Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Waiting for 2010 #132: On Being a Pseudo-Polyglot

I #brag: I can *pretend* to speak seven different languages, including English. ;-)

As a pseudo-polyglot, I think I can speak well enough for a lower-level spy (undercover as an annoying tourist) or an annoying tourist. In any case, I'm thankful that the Pimsleur audiobook language program exists.  I haven't tried the Rosetta Stone software, since it's pretty pricey.  (The comprehensive Pimsleur courses are also pricey, by the way.)  Besides, I was introduced to Pimsleur when I signed up for NetLibrary earlier this year.  The publisher, Simon & Schuster, has since pulled their Pimsleur titles from the free library service, probably to try to make money.

Since free was no longer an option, I went to Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble's website, and eBay to find new (or well-preserved used) Pimsleur titles at deep discounts.  This actually has a silver lining because I no longer have to deal with the heavily DRM-protected, lower-fidelity NetLibrary Windows Media Audio files (with 21-day licenses).

Pimsleur titles are audiobook-only, though some titles are rumored to have some supplemental documentation, so I am illiterate in the languages I've quasi-learned.  (Facetiously, of course, my illiteracy also includes English.)  The following are the languages I've learned through Pimsleur (and perhaps had some earlier learning previously).  This doesn't include English, nor does it include Classical Latin, which I learned - somewhat - in college.  Only the Others (from LOST) seem to use Classical Latin as a conversational language.  Okay, here's the list in order of Pimsleur use, where (1) is English:

2. Nederlands (Dutch)
3. Hrvatski (Croatian)
4. Gaelainn (Irish Gaelic, Munster dialect)
5. Castellano (Castillian Spanish, or just plain Spanish [with a lisp])
6. Hindi
7. Tagalog

And so I begin (pretending to learn) language number eight:  German, with languages nine and ten to follow.  Wish me luck!  Cheers...and would you like something to drink?

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