November 5, 2007

Learning The Language

I love languages. My list isn't as long as many of my friends who grew up speaking three languages and then studied three more in school, but I have picked up a few. I studied German in elementary school, French in high school, and Spanish in college. I try to study the language of every country we visit for a few months leading up to the trip, however this usually results in just a few key phrases and if I'm lucky the ability to count and order dinner in a restaurant. When we visited Morocco I was lucky if I came anywhere close to correctly pronouncing the 5 words of Arabic that I managed to remember and was very thankful that French is also a widely spoken language in the country. In Italy, however, I was able to participate in conversations and understand most of what was being spoken around me. Languages are incredibly exciting to me and I love learning them, even if it is just a word or two.

So, when we began this process I fully intended to learn as much Amharic as possible. I bought the Amharic phrasebook published by Lonely Planet however haven't been able to find many other resources. A DVD would be fantastic as it's always more helpful for me to hear the words, say them, repeat them, and practice them than just read them in a book and hope that I'm interpreting the pronunciation rules correctly. I'm going to look on craigslist for an Amharic tutor who might be able to help me out for an hour here and there (I love NYC!) but would love to learn about any books, CD's, DVD's, etc... that any of you know of and would recommend. Any ideas?


Jill said... should read the post I just put on my blog...seems like we think alike!! I made up flash cards (using the same Lonely Planet phrasebook) and they are an incredible help. I did see somewhere I was looking that they have a couple of kid's Amharic DVDs. They looked a little low-budget so I didn't order any, thinking Amari might not be interested. But I'm reconsidering...a preschool videos that teached numbers and colors and such would be perfect for me! I'll give you the link if I can find it again.

Jill said...

Found it...and you can watch a preview! It is actaully kinda cute and the language is BEAUTIFUL. It was amazing to listen to it for the first time!

Gamma! said... I bought the Lonely Planet Amharic and it looks really impressive on my end table :) Flashcards sounds great (Bean's neice and nephews could get into that too!)and a child's DVD sounds like just what I need while I'm on my treadmill. Nothing is too much to ask when it comes to a new grandchild! I love you Baby Bean, Gamma

Gamma! said...

Oops! That's COUSINS to Baby Bean! Guess I haven't had enough coffee yet this morning! Gamma

Sahara said...

Thanks for writing this.