don’t fiddle with the buttons and rewind for every little thing I miss.

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