Discussion in 'Language Resources' started by Bjorn, Oct 13, 2014.
So what do people think about glossika.com?
Anyone tried a Glossika course?
Basically another polyglot seeking to commercialize his/her knowledge (not necessarily bad). There is a multi-year thread on HTLAL discussing his method, and later these courses for sale: Glossika Polyglot: Sentence Method. Basically it is 10K sentences/AJATT with an audio component type of method. There seems to actually be 3000 sentences read by a native speaker per course, and it is touted as a supplement to language learning, rather than a complete method.
The question is how useful are the majority of the sentences? Even if highly useful and conversational, it basically seems to be an audio phrase-book, to be played over and over via the SRS algorithm. That is not necessarily bad, but I would bet its utility is more for a beginner stage. So probably a monolingual Pimsleur type of product, though I am not sure how many non-repetitive L2 sentences one gets in 3 levels of Pimsleur if one cut out all the English.
Note that with the usual caveats regarding online crowd-sourced offerings and accuracy of same, you can lots of sentences for free on tatoeba.com, although a minority of the sentences there seem to have audio.
I vaguely remember him doing a video where he pulled out many books, one at a time, stating how many sentences each had, and people's reactions to said video - awe. Never understood it, but thanks Peregrinus for that summary.
I watched that video too. It seems to have disappeared now that he has "branded" himself and has a product to sell, so he apparently deleted his old youtube account and started a new one. I think he basically made a recording in his own voice of thousands of sentences in L2, then shadowed them while slowly increasing the speed of playback. Thus in a week's time he would listen to and repeat thousands and thousands of L2 sentences. At least with his product it appears native speakers are used for the L2s.
Apparently youtube did it for him. There have been threads about it in several different places. Wild speculation as to why it was deleted with no warning, but that's what he says happened,
I don't have a youtube account so I am not familiar with their TOS. Perhaps he had multiple accounts and they don't allow same. However it is a pretty big coincidence if he doesn't have backups to reupload to his new account/channel, and that it might better fit his current business model not to have old videos out there explaining how to mine and record sentences yourself for free rather than buy them from him now. It doesn't really matter though either way, as the question is both whether his products are worthwhile for the money, and whether one can create them for free.
One of his products (Italian) is available where you know.
It's the most boring thing I have ever heard, definitively not for me.
The website doesn't fill me with hope. Leaving the marketing hyperbole to one side (everyone does it these days), I had a quick look at the sample - the whole problem of male vs female speaker pops up, and the solution of writing the male version and bracketing the female seems really lazy in a digital product. But two versions would require two speakers, and he clearly only had enough cash to hire one for each language.
Worse, though - he includes IPA as well as the transcription, and (in Spanish at least) he gets it wrong. Note the Ds. any initial D is transcribed [d] and any non-initial one is transcribed [ð]. There are two problems with this: first, the distinction in Spanish is between non-intervocalic and intervocalic Ds, not initial and non-initial. Mike's transcription puts the eth in words like "advertió" where no-one would pronounce it that way. Second, this distinction is only made in certain accents, and the native speaker on the course pronounces everything as [d].
That's also what I've noted in the russian audio that I've listened: a lot of verbs at the past tense and the adjectives are at the female form, because the speaker is a young lady (the accent is really good and the voice very clear, btw). If you're a man, it's a little problem. Nothing deadly but it's better to know it before buying.
I'm planning to try it out (Russian) for the next week or two. It seems you listen to (up to) 50 new sentences each day, then use them for dictation, then record yourself saying them. You first listen back to the recordings from the previous 4 days, then translate English to Russian with a check, then re-record them. So that's 250 sentences each day. That might take up a lot of time, plus you're supposed to study other materials as well.
I'm refreshing my knowledge, as I haven't actively spoken much Russian for a couple of years. It says it's aimed at A2-B2 level. I (just) passed a B2 level test about 7 years ago. I'm planning on just using the Russian language recording and skipping the translation part and the IPA transcription.
I'll let you know how I get on after a week or so (if I have time after recording 250 sentences each day...).
They also have a 'less time-consuming" set of daily spaced-repetition mp3s, which are supposed to be more like Pimsleur, but seems a lot more rapid, random and unstructured.
Thanks for the info pained, and welcome to the forum дружище!
So, I've just finished a week of using Glossika, building up to recording 250 sentences each day. I decided to try it to bring my spoken fluency up - after not practising for a long time. On it's own, it's not enough, though. I'm planning to start a review of my grammar using something like Colloquial Russian 2. [Any suggestions welcome, BTW, but I'll write a post somewhere else about that...] Then, to actually learn something new, I'm planning on using the great subtitles from Big Dog to watch the first series of Kukhnya.
There are two sets of files to use with the pdf book:
1) "Mass Sentence" - I'm using this one - where you review 4 files of 50 sentences and do 1 new file each day. The sentences are linked loosely. You can see grammar patterns being practised (almost drilled), and even parts of dialogues. But often a question and response is strangely broken over two files.
There are 3 audio files: Source and Target (English/Russian), Source/Space for translation/Target, and Target only (Russian only).
2) "Mass Repetition" - bigger files, spaced repetition of the mass sentence material, but in a much more disconnected order. Not sure this one would work for me.
Currently it takes me a little over an hour to do the work for one day, depending on how distracted I get. And it does become a little repetitive, so I get easily distracted.
I already know almost all the vocabulary I've come across, but that's OK. Because of this, I'm short-cutting the full method they suggest - which includes listening and translating. Instead I'm using the Russian-only files, reviewing and recording myself reading the last 4 files and using the day's new file as dictation practice, before recording myself.
As a review, it's OK and I think it makes sense, but maybe a little slow. You'll need some other practice as well to speak well. Actually, the biggest benefit I've got out of it is simply recording myself for the first time in Russian. I can hear that I make too many hard /t/ and /d/ sounds into soft sounds, and have started consciously working on that. I also found a couple of embarrassing spelling mistakes in my dictation! But there is plenty of other material you could do this with.
If you're using Glossika to learn a new language it would probably double the study time or more. On top of this, you'd still need other study materials to make good progress. However, I might still try it for my next new language later in 2015. (I'm thinking about buying the Glossika Polish now at a reduced price before it has been completed.)
Conclusion - I can see the value in "training the muscle" and the standard sentences, but it can be repetitive, and there are other materials you could do the same with which might be more interesting, but more work.
Excellent review pained - thanks!
pained: thank you for the excellent review.
I have bought Glossika German and will try it out sometime next year.
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