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  1. #11
    V.I.P. Sita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebedances View Post
    This year, I have several 'goals' for my life and dance, one of which is to learn Arabic to have a deeper appreciation of what I dance to. I'd like to focus on the Egyptian dialect, since I've heard that is more common in music than other dialects.

    I can't afford Rosetta Stone's course, which is over $500, and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for good courses that are more reasonably priced. I plan to buy a course in the next week or so.

    I don't know if the travel-type courses would be so good, since mostly they are about taking cabs and finding bathrooms and places to eat.

    Any suggestions?
    One way is to go your library find the cd courses available and see which one works best for you. That way you don't end up wasting money on a course that doesn't work for you. The Michel Thomas method is very basic and you pick it up incredibly quickly without trying however I have heard the Pimsleur is better (just have to work out where to get a copy from here )

    Sita

  2. #12
    Junior Member Zanbaka's Avatar
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    I was able to find both Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian dialect cd's at the Seattle library last year when I was brushing up on my college Arabic. Many libraries have exchange programs with other libraries, so if you pester them enough, hopefully they can find some material for you.

    Good luck!
    ~Zanbaka

  3. #13
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sita View Post
    The Michel Thomas method is very basic and you pick it up incredibly quickly without trying
    Hmmm, I wonder if it would be a good "next step" after I finish Pimsleur, as in offering additional vocabulary words and nuances of grammar.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sita View Post
    However I have heard the Pimsleur is better (just have to work out where to get a copy from here
    Although you're in the UK, you should be able to order from the U.S. version of Amazon - ie, Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more . Although I'm in the U.S., I've periodically ordered stuff from the U.K. version of Amazon (ie, Amazon.co.uk: low prices in Electronics, Books, Music, DVDs & more ), when they weren't stocked by U.S. distributors. I've also ordered from Amazon.de: Günstige Preise bei Elektronik & Foto, DVD, Musik, Bücher, Games, Spielzeug & mehr (German version) and Amazon.fr: livres, DVD, jeux video, CD, lecteurs MP3, ordinateurs, appareils photo, logiciels et plus encore! (France).

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sita View Post
    I have heard the Pimsleur is better (just have to work out where to get a copy from here )

    Sita
    I am in UK and I bought mine direct from the Pimsleur site. I think the shipping was about $10.

  5. #15
    V.I.P. Sita's Avatar
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    Just wanted to sat thanks to Shiradotnet and Tezirah for the info - I will definitly check it out

    Sita

  6. #16
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    I was about to recommend the Michel Thomas stuff as I have used it for French and really liked the approach, which is different to anything I've seen before. Thought I'd google Pimsleur first so I knew what you were all talking about and am now confused as maybe this is like Michel Thomas? The Pimsleur seems really coded and won't actually say what it is beyond 'revolutionary' 'scientific' blah blah blah. Is it a no paper and pen, learn by hearing kind of method? Does anyone know the similarities/differences between them?

  7. #17
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karena View Post
    The Pimsleur seems really coded and won't actually say what it is beyond 'revolutionary' 'scientific' blah blah blah. Is it a no paper and pen, learn by hearing kind of method?
    I can't compare Pimsleur and Michel Thomas because I've never used products by Michel Thomas. But I can answer your questions about Pimsleur.

    Pimsleur is solely audio CD. There's no paper and pen. I use it when I'm driving my car.

    The structure of Pimsleur lessons centers around teaching you how to have a conversation, rather than giving you a bunch of grammar rules to memorize. For example, Pimsleur might first teach you to say, "I would like..." and drills that a while. Then it teaches you to say, "I would like to drink..." and drills that. Then it teaches you how to say, "I would like to drink something," then "I would like to drink coffee/tea," then "I would like to drink some coffee/tea." Along the way it teaches the "you" form such as "You would like...", then "You would like to drink..." and teaches you how to frame that as a question, "Would you like to drink...?" After 18 lessons, I still don't know how to say he/she/it/they/we would like to drink, whereas a traditional grammar class would have taught all of that the first time it introduced the word for "drink".

    Over time, as you learn ways to say the "I", masculine "you", and feminine "you" forms of speak, understand (a concept), comprehend (a language), eat, drink, want, would like, etc., you start to notice the patterns on your own, and can start making educated guesses about how a newly-introduced verb might be used. And in fact, once you've gotten into the later lessons, it actually does introduce some new verbs and ask you to predict what the I/you forms will be, then tells you the correct info.

    People who are accustomed to the academic grammar-rules method of learning a language may find that Pimsleur's approach takes some getting used to because it's different. I learned French and Spanish through the academic grammar-rules approach, and I learned German through a combination of conversation (with my grandmother) and academic grammar rules. I do acknowledge that my academically-trained brain feels like something is missing with Pimsleur since they haven't spoon-fed me the rules and instead are leaving me to figure them out. However, I've learned a lot by just following their lessons, so I'm learning to put some trust in their method. It's working for me.

  8. #18
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    Karena, can you describe how the Michel Thomas course is structured, based on your experience of using it to study French? Is it entirely audio, or does it require paper and pen? What types of things did it teach you to say in French? Did it focus on grammar rules (ie, here is an indirect object, and now here is how to use it in a sentence, and here is the rule for conjugating a regular verb in the x famliy) or did it just focus on telling you how to say stuff and let you figure out the grammatical rule on your own?

    After I finish the 30 lessons of the Pimsleur set, I'll probably want to continue my Arabic studies, so I'm interested in learning about other resources out there and what people think of them. I especially like using audio CD's, and I want to continue focusing on the Egyptian dialect of Arabic.

  9. #19
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    Thanks Shira. Sounds like it might be a bit different. Michel Thomas I would say is less structured than that. Rather than phrases I think it's more sounds. I can't think of a good way to explain, and it's been a while. If anyone really wants to know I can listen to it again and explain better. I found it really good though.

    I am from the language learning through phrase rather than grammar generation in the UK. My parents learnt through grammar but we just learnt phrases and pretty much no grammar. But I did study German to a more advanced level so did the grammar then. Personally I think a combination of the two works - phrases are important and engaging, but you're not then given the tools to work things out with no grammar.

    (I am also of a particular age where we learnt no grammar in English at school. I honestly didn't know what a verb was until I did German at an advanced stage . I knew there were 'doing words' but it didn't progress beyond that, and I was honestly a good student. I think it was some period in history when they decided children shouldn't be restricted by grammar rules, who knows. I was part of a similar now defunct experiment with teaching science, but now I really am digressing...)

  10. #20
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiradotnet View Post
    Karena, can you describe how the Michel Thomas course is structured, based on your experience of using it to study French? Is it entirely audio, or does it require paper and pen? What types of things did it teach you to say in French? Did it focus on grammar rules (ie, here is an indirect object, and now here is how to use it in a sentence, and here is the rule for conjugating a regular verb in the x famliy) or did it just focus on telling you how to say stuff and let you figure out the grammatical rule on your own?

    After I finish the 30 lessons of the Pimsleur set, I'll probably want to continue my Arabic studies, so I'm interested in learning about other resources out there and what people think of them. I especially like using audio CD's, and I want to continue focusing on the Egyptian dialect of Arabic.
    Ooo crossed posts. Will try and find it and listen. Watch this space....

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