Monthly "language tastings" book club

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Monthly "language tastings" book club

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nov. 25, 2006, 12:27am

One of my passions is foreign languages, and I study a handful of phrases from language books each month. I post a "language tasting" event on our site, and we meet for a traditional dinner (whenever possible). I tend to use Lonely Planet Phrasebooks and Teach Yourself Series guides as the basis for my handouts. We practice the phrases, have fun with it, and ideally a native speaker joins us.

Languages we've done include: Dutch, Japanese, American Sign Language, Russian, Italian, German, Cantonese, French, and Polish. Coming up, we have: Amharic (from Ethiopia) and Xhosa (from South Africa).

My questions are:

1) Can anyone recommend any other language books or CDs?

2) What funky language(s) would YOU want to learn?

Editat: nov. 25, 2006, 12:57am

Pimsleur language programs are popular with users in public libraries. Some libraries have access to them through a NetLibrary subscription. You might find them in the catalog using "Pimsleur language programs" as a keyword search. The variety is surprising.

I like the choice of African languages. Although I don't know I could master them, sounds that aren't present in English would make it especially interesting.

nov. 25, 2006, 4:25am

Notelinks, thanks for the tip! I haven't tried the Pimsleur technique yet.

Yes, the African languages interest me a great deal. We started off with Indo-European languages and the occasional Asian languages - but I'm very much looking forward to Xhosa. It's got three distinctive tongue-clicks from calling across the fields during ancient sheep herding. One of our members is from South Africa and speaks Xhosa fluently, so thankfully we'll have a native speaker to practice with. :-)

My husband tried a French language CD by Michel Thomas who was in the French resistance (fascinating guy), and it's quite good.


des. 16, 2006, 8:38pm

An update... I just got Icelandic and Zulu books & CDs from the library this week, and I think I'm trouble. ;-) I know I always love my languages, but Icelandic looks intense. Has anyone studied it before?

des. 18, 2006, 11:49am

I've glanced at since it has a lot of similarities with Old English, and I have friends from Iceland, so I've heard it spoken, and yes, outside of Iceland very few people speak the language because it is difficult and, well, not a whole lot of places to use it..
Also, as far as language CDs, I've been using Rosetta Stone's language program for French and Latin, and their free demo disk has all the languages and a few words and simple sentences you may pick up fairly fast..