July 30, 2009 | Russian

The Limits of Pimsleur Multitasking

There are certain things one shouldn't attempt while doing Pimsleur.

I have learned two things about Pimsleur since yesterday afternoon:

  1. I cannot run with Pimsleur. It is too hard physically, and I don’t do well mentally. Half-assedly repeating vocabulary words with VocabuLearn is very different from trying to construct and enunciate full-blown grammatical sentences with Dr. P.
  2. Nor can I can clean while doing Pimsleur. I thought, well, so I can’t run; I can clean! Since I began Russian, cleaning has descended on my list of priorities, and I am feeling the consequences. So I tried cleaning the bathroom cabinets. I got everything in Pimsleur wrong and became very crabby. And the cabinets didn’t get all that clean, either.

Strangely, through Pimsleur I have learned to say things as complicated as “My husband, Sasha, and I would like to go to Moscow tomorrow morning, but today I have a lot of work, and yesterday he traveled to St. Petersburg.” Before even learning how to say “My name is Ellen. How are you? I am fine.”

Comments (2)

KCA • Posted on Fri, June 08, 2012 - 12:43 am EST

The priorities of language learning materials are always baffling. In the Russian 1 textbook we used in college, you immediately start out talking about apartments/living arrangements before going on to occupations, which are introduced in an AA style meeting where everyone goes around and says where they work (and, presumably, that they are alcoholics). Restaurant fluency in Russian requires knowing how to navigate an AA meeting, according to textbook publishers.

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Fri, June 08, 2012 - 1:18 am EST

KCA, this made me laugh out loud.

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