October 9, 2009 | Arabic

Pimsleur As (Expensive) Sleep Aid

Pimsleur makes naps possible.

I still can’t pronounce the Arabic word for “more expensive,” which sounds something like arghula, but much harder than that transliteration indicates. A real gargler.

In fact, when I am doing Pimsleur, I spend so long on those damned r-like sounds, as in arghula and shiril (work), that I don’t get to the rest of the sentences in time. Plus my throat has started to hurt.

At around 3:00, Brandt wanted to take a nap, and as usual, I didn’t. Most of the time I am philosophically opposed to napping, but I was feeling very tired, so I got into bed with him, and Dr. Pimsleur, and my giant headsets. I was at the time at least halfway through lesson 17 (Level II).

After a while I started to notice that I was being asked to translate things I had never learned. Then I guess I fell asleep again, because by the time I woke up, there was a whole slew of new vocabulary I’d never heard. As I listened, lesson 19 ended. It was 5-something and I had slept more than an hour!

This Pimsleur thing is the most amazing sleep therapy ever. It is similar to counting sheep, in that it gives you something to concentrate on besides “Oh, shit, I’m never going to be able to sleep.” Sheep don’t work for me, however, because they aren’t distracting enough. I don’t care how many sheep there are, so I can’t commit to the process.

Pimsleur, on the other hand, really distracts me, and then I just drop off. I’ve had quite a few Pimsleur naps since this project began. Brandt wondered the other day if it was helpful to me to hear this stuff in my sleep. I said I didn’t think so, but that I did think it was helpful to fall asleep to it. It feels as though information sneaks into my language center right as I am dropping off.

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