March 31, 2014 | Review Period

Memrise Binge

What has (so far) befallen my Pimsleur Diet.

My grand intentions in my last blog entry have not quite been realized, and for that I blame Memrise, which continues to entice me late at night to binge on all kinds of languages. The situation is a bit out of control.

New York's Penn Station at Rush Hour Last Week: How Many Languages?

New York’s Penn Station at Rush Hour Last Week: How Many Languages?

Memrise has also been a gateway drug to the Antosch & Lin collection of websites. The Antosch & Lin folks offer 12 different languages, as I have mentioned before, and I am running from one to another like a crazy lady.

What happens is that I stay up way too late trying to boost my Memrise points (they keep score over there) and just generally add to stores of vocabulary. When I stay up too late, I don’t get enough sleep. When I don’t sleep enough, I don’t want to run. When I don’t want to run, it messes with my Pimsleur Diet, launched earlier this month.

Speaking of which: I have modified my Pimsleur Diet. Though I love Pimsleur’s audio lessons, I can’t bear to do them without pursuing various written materials simultaneously, and I don’t really see fitting in a whole bunch of new languages right now with Pimsleur and grammar books—for Croatian and Lithuanian and Cantonese and so on—when I already have a dozen or so other languages I want to keep working on. So for a more relaxing version of the Pimsleur Diet, I am redoing old lessons.

Right now I am on Russian.

And here is the good news! It is much easier to do these lessons the second time around. Despite the passage of multiple years since my first go-arounds, my redoing of Hebrew lessons, and then Arabic, and now Russian, has gone much more smoothly than my original encounters. That means that amid the flood of multi-language input, and the constant forgetting, there is also some constant remembering, somewhere in the recesses of my mind. 

How delightful.

Comments (5)

Shannon K • Posted on Tue, April 01, 2014 - 3:38 pm EST

Wait… Did I just read that you’re going to learn Croatian?

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Tue, April 01, 2014 - 5:27 pm EST

Well, Shannon, eventually I do hope to buckle down and study Croatian at least a bit. I don’t know for sure, but it seems likely it will happen at some point. So far all I have achieved is falling asleep on two different nights to Pimsleur’s lesson 1 for it. (Which does not mean the lesson was at all boring; rather, it was relaxing and enjoyable!) I have also been collecting links for materials. Because it is good to be prepared at any moment! :)

farschied • Posted on Wed, April 02, 2014 - 4:45 pm EST

I also bought Pimsleur Croatian I. It’s my favorite Slavic language and also much easier than Russian.

I have a feeling that I am going to master this language and reach to a native-like level.

Chris Huff • Posted on Sat, April 12, 2014 - 9:09 pm EST

Hi Ellen!

When I read this post, so many things jumped out at me that I just had to respond!

You can find my response over at

Thanks for inspiring me!

Your friend,

Chris Huff

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Wed, April 23, 2014 - 12:45 am EST

Thank you so much, Chris Huff. I’m looking forward to meeting you at the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin!

Post a Comment