Link Love for LanguagePods

11 Jun 2008

I finally finished my masters, but I don’t find myself with lots of extra time for blogging. Why? Because we’re doing so much at work lately. So rather than working on my blog, it’s time for blogging on my work:

  • FrenchPod. I never planned to learn French in this lifetime (“international language has-been,” I say!), but being involved with FrenchPod, I have gotten sucked in. The FrenchPod Four make a great team, and they’re producing engaging, fun lessons. Check out Can you take a picture? (MP3) for a great sample of the power of creative dialogue in the proper audio context.

    I have to say, though, that French is the only other language besides Chinese that has absolutely confounded me with pronunciation. Just as Chinese has its tones, French has its vowels. (Well, I did manage to tame those tones, and some might even say they’re harder than French vowels…) Anyway, I’m getting a lot more exposure to French than I ever have before; the FrenchPod team sits right behind me at work.

  • ItalianPod. It’s the newest, youngest, smallest LanguagePod from Praxis yet, and it is really impressive. Marco has been livening up the office with his Italian antics for months, but it’s great to see him pouring his energies into lessons, now that Catherine is also here. Be sure to listen to You need a girlfriend (MP3), which gives the French some good competition in the romance department.

    Italian has never been high on my list of languages to learn, but after being exposed to downright unhealthy amounts of Italian at work (they really don’t care if you understand them or not), this whole “speaking Italian” thing is looking like a lot of fun (even without factoring in Italian Spiderman!).

  • ChinesePod Olympics. If you’re interested in that whole “Beijing 2008” sporting event coming up, this cool mini-site has the language you need covered. The design is very slick, totally separate from the rest of the site. Co-worker Clay did an awesome job designing it. My favorite part: the Olympic Beijing map. Click around!
  • JennyZhu.com. This one isn’t directly related to what I do at work, but the biggest star of our company has started a blog and is all of a sudden blogging regularly. Jenny is a joy to work with and a really interesting person. There aren’t enough Chinese voices in the English-speaking China blogosphere, and Jenny’s is definitely one worth paying attention to.
  • Finally, in this work-saturated post, I have to give a shout out to ChinesePod (my roots), to SpanishPod (the original fiesta), and to Ken Carroll (our mentor and inspiration).

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    John Pasden

    John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. I gotta say, it’s cool to look back and remember the early days of Chinesepod and then at all of what Praxis has become. (I was on the saturday show once!)
    I’m curious though, why never a Japanesepod? I’m guessing it may have something to do with a certain japanesepod101, but even then, I’d still like to see it in praxis form. (Hey, I’d listen)

  2. “[U]nhealthy amounts of Italian at work (they really don’t care if you understand them or not).”

    Hahaha…

    Yesterday I tried to use a little of what I learned — “Dov’è el Alto?” (yeah, strange mixing of languages, but whatever) — and got a steady stream of Italian back… from Catherine! I did manage to make out “over there” eventually, though. 🙂

  3. […] language students who want to go beyond Beijing, Beijing, Beijing can find more here, including a link to an Olympics Chinese page. Let the language games begin! […]

  4. Erick Garcia Says: June 12, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    If Praxis did a Japanesepod, I’m sold!

  5. hitokiri6993 Says: June 12, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Praxis is hiring teachers for Japanesepod. I know that John graduated with a degree in Japanese, so he might be the lead teacher in Jappod, 對不對?

  6. Italian Pod! Brilliant. E’ importante per tutti gli stranieri e cinesi qui a Cina imparare una lingua cosi bella.

  7. There are plans for JapanesePod, but the time is not quite right.

    If you look at the top right corner of this website, you’ll see how long it’s been since I’ve been using Japanese regularly. I still speak it and understand it pretty well, but I won’t be a host for JapanesePod. I can tell if someone’s Japanese is good enough for the job, though!

  8. I’m waiting for ArabicPod and JapanesePod.

  9. Has-been…quoi?! Mais, non! French is the official language of at least 28 countries, the only language other than English that is spoken on five continents AND the second most frequently used language on the Internet (Christophe frequently reminds us on the FrenchPod team of these figures).

    So it’s a good thing that we are sitting behind you to turn you on to French, so that you can, at last, learn the second official language of the International Postal Service!

  10. Oh geez, Erica. You should know this by now: L’italiano è la lingua del futuro!

    John B: It’s called “immersion” and you know you love it!

    Anyway thanks for the positive feedback! I can’t wait until we get into some of our wackier ideas! Also I have to mention that we at ItalianPod are extremely impressed with how fast everyone is learning Italian!

  11. I’m looking forward to German and Arabic pod myself.

  12. Me, too, on the German and ArabicPod mention from Ryan. The recent release of the FrenchPod and ItalianPod seem to be a success, as far as I can tell from the other side of the world!

    I’ve been watching Sinosplice and Praxis for years now, since I was living in China myself. I know the dude behind a lot of the technical Web work (David L.) and have been getting little bits from him as well since he moved to Shanghai.

    All and all, I am pleasantly impressed with Praxis and your (John) involvement with the team seems to have greased the gears, so to speak. Excellent stuff!

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