July 17, 2009 | Russian

Free Stuff!

Language-learning resources you don't have to pay for.

Today I discovered the miracle of eAudiobooks from NetLibrary, which is in turn available to me through the New York Public Library and, I believe, is offered by many other libraries as well.

Lion, Pigeon Guard Main Library

Russian Movies You Can Borrow

I was able to get Pimsleur Level I, all 30 lessons, which is the product I have decided is by far the most helpful to me of available resources I’ve tried to date. (Sample a free trial lesson at

The dollar value of all the stuff I can get from the library is amazing. Currently it costs $345 to buy the Level I CDs from Pimsleur. I paid a total of $0. Not to say there wasn’t some frustration involved. After all, eAudiobooks means technology, and the library, while lovely, is large and bureaucratic. Technology and bureaucracy are not on my list of favorite things.

I find Pimsleur especially effective when I curl up into a kind of fetal position, preferably in the dark. That’s how I spent a lot of today. It’s as though I’m returning to that early childhood stage of language learning where kids are actually good at it. I’m not so good at it now, that’s for sure. I alternate frequently between thinking I can absorb it without even trying hard (my attitude on the morning of July 1) and feeling as though I have no skills whatsoever.

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