Thursday, November 18, 2010

Horses for courses.

I have two audio courses for Turkish available to me; the Pimsleur Complete Turkish course and the Linguaphone PDQ Turkish course. The Linguaphone course also includes a 68 page book of all the dialogs and some exercises.

I've quickly discovered just how much I dislike the Linguaphone audio. First off, there's WAY too much English nonsense going on with the narrators. When I say nonsense, I mean it's completely unnecessary. Second, I can't get past a mental image of John Cleese as the male narrator. Really. It's almost comical, but not quite. The female narrator isn't any better - "Reward yourself! Have a glass of champagne! Whatever you like!" - Seriously? Both announcers are trying to be funny for humor's sake and failing.

The other thing I dislike about the Linguaphone course is the pace. It's incredibly slow. I've gone through four lessons so far with the Linguaphone course, in contrast to eight lessons with the Pimsleur course. The Pimsleur course covers so much more. Not only that, it does a decent job of explaining why I"m saying what I'm saying, if not outright, then by repeated example. I'll give an admittedly rather simple example; the phrase
"Bir şey değil", meaning "it's nothing" after someone says "teşekkür ederim" (thank you). In roughly the same amount of time in both courses, the Pimsleur course has given me not only this vocabulary, but the mechanics of the phrase as well. With the Pimsleur course I've been given all three words in a variety of contexts, so I know that "Bir" means "one" and "şey" means "thing", and that by combining the two I get "something". By now I've also learned "değil" means "not" through a variety of other phrases. So, even though the Pimsleur course may not have already explicitly taught me "Bir şey değil", I would have heard it the first time and thought "Oh, it means 'it's nothing'". In comparison, the Linguaphone course has only taught me to say "Bir şey değil" after "teşekkür ederim" and only that. I wouldn't have gained the tools to deduce what it means. Pimsleur wins big on this for me. It's a much better use of my time.

So at this point I'll probably just drop the Linguaphone course and use Pimsleur for the audio portion of my learning. I have the old FSI course book which does an excellent job of doing the same explanation in written form. I think I'll be using that for my reading.

Learning has been somewhat light this week. I closed up the cabin for the season and am now in the Twin Cities through Thanksgiving, so all that activity sucked up a fair amount of time, outside my normal workload.

1 comment:

  1. I have no access to Turkish resources based on the English language because I can't order books via internet. So I can't discuss the qualtity of your resources with you. It's always good, if you understand the components of an expression seperately, which will also play a role, if you learn Turkish idioms on a higher language level. For example the components of "bir sey degil" you could also look up seperately in a dictionary. Fasulye