Foreign Service language courses—for free


24 Responses to “Foreign Service language courses—for free”

  1. cacarr says:

    There’s almost no Japanese material available. Odd.

    • Jonathan Badger says:

      Hey, it’s an example of how what’s dated comes around. During most of the Cold War (the era of most of these FSI courses) it was assumed that the Chinese were the Asians that mattered. Briefly during the cyberpunk era we thought some minor island nation was cool, but they petered out and again the Chinese are the relevant Asians.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve seen the Spanish FSI course, it’s college level. This is not tourist Spanish.

  3. Euryale says:

    Oh, this is awesome. I’ve been looking for a good, free way to continue learning the Russian I started studying in college, but had to abandon.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Someone needs to introduce these people to torrents.

  5. SamSam says:

    When they post them again, seed them as torrents, folks!

    Really, the FSI should seed them themselves, as someone suggested on LifeHacker.

  6. Dewi Morgan says:

    Yeah. They at least have a good fast connection: I’m getting a few hundred k a second here. they also haven’t limited it to 2 downloads at a time: I’m getting about 8 at a time.

  7. IronEdithKidd says:

    Sweet! Time to get back to my Russian studies, and on the cheap to boot. I can finally learn some Japanese, too.

    If you’re finding the French lessons to be inadequate, try French in Action. It’s horribly dated, but it totally works. I learned more in 2 semesters with that program than I did in 4 years in high school. Oh, and everything I know about English grammar, I learned in French class.

  8. Anonymous says:

    … but I thought the USG used Rosetta Stone ;D

  9. TProud says:

    WOW will my family be excited by this! Time to brush up on my German

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Spanish is very useful how to properly greet military personnel.

  11. yoshiboshi says:

    No way!! I’m super excited and motivated to study Japanese and French now. Thanks, BB!!

  12. Dewi Morgan says:

    Excellent: having recently moved to Texas, I’ve been feeling like I’ve a responsibility to learn Spanish. I might give this a whirl! :)

  13. dmer says:

    While the language learning part is pleasing, there are some hilariously dated bits of scenario like the following from the Basic Spanish listed in the TOC as “White’s arrival in Surlandia”

    “John White, an American arriving for the first time in Surlandia, a country south of the United States, has been met at the airport…”
    Gotta watch for those native in Surlandia – they’re a surly bunch! John White indeed, wasn’t he a character in a Crumb comic too?

  14. MelSkunk says:

    Woot! I’m working on my German, anything is a help :)

  15. vettekaas says:

    I once watched a Japanese language learning video that featured a white guy named “Waito-san” and and black guy named “Buraku-san”

    Looks like this will be a great resource!

  16. Hans says:

    *Sigh* If only there were an internet transfer protocol which would allow the sharing of material in a manner which scaled with the number of users. Some way of transferring the bits of data in a veritable torrent of information.

    It is really cool, and I am going to be using it as soon as I can. It does illustrate a missed opportunity great (and perfectly legal) use of peer to peer networks. I wouldn’t dare use it at work, however, even if they were available as torrents, since the presumption would be I was doing something illegal.


    • KeithIrwin says:

      I use my personal laptop at work for using Skype because I have problems with the sound drivers on my work machine. One time I accidentally forgot to stop a legal torrent download when I came in to work. They sent someone up to the wiring cabinet to physically yank my connection in the middle of my conference call. The person then told me that BitTorrent was a security risk because they might be downloading files off of my computer. I had really hoped that we might get past the reflexive “p2p = bad” at some point, but we’re clearly not there yet.

  17. Mecharius says:

    Thanks for posting this! We’ll be passing it on to the patrons at our library.

  18. Nadreck says:

    Vere are your nuclear wessels?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know of a good online resource for teaching languages to your toddler?

  20. Felton says:

    Thanks! This is excellent. I need to brush up on my Italian, and learn as much French and German as I can. Hope I can try these out soon.

  21. Anonymous says:

    A bittorrent mirror would be a good idea for these. Public domain ftw.

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