Until earlier today, I had a little footnote on my main page saying that I’d never gotten anything in exchange for blogging about it. This is a pretty common practice amongst bloggers — to receive something (for free, or for reduced cost) in exchange for reviewing a product or experience. I don’t have anything against the practice, I’d just never been asked to do something like that, and I wanted to be very clear that all of my opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Well, my opinions are still my own, but I had to delete that little disclaimer, because I was just recently asked to review a product in exchange for receiving it for free. Yesterday, we received a free copy of Dino Lingo’s language learning materials for kids. I’m pretty excited about it, and so are the boys. (I still promise to be entirely honest about our experience with it, even though we got it for free.)
We had a choice of languages and opted … for Russian. After discussing it with Kathryn from Dino Lingo, we decided to go with something we had no background in at all. (The program is meant for true beginners, so the boys have enough German, and probably enough Spanish, to be a bit too advanced to get a good sense for how well the program works for beginners.) I wanted to choose something that we didn’t already know but which we might get some use out of here or in our travels. Russian is the language the kids most wish they spoke a little of on the playground — we often meet Russian speaking children and can’t communicate with them at all. I thought maybe this way, we could learn a little and actually use it.
Anyway, I’ll write a real review of the product and our experience with it after we’ve had a chance to use it for more than a day. But I will say that the boys are already having a great time with it … and we’re all learning something. I think we’ve watched the first DVD through 5 or 6 times already, and the boys have having fun practicing their colors, numbers and animals (we’ve been pleasantly surprised to find out that there is a bit of overlap between German and Russian, and even between English and Russian — I feel like “giraffe” and “zebra” end up the same in almost every language). We went to bed last night all repeating one new phrase over and over again — “Привет кошка” (sounds like “Privet koshka”) — which basically means, “Hi, cat!” It’s not much, but it’s more Russian than I could speak this time yesterday (and it’s more than I knew how to say in German when I first moved here)!