July 23, 2010 | Greek

A Picnic in the Park

I read Greek by Delacorte Theatre and Turtle Pond.

Today was a multimedia language-learning day. I read a language book, I did some Rosetta Stone, and I took a Pimsleur nap.

A Pimsleur nap is when you start out doing a Pimsleur language lesson and fall asleep before you finish it. My Pimsleur naps typically begin and end with Pimsleur: when I wake up, I just continue with whatever lesson I happen to find myself in. This may sound like a bad system, likely to make me miss content, but I track my progress and redo lessons constantly, and I have never skipped even one minute of a Pimsleur lesson.

If I did try to skip a minute, I would pay for it later, by finding myself completely clueless at some critical language-learning crossroads. So what would be the point?

In the evening, Brandt and I went for a picnic in Central Park. Really, the only thing picnicky about it was the picnic blanket; we didn’t actually take any food.

Ice Cream for Sale

Ice Cream for Sale

People Picnicking (with Actual Food) by Turtle Pond

People Picnicking (with Actual Food) by Turtle Pond

It was delightful, but very, very hot. Brandt was reading a script for an audition; I read my little white grammar book, Essential Modern Greek Grammar by Douglas Q. Adams. Progress was decent, but slowed somewhat by the excitement that overcame me every time I was able to read and understand one of the examples in Greek.

I couldn’t keep myself from writing effusive notes in the margin next to each sentence I read successfully. Successfully mastered sentences included:

  • Η Αθήνα είναι μεγαλύτερη απ’ την Πάτρα. (Athens is bigger than Patras.)
  • Το πρώτο βουνό ήταν μεγαλύτερο απ’ το δεύτερο. (The first mountain was higher than the second.)
  • Ο πατέρας μου είναι νεότερος παρά ο πατέρας σας. (My father is younger than your father. Nya nya nya. No, just kidding about that second piece.)

Doesn’t Greek look cool?!

As Brandt and I read on our picnic blanket, the sky got darker and darker. Yes, night was coming, but so was lighting, then thunder, and then rain.

The Sky Darkens

The Sky Darkens

Doom and Gloom (or at Least Rain, in Any Case)

Doom and Gloom (or at Least Rain, in Any Case)

Suddenly it poured. Absolutely poured. By the time we got home, there was not a dry skin cell on our bodies. Fortunately, we had found a water-resistant pouch in the picnic blanket that kept our electronic devices—and my little Greek grammar book!—safe and dry. 

Comments (2)

Marcin KryƄski from Poland • Posted on Thu, July 29, 2010 - 11:45 am EST

Hello Ellen
I very like your blog and share your passion to foreign languages. I just started (2 weeks ago) italian using Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur. I trying hard. My goal is: be at least advanced in italian :) I also want learn near future korean, chinese mandarin and french.
About korean. You used ‘Lets Speak Korean’ from internet (youtube) ?

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Fri, July 30, 2010 - 4:11 pm EST

Hello, Marcin!

Thank you very much for your message. Your language choices are ambitious!

No, I did NOT use “Let’s Speak Korean”; I didn’t know about it until I read your post. I am very glad to have the tip. In fact, I am watching it right now - wish I had seen it back when I was trying to learn the language. It seems as though it would have been useful! It is not so easy to find good materials for Korean…


Post a Comment