Monday, August 31, 2009

Getting back on the horse...

Yes, it's been a year since my last updates, and frankly there was no room in my brain for language learning. But things are changing, and I have a new push to make this happen. I have a Chinese coworker who will speak with me, AND I have another coworker who is Liberian, and we've been tossing a little French back and forth... Though I may not have the energy to learn Mandinka, I think that having a multilingual office should be fun.

Earlier this summer, I did 5 lessons of Pimsleur Italian to drop some phrases to my Italian-speaking South Jersey clients, but I lost energy on that... I think that I may be burning out on the Pimsleur method and may want a new way of doing things. But I am going to keep Italian off the table for the moment. Chinese and French are my opportunities.

As I surfed the web looking for resources, I found "Rocket Languages" which seems to follow both the podcast model and the pimsleur model with a little "BYKI" thrown in - 31 lessons, each 20-30 minutes, with each focused on a subject area... I listened to parts of the sample podcasts and they sounded sort of Praxis-y (Chinesepod) with a lot of guiding english, plus some software downloads (which they didn't make clear if it ran on Mac).

It might be ok software, but when I did a search for reviews, there were no fewer than a dozen "zombie sites' out there that purported to be "review" sites, but that did nothing but talk about how great Rocket software is. Some had ridiculous names like "" - total astroturf. At that moment I decided that even if the lessons are ok, that marketing isn't. It feels dishonest, and I don't understand why they'd think it works.

In the meantime, for French I'm going back to my archive of Learn French by Podcast... and for Chinese I'm sticking with Pimsleur, and adding in a textbook "Integrated Chinese". After a few weeks of refresher, maybe I'll hit my other languages again...