Pashto Phase 1, Unit 01-05
Learn to Speak and Understand Pashto with Pimsleur Language Programs
This Edition: MP3
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Includes 5 lessons (150 minutes) as MP3 download, plus PDF user's guide
The Pimsleur® Method: the easiest, fastest way to learn a new language. Completely portable, easily downloadable, an d lots of fun. You’ll be speaking and understanding in no time flat! Each lesson in Pashto Phase 1, Units 1-5 provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation, and new vocabulary and structures. Detailed instructions enable you to understand and participate in the conversation. Each lesson contains practice for vocabulary introduced in previous lessons. The emphasis is on pronunciation and comprehension, and on learning to speak Pashto.
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Comments about Pashto Phase 1, Unit 01-05:
This is my second time to eastern Afghanistan. I really wish this was around the first time I was here. I've completed Units 1 and 2 and had to repeat them a few times because I wanted to make sure I had it right and with instinctive response. This is not an easy language. I have used Pimsleur with several other languages – all of which resulted in surprising success. This one is no different. It is absolutely astonishing at how well received the efforts are at learning Pashto by the Afghans. Even though you can't have in-depth conversations in Pashto you are still treated as if you know it fluently. Every time you start talking and you say "I only know a little", they still keep you in the conversation as if you understand what's going on. Almost like they don't want to accept that you only know a little and you're probably just being modest. Mostly the Afghans find it incredibly amusing and before you know it you were just talking to one of them - then there are ten of them. Then the entire COP knows that you speak 'a little' Pashto and you're respectfully pointed out by all of the workers regularly. I don't know if that's just a response from over 10 years of our presence with few foreigners learning their languages. They never forget either. I only used Pashto the first month while working with the locals for re-building and re-designing, and now a month later they still stop to talk with me. I think it's incredible because Units 1-2 don't get into too much detail in the language. It definitely builds a solid base to start from and learn more with ease, but with the help of the Afghans giving constant help in Pashto it's hard not to pick up more when you get here. So in short, highly recommend to all deployed service members working closely with the Afghans. This will serve you tremendously well and although you won't be fluent - you will still be far better than not taking any of these lessons. Again, I really wish this was around at the beginning of the conflict. We might have done better with the people if more soldiers took this program and applied it. I'm very happy with the results and only wish I had more time to speak with the Afghans. They say language is the key to culture – with the Afghans that's definitely the case. This opens up doors that those who don't try to interact don't enter.
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Comments about Pashto Phase 1, Unit 01-05:
I am a soldier stationed in Pashtun Afghanistan. With this awesome product I have built a solid foundation in the Pashto language in just two months, which I successfully use every day with astonished Afghans.
Just a little about my language-learning background. I have learned multiple languages by various methods (classroom, total immersion, etc.) and have attended the Defense Language Institue.
The Pimsleur instruction technique is perfect for a motivated and disciplined autodidact who doesn't mind repetition.
Hearing the words, phrases, sentences and dialogs from the mouths of native speakers is invaluable. Even if the student doesn't mimic well, it atunes the ear.
Some of the cultural points are extremely useful, such as which subjects are best avoided in casual conversation. As various forms of ignorant speech can do a great deal of trouble in all cultures, it's very good that the lessons include these warnings/points.
Here and there the lessons use a more formal Dari/Farsi diction or uncommonly formal grammar that natives find entertaining, but this is hardly unusual in the business of learning a foreign language. Again, it's easily overlooked by native speakers and doesn't impede communication or connection. There are numerous instances in the lessons when the English-speaking guide acknowledges this.
The accent/dialect of the speakers in both Pashto I and II is that of the East/North East, which is often described as "harsher". However, I have interacted with speakers of the "softer" southern, i.e., Kandahar dialect, without problems. Most of them just laugh, immediately overlooking the different accent, and ask where I learned Pashto, intrigued that I know any at all.
One more note on the accent. Some of the sounds in Pashto are tough for us English speakers, specifically the velar and uvular fricatives (like the "Scottish Loch" and "French Guttural R") and the retroflex (tonguetip flipped upside down) t's, d's and n's . Keep at these though, taking full advantage of the lessons' native speakers (you'll even hear slight variations in their accents). The reason I bring this up is that these sounds are extremely common and remarkably distinct to native speakers.
The reading lessons are good. The Arabic script, in my opinion, is a little tricky, and requires slightly more work than other alphabets. I recommend learning it either in conjunction with speaking/listening or after, but not before.
I strongly recommend this product to anyone who wants to learn Pashto. Doing the 30 minutes a day in your free time requires a substantial amount of discipline, but the sense of accomplishment after each lesson and the rewards of successfully communicating with native speakers far outweigh any pains.
I am extremely happy with my purchase and look forward to learning more languages with Pimsleur.