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Your favorite language program?

 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
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habadzi
Super Polyglot
Senior Member
Greece
Joined 4088 days ago

68 posts - 106 votes 
Speaks: Greek*, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Hindi, French, German, Italian, Ancient Greek, Modern Hebrew, Arabic (classical), Indonesian, Bengali, Albanian, Nepali

 
 Message 153 of 376
21 August 2010 at 12:08am | IP Logged 
There are choices in Albanian that are not well known. There is the old Newmark book those cassettes only cover a part of the book, but the method is fine (they say it's the accent of Kosovo, but it does not matter.)

Newmark, Leonard, et al. Spoken Albanian (Monterey: Spoken Languages Services, 1990).   Has cassettes, is for sale at amazon of Canada.

There is the Kurti method for sale at amazon with a tape, which would have been ok for the money, but it's disastrously full of errors. I don't know the state of its followup, I would not trust it. Then there is Ramazan Hyza, whose tapes I have heard but don't know what the text looks like.

I was lucky to find as a photocopy the communist era Kostallari, Androkli (ed.) (1989). Gjuha letrare shqipe. Tiranë: Shtëpia botuese e librit shkollor with digitized tapes up to lesson 25. Someone should turn this into a pdf and post it on the web. The author is dead, but his daughter might not mind.

For more advanced texts there is the Dunwoody Press Albanian newspaper reader with tapes.

With Albanian, an understanding of etymology helps a great deal. Words that seem gibberish are in fact Latin or Greek. I am Greek and at an advantage with Albanian, but I studied with Vladimir Orel's etymological dictionary by my side. A sense of etymology can help with strange stuff like those changing articles. Find the indoeuropean roots in the middle of the words. (ask me for more details.)


Khublei wrote:
I'm using Colloquial right now for Albanian and I find it really bad. Had questions to do on something that hadn't been covered yet, which makes self-learning difficult. Unfortunately there's not much else out there for the language.

In general I like anything audio based. I'm even thinking of making my own audio (based on Pimsleur) for Khasi so I can listen to it on my ipod.

4 persons have voted this message useful



Gina1992
Newbie
United States
Joined 3720 days ago

2 posts - 3 votes
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 154 of 376
24 August 2010 at 8:17am | IP Logged 
When I was younger, I had a program called Language Adventure. My sister and I had a blast with it, and one cool
thing is that you get several languages with one program. (I did Spanish, Italian, and German and my sister did
Japanese) It's definitely designed for kids, but it would probably still be useful as an intro for adults. Anyway, I
thought I'd share, just cause I remember it being quite effective and also quite entertaining. Here's the link for
y'all:

http://magictheatre.com/language.html


2 persons have voted this message useful



garyb
Triglot
Senior Member
ScotlandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3721 days ago

1468 posts - 2412 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian, French
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 155 of 376
01 September 2010 at 12:02am | IP Logged 
I've used, for French:

Michel Thomas basic course. I found that it taught me a LOT of useful basic language and grammar considering the short time it took, and I didn't find it too annoying and liked his teaching style.

Pimsleur (I-III). I found this to be more complete than MT (as one would hope since it takes a lot longer) and really helped me start thinking in French. It's very repetitive but that's good as it really gets the material stuck into your brain - I've barely forgotten a thing from it! It doesn't get you anywhere near fluency as the marketing would suggest, but it does give you a very good grip of the basics of the spoken language. I'm happy that I didn't pay for it and I wouldn't recommend that anyone pay full price, for the reasons that have already been covered to death in this thread. I found that I could easily complete multiple lessons per day, but that was probably due to my previous experience with French at school.

I've also used Pimsleur for Italian - I got through level I and the first few lessons of level II, again at the rate of several a day (I picked up the basics very quickly because of similarities with French). Again I'd say it gave me a good feeling for the language and I didn't forget much of it.

French in Action - I've just started with this, I'm doing the videos only, mainly to work on my listening comprehension. I don't know how it would fare as a complete course or how the workbook is.

I've never used Assimil, or even heard of it before coming to this forum, but it seems to get a lot of good reviews here and it's reasonably priced so I'm considering ordering it when I've got a bit more cash. I'm hoping that it'll help take me beyond the beginner stage and well into the intermediate stage, as all the other courses I've mentioned are fairly basic.
2 persons have voted this message useful



michaelmichael
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 3771 days ago

167 posts - 202 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French

 
 Message 156 of 376
01 September 2010 at 1:47am | IP Logged 
garyb wrote:
I've used, for French:

Michel Thomas basic course. I found that it taught me a LOT of useful basic language and grammar considering the short time it took, and I didn't find it too annoying and liked his teaching style.

Pimsleur (I-III). I found this to be more complete than MT (as one would hope since it takes a lot longer) and really helped me start thinking in French. It's very repetitive but that's good as it really gets the material stuck into your brain - I've barely forgotten a thing from it! It doesn't get you anywhere near fluency as the marketing would suggest, but it does give you a very good grip of the basics of the spoken language. I'm happy that I didn't pay for it and I wouldn't recommend that anyone pay full price, for the reasons that have already been covered to death in this thread. I found that I could easily complete multiple lessons per day, but that was probably due to my previous experience with French at school.

I've also used Pimsleur for Italian - I got through level I and the first few lessons of level II, again at the rate of several a day (I picked up the basics very quickly because of similarities with French). Again I'd say it gave me a good feeling for the language and I didn't forget much of it.

French in Action - I've just started with this, I'm doing the videos only, mainly to work on my listening comprehension. I don't know how it would fare as a complete course or how the workbook is.

I've never used Assimil, or even heard of it before coming to this forum, but it seems to get a lot of good reviews here and it's reasonably priced so I'm considering ordering it when I've got a bit more cash. I'm hoping that it'll help take me beyond the beginner stage and well into the intermediate stage, as all the other courses I've mentioned are fairly basic.


Assimil is my favorite program so far, but i should tell you that my initial impression wasn't good. I noticed I am not the only one to have an initial negative reaction, Arekkusu comes to mind. I think it's because the praise for it ,on these forums, is so overwhelming, that you begin to think the book is magic!!! Since you are no beginner, I suggest you modify the assimil method a bit when you use the program. You can do dictée tests, and a mini écoute test. I use the 5 translation exercises as dictée (sans livre bien sûr) and jot down some notes in french to gauge if i understood the audio. I of course do the regular assimil stuff too, read out loud and L1-->L2 translation.
2 persons have voted this message useful



mike245
Triglot
Senior Member
Hong Kong
Joined 5486 days ago

303 posts - 408 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Cantonese
Studies: French, German, Mandarin, Khmer

 
 Message 157 of 376
01 September 2010 at 7:31pm | IP Logged 
I've tried Pimsleur (Mandarin, French, Japanese), Assimil (Mandarin, French), Living Language Ultimate (German, Mandarin, French), FSI (German, Mandarin, and now French), and French in Action. So far, my favorite program is Assimil.

I am a fairly lazy language learner, and easily get bored by dry dialogues (Living Language), constant repetition (Pimsleur) or endless drills (FSI). Although I do believe each of those programs have strong points (i.e., to develop oral fluency, to improve knowledge of grammar, or even just to grind in the language), Assimil has been the only one that has held my attention for long-term self-study.

I know that the Assimil method isn't perfect: There are times when I struggle to conjugate an easy verb or remember genders because I haven't had much exposure through Assimil, and I've noticed that my listening comprehension is still weak. However, I don't think I would've stuck with French as long if I had used another method, because I likely would've given up or lost interest earlier. For example, years ago, I studied Mandarin through a combination of FSI, Living Language, and Chinese in a Flash, and it was dreadfully tedious. Although the phrases I drilled down came instantly to mind when I needed them, the boredom factor kept me from sticking to the program for more than a few months.
4 persons have voted this message useful



noriyuki_nomura
Bilingual Octoglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 3854 days ago

304 posts - 465 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin*, Japanese, FrenchC2, GermanC2, ItalianC1, SpanishB2, DutchB1
Studies: TurkishA1, Korean

 
 Message 158 of 376
02 September 2010 at 2:31am | IP Logged 
I happen to own a set of Beyond the Basics: Italian (Living Language); Assimil Italian for both the At Ease and Using series; and a set of Langenscheidts Russian (4 CDs Self-learner course from A1 to B1 level) taught in German language. And I must say that, I enjoy using all three products. Personally, I thought that the Beyond the Basics series from Living Language are very good, that's why I am kinda surprised that there are not more reviews regarding them in this thread...

But for advanced level Italian (B2+/C1 level), I would highly recommend Viaggio nell'italiano. The CD in particular has recordings of dialogues that are natural native speaker speed, and usually consist of interviews with some Italian speakers...


2 persons have voted this message useful



Hanekawa
Diglot
Newbie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3686 days ago

30 posts - 36 votes
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Japanese, Korean

 
 Message 159 of 376
28 September 2010 at 11:20am | IP Logged 
I have to say I really like Rosetta Stone. There IS a downside, if you're learning a
language with an alphabet you aren't familiar with. For example, when I was a super
n00b
at japanese, I wanted to put it on kana, but I couldn't read it. After I learned
hira/kana, and some basics about Japanese, it's a lot easier now and helps me tons.
Same
with Korean except I'm scared of Korean because to me, as a SUPERRRRRR beginner it
sounds
like "aosdiu amois soigh ksudfo" and than theres no "romaji" feature so it sounds like
a
person drowning and theres weird symbols!!!

I'm exaggerating but my point is Rosetta Stone is really good if you know some basics
about the language FIRST and than use it. Than you get the most out of it, at least for
me.

Edited by Hanekawa on 28 September 2010 at 11:21am

3 persons have voted this message useful



Old Chemist
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3687 days ago

227 posts - 285 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German

 
 Message 160 of 376
01 October 2010 at 8:16pm | IP Logged 
Has anyone tried Book2? This site has free downloadable MP3 audio for about 40 languages in almost any of the combinations of two languages you like. You have to pay for the book, but there is no obligation. Seems a good deal to me! I have not yet bought any of the books, but love the MP3. The site is:
www.goethe-verlag.com/book2 Hope you find it useful!
PS: I don't think there is a Book1, but who cares!

Edited by Old Chemist on 01 October 2010 at 8:20pm



4 persons have voted this message useful



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