Thursday, June 21, 2007

June 21

Pimsleur Japanese III Lesson 7, Mandarin II Lesson 2 are in the can. Learn Frenchbypodcast mysteriously updated again after my last beratement, and I was about to gripe again, and aha, a new lesson apears. Hugh and Amelie, don't play with my heart this way. And I'm still waiting for my German lessons from them... I just KNOW they'd be fantastic.

I was listening to some JapanesePod101 podcasts today, and it sounded like Natsuko and Peter are perhaps not getting along right now? Natsuko was a bit formal with him... Ah the DRAMA of the podcast world. I might have been reading too much into it, however, since I'm a bit wiped from this week of work.

In other news, RadioLingua seems to have gone a bit dark in the past week: MyDailyPhraseGerman is at 13 days without an update... the last Coffee Break was over 3 weeks ago! Mark said something about a busy work deadline in the message boards... but nothing since. Hope he's doing ok.

Ken Carroll over at ChinesePod and SpanishSense has hit his stride, however. Both sites are firing along with multiple lessons per day: SpanishSense in particular is throwing out a LOT of great lessons... finally I can recommend them wholeheartedly. They're looking for what their next language should be... I thought German, but I'd be curious to know how they'd approach Arabic... I think that the audio-only courses are tough with heavily rule-based languages like German and Russian.... but if anyone could do it Praxis could. (I also think that Hugh Nagle could do it too, but part of the value proposition of LearnFrenchByPodcast is the practical textbook that accompanies every lesson - the praxis method is more about standalone audio modules...)

Finally, I should share that in my adventures I've found some very strange lessons out there too: I won't name names because people are doing this out of love, I know. But there was one German podcast about learning German where the guy spent 10 minutes talking in English, and then gave a couple of simple words as his "lesson".. it was more of an audioblog about his life... which would have been fine IF he had spoken German... but instead, it was his crazily accented English. Not a bad one... but an odd one I can't stop listening to is a German Grammar podcase, which practically sounds like someone reading a textbook - it's quite dry and I think the system described made sense to the speaker, but there's no additional illumination. And there are many attempts that go for 10-15 lessons and then just STOP. A few Korean ones, a Russian one... people just gave up.

It's unfortunate, because I really don't know if there's a living in any of this for people: Coffee Break Spanish is a HUGE hit by podcast standards - millions of downloads. but it's brought offline because the guy's day job has a crunch: It's not making him a living! I read that ChinesePod has over a quarter million regular listeners, but that paying subscribers number only in the thousands...

Let me put out there that I do try to support these sites whenever possible - I love to see their efforts, and I think that quality product DESERVES remuneration. So even if I'm not doing a lesson a day from CPod AND Jpod AND SpanishSense, I'm supporting their existence.

So that's the update... more as it happens!


coffeebreakspanish said...

Hola / 你好 / 今晩は / Hi Jimmy.

I have indeed had a few major day-job commitments over the past 2-3 weeks and I've spent most of my evenings and early mornings this week trying to catch up with things for our podcasts. Based on what I've got done today I would say that by Sunday evening we'll be 100% up to date - hopefully! I'm about to change my day job and there is so much to do bringing everything together before taking on a new role, so I've been struggling keeping everything going on the podcasting front. I have something like 23 shows recorded and waiting to be edited at the moment, but these will be done and hopefully within the week things will be 100% up to date. There are a few little surprises coming from Radio Lingua in the next fortnight, so hopefully it's been worth the wait!

Jimmy said...

This news fills my heart with joy - I was VERY concerned! I can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve... And it's good that you have them "in the can" - I'd hate for Kara to have gone for lessons on the side and left us all behind...

And I continue to be honored by your readership. Thank you!