Being born partially deaf left me with mega issues. It isn’t noticeable, I just make up for the words I can’t figure out how to say by having a larger vocabulary and I became proficient in the art of reading a pronunciation guide in the dictionary. But I don’t usually understand accents. Heavy accents are hard for me. Once I’m around it enough I can figure out what’s being said but for the first few hours I’m completely lost.
Because of this, I’m learning languages a lot slower than what the timeline was meant to be. Instead of one thirty minute lesson per day with Pimsleur, I do about one per week. But I listen to that lesson multiple times until I’ve grasped the words. My best friends pick them up pretty quickly and usually listen to them with me the last day of that lesson. It gives me a good chance to make sure what I’m saying matches the speaker since I don’t differentiate between sounds very well. If I’m having trouble in the middle of a lesson when no one is around, I turn my cars speakers up as loud as they go (I’m pretending they weren’t already like that to let me catch everything being said lol) and I call my mom to see if she can translate over the phone. If she can’t then I stop by her house on my way home from work and read her lips as she repeats it so I can figure out how to form the words properly.
I’m telling you all this not because I want you to feel sorry for me or picture me with a hearing disability (most people don’t realize I have one in person) but because I want you to understand and know that if you were born with hearing problems, you CAN learn a new language. And Pimsleurs language program is the perfect way to do it.
I’ve tried other programs but they were really hard to understand. Pimsleurs program is very repetitive and uses the words in a multitude of different ways to make sure you learn it. This isn’t memorizing, it’s truly learning. They have each lesson spaced out to be about thirty minutes each and they go over previous lesson material a lot in later courses. They also offer a learning guide you can download from their website but I chose to not download it. I rely on reading a lot and wouldn’t have paid enough attention to the way each word was said if I had opted to download the reading material.
I love that it’s in CD form because I have a long drive to and from work each day so I listen to it in the car. That guarantees I’ll pay attention and not get distracted by my cell phone or a million other things that call my name when I’m at home. I tried playing it in my laptop once but then I smelled bacon and got hungry. I’m so easily distracted.
The only thing I’m not crazy about is the amount of time you have to reply. I know the words I need to say but by the time I say them in my head so I can remember how to form them with my mouth, I’m out of time. I understand that the response time is short because it’s encouraging you to answer without thinking but for someone that has to think of each word before speaking or she stutters, it can be unbelievably frustrating. Speech therapy taught me to picture forming the words before speaking and its really hard to get out of that habit. The good news is that the accent in my head is perfect!
You can purchase the Pimsleur Language Program straight from Amazon. It has some pretty amazing reviews and multiple languages offered. The German is the hardest one for me so farm because the language is so guttural but I’m picking up on it, slowly but surely.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.