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Re: CHAT: Book recommendations?

From:J R <tanuef@...>
Date:Friday, September 19, 2008, 8:53
On Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 4:44 PM, Paul Bennett <paul.w.bennett@...>wrote:

> On 9/9/08, J R <tanuef@...> wrote: > > I'm looking into purchasing the following, and would appreciate any > > recommendations: > > > > 1. A dictionary of linguistic terms > > 2. A grammar of Mandarin > > 3. A grammar of Tagalog > > 4. A Russian course > > > > (should be in English, preferably!) > > Late to the party, but I can recommend adding to any books you end up > getting with the appropriate Pimlseur CDs from a local library (unless > you're made of money, in which case go ahead and buy them). Of the > languages above, I've only done the first half-dozen lessons in > Russian, and the first one lesson in Mandarin, but Pimsleur's French, > Spanish, Czech and Ojibwe have all served me remarkably well -- the > latter as my primary source. > > I imagine they'd have served me better were I as good at finishing > projects as I am at starting them, but that's clearly a flaw in me > rather than in the material. > > I second the recommendation of Trask's Dictionary of Grammatical > Terms, by the way. Darned solid stuff, and always either on my desk or > the shelves right next to it. > > > > Paul >
Ahh, Pimsleur.... Personally I find it more useful for some languages than for others. I went through the Persian program (actually there are two: a 30-unit one, and a 10-unit one which is not only shorter, but also uses more colloquial pronunciation/terms) with no problems. But Persian has a pretty simple morphology. Russian, OTOH ... it's not so much that there are three genders and six cases, as that the inflection is fusional, syncretic, unsystematic (even down to the stress, which sometimes changes, and sometimes doesn't). With such a morphology, I prefer to learn it as directly and systematically as possible, and then apply it - which is, of course, the antithesis of the Pimsleur method. But after slogging through 15 or so units of Pimsleur's Russian, I found it too confusing ... I was just hearing too many different forms, not quite knowing why they were being used and how to apply what I was learning to other words. I suppose Czech is not much better, but it worked for you. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I wonder what the story is behind the inclusion of Ojibwe. Josh Roth