April 13, 2010 | Spanish

Pimsleur Mission Accomplished!

I finish the last Pimsleur Spanish lesson.

I have now finished all remaining Pimsleur lessons for Spanish, including Spanish Plus, which is the name Pimsleur gives to the 10 bonus lessons they offer beyond the usual Level III. Much of this work was accomplished over the weekend while I was (a) running errands around the Upper West Side and (b) cleaning the apartment. Highly satisfying multitasking.

I Did Pimsleur Walking by This Building

I have been overcome with joy about the content of the 10 Spanish Plus lessons. Back on July 24, I was complaining about how Russian Pimsleur was spending too much time on how to give directions (e.g., “turn left,” “go straight,” that kind of thing). I wrote, “Lessons on directions are boring to me. I want to be able to discuss art, literature, culture, the good stuff!”

The 10 Spanish Plus lessons are the answer to my language prayers. Those lessons focus very persistently, one might even say obsessively, on various book- and publishing-related themes. But what could be better than spending time working on book vocabulary? For example, “translation” (traducción), “editor” (redactor), “publishing company” (editorial), etc.

Often lesson content has involved an imaginary Argentinian author, Laura Castellanos, and an imaginary American publishing house that wants to publish her latest imaginary book in English. Some of the exercises go into stunning detail about this venture. For instance: her book is entitled Al Caos, which means Into Chaos, but the imaginary American publisher doesn’t like that, so it has to be changed. For their English-speaking audience, they decide to go with Into Freedom instead.

79th and Broadway, During a Pimsleur Errand-Running Session

Personally, I would have been okay with chaos, but I find that title change very witty.

Anyway, though I have been in vocabulary heaven, it seems to me that some of this stuff would be really obscure for people who (a) have different interests, (b) have spent only a short time on the Spanish language, and (c) would therefore benefit from other, more basic vocabulary first. Like “apple,” or “aunt.” How important is it at this stage to be able to talk about derechos de autor (international rights), novelas policiacas (detective novels), sesión fotográfica (photography session), libro en audio (audiobook), and feria del libro (book fair)?

Not very, I would think, but it is hard for me to think of others when I am so happy for myself.

On another topic: lately readers of this blog have been posting recommendations for study materials. Thank you very much, readers—I find the information extremely helpful! Based on those recommendations, I have now written to a number of companies I didn’t previously know about, inquiring about their language-learning products. I am excited to see what they have to offer.

Comments (1)

Kris L. • Posted on Tue, August 20, 2013 - 12:04 am EST

I have to admit, I am jumping around to different parts of your blog…I first started with German as that is the language of my family (Mom is originally from there), but I’m also feeling torn about learning Spanish too.  Living in FLA, the Spanish language goes a lot further.  Being bilingual with Spanish in my line of work will go further here in the US.  So I am feeling pulled at which one I should concentrate on.  My head says Spanish, but my heart says German.

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