01 November 2006

Unity Day

My Google Calendar tells me that Saturday is a Russian holiday called Unity Day.
What on earth is that? After searching the trusty Johnson's Russia List, I discovered that it is a new holiday, started in 2005, to unite the country.
Here's the article by Francesca Mereu: Unity Holiday Creating Discord
I wonder if this holiday was actually successful last year and if it is predicted to be successful this year.


10 October 2006

Reminded by Manpower

Thanks to Manpower's comment, I did go and watch Aladdin's A Whole New World clip dubbed in Russian on YouTube and it reminded me that I should be looking for Russian music, radio, magazines and other pop-culture bits to keep me interested in doing my lessons.

Thanks Manpower!


22 June 2006

Reviewing Previous Pimsleur

I came to the realization that I was not ever going to bring out my cassette player to do my Pimsleur lessons on cassette. So I had to break down and buy the CD version.
I've been reviewing the lessons in the car on the way to and from work. Although I am braindead in the mornings, it is easier for me to do the lessons on the way to the office in the morning. In the afternoons, I can't turn my brain off for long enough to really concentrate on the lessons.


15 June 2006

New strategy for using Rosetta Stone

Today I picked up my Rosetta Stone lessons for the first time in a very long time. I hope to review all of my previous lessons for the next month or so and then begin new material.

Each Rosetta Stone lesson is composed of 10 screens. Each screens contains vocabulary and syntax information for the learner to acquire.

In reviewing some lessons today, I noticed an interesting trend in my memory of the vocabulary and syntax: I have no problem remembering the information presented in the first 4 or 5 screens of the lesson. The last half of the screens contain information that I have a fuzzy memory of (if I am lucky).

To me this means that the lessons contain too much information for my poor, little brain to process in one go. In moving forward, I think that I will plan to work on half a lesson at one time.


13 June 2006

In response to ondrej's comment from January

In January, ondrej asked me about the differences between Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone.

Sorry for taking so long to reply.

I can understand why it is difficult to find a comparison between the Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone methods. Each method has a very different goal in mind, so it would be impossible to say that one is better than another unless you evaluate them with a specific target outcome in mind.

The Pimsleur method focuses on listening and speaking. There are no illustrations or pictures for the lessons and very little text is available. You are not encouraged to use any text at all because the lessons are about listening comprehension and correct pronunciation.

The Rosetta Stone focuses more on reading, writing, and listening comprehension. There are photos to accompany the words and phrases that you are learning; you must use the pictures to determine what the text is communicating because only Russian is used when learning Russian. There is no English to guide you through the lessons. This takes some analytical skills and sometimes a lot of thinking. However, you are not learning how to communicate in a conversational manner (as you do with the Pimsleur method). I have learned a lot of syntax and vocabulary from Rosetta Stone, but I could not use it to communicate with a taxi driver, for example.


12 June 2006

Back to reviewing Pimsleur lessons and beyond

Although I have not posted any new content to this site in over six month, I am still getting hits, comments, and emails. I think it means that it is time for me to begin posting again.
As I told you earlier, I did deviate into some Greek lessons. I found that they were much easier than Russian, but I was much less enthusiastic about learning Greek. There is a local Greek restaurant near my office that I visit about once a week. After I discovered that the owner was actually Iranian, I had even less motivation to keep up with my Greek lessons.

So I am back to Russian... and a little Italian on the side.

I figure that I need to start the Pimsleur lessons again, from scratch, as a review. I only have the level 1 lessons on cassette... my only cassette player is in my bedroom, so I end up being "confined" to the bedroom to do these lessons instead of listening to them on my iPod as I go about my daily business. Oh well, if I can make it through the 30 days of lessons, then I can move on to my level 2 CDs.

Also, I will clean up my side frames on this blog and perhaps revise my template if I am feeling creative. Any suggestions?