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Pimsleur Language Programs


"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood." - Marie Curie

I have some good news and some bad news. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: if you are going to really get to grips with a language beyond the basics, you need to understand at least some grammar. Sorry, but there it is. Some people protest that you can learn a language just by being exposed to it, without having to learn the rules. This may be true, but the likelihood is that you will not have sufficient exposure to make a difference unless you go and live in a country where the language is spoken. Unless you can do that, the only way you are really going to make progress is to study and understand the grammar of your own language, and see how this compares with the grammar of the language you are learning.

The good news is that grammar is not really that difficult. Ok, there are some big words to get your head round, and quite a few rules, but if you are willing to put some effort into thinking about their practical application, it does all make sense. You just need to be realistic: it takes a few years to really get to grips with a language.

Many language courses assume you are already familiar with grammar in your own language. Reference books, whilst enumerating the rules, don’t always explain what they mean. The result of this is that people tend to gloss over grammar when learning a new language, and this makes the whole process a lot more difficult. A little extra effort to learn about grammar early on will make life a lot easier later on. Although it might seem like a lot to remember, you will find that with practice it just becomes second-nature, and you won’t even have to think about it.

Ok, pep talk over.