Learning Hawaiian

While in Hilo last time, I decided to buy an 8 CD course of Hawaiian. It promised to be full immersion, so I decided to put it in the car CD changer and devote time to it on my way to work.

After a funny incident at the beginning, when I put in CD 6 after CD 1 and almost died of language shock (that’s what you get for being smug!), things are progressing well. The amount of time I spend with the course is not sufficient to learn the vocabulary, and it’s sometimes hard to really hear the exact spelling of words, but otherwise it’s helping me a lot.

One odd thing, though: the course starts with the two hosts telling a story. You have neither the vocabulary nor the grammar skills necessary to understand the story itself when you hear it. Instead, the hosts first talk through the story, then explain the words and grammar. They will tell the story twice in a row at the very beginning.

Now, if you don’t yet know what to do with the text, why wouldn’t they read it once at the beginning and a second time at the end? Of course you can go back to the beginning, but it seems a hard to follow logic to first taunt you with content you are not even supposed to know, then to explain every word, and finally to move on to the next lesson.

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