NEW YORK, June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The USO and Pimsleur® Language Programs, in partnership with The Boston Foundation, are proud to announce FREE AFGHAN LANGUAGE PROGRAMS, an initiative to eliminate language barriers for U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan.
Troops arriving or stationed in Afghanistan are now tasked with the responsibility of training and helping local communities stabilize on their own as sovereignty is slowly transitioned to the Afghani people. FREE AFGHAN LANGUAGE PROGRAMS is designed to assist troops in learning the local languages spoken—Pashto and Dari—and further day-to-day communications with the Afghani population.
"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 use every day with astonished Afghans. 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 warning points," says Philip Martin, 1st Special Forces Group, 1st Battalion.
Pimsleur's portable audio programs are easily downloadable for use in the field or on a base. With upgraded download capabilities, troops are now able to access entire Pashto and Dari language courses as mp3s in just one click from the USO website. Every new deployment pack will have a postcard with the easy-access instructions to download one or all of the language courses. Pimsleur is currently offering two levels in Pashto and one level in Dari, with a second Dari level coming in early 2013.
"Providing our troops with the tools they need to understand the culture and language of the region where they serve allows them to do their jobs even better," said Steve Missimer, Vice President of Programs at the USO. "Supporting our service men and women, wherever they are, is at the core of what the USO does, so we are proud to be a part of this effort."
Robert Paris Riger, Vice President & Director Pimsleur Language Programs added, "Pimsleur is genuinely excited to be working with the USO to ensure that our Pashto and Dari Language Programs reach the soldiers in Afghanistan free of charge. Navigating the various Afghan social and political groups requires skill in speaking the local language. As Nelson Mandela said: 'If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.'"
The FREE AFGHAN LANGUAGE PROGRAMS were made possible through donations from Omar Khudari, a Boston-area philanthropist, who had a dream of giving U.S. troops the ability to communicate directly and easily with the civilian population in Afghanistan. As an avid user of Pimsleur language programs, Khudari's vision led him to fund the project, now known as FREE AFGHAN LANGUAGE PROGRAMS. His generous donation to The Boston Foundation allowed Pimsleur® to develop audio-based the language training courses in Pashto and Dari.
"There is no better gesture of respect and good will you can make in a foreign land than speaking the local language. I have been hearing for some time about the military's desire to improve its language training in order to 'win hearts and minds' in Afghanistan. It occurred to me that Pimsleur courses in Pashto and Dari would be an obvious solution. I am very excited to be able to help get these courses to our troops sooner rather than later," says Omar Khudari, Project Philanthropist, Entrepreneur.
Available in over 60 languages, Pimsleur® courses have been at the forefront of audio foreign language instruction for over 45 years. To learn more about this partnership, visit http://pages.pimsleur.com/uso.
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
Pimsleur is the ultimate authority in spoken language learning. Pimsleur's Comprehensive Programs are the most effective and complete language-learning programs ever developed. The groundbreaking programs utilize proven methods of learning based on extensive research of how people master languages. The Pimsleur Method is a unique patented method developed by Dr. Paul Pimsleur that reinvents natural language acquisition by allowing program users to learn a language the way native speakers do, with exposure to vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation all at once, in everyday conversations. Pimsleur's audio-only programs are the ultimate in portable learning. They can be listened to anytime, anywhere. Pimsleur is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Pimsleur® is a registered trademark of Beverly Pimsleur, used by Simon & Schuster under exclusive license.
Simon & Schuster Audio is a leading publisher of general interest audiobooks including bestselling fiction, nonfiction, business/finance, self-improvement, inspiration, language learning programs, original audiobook productions, and children's titles. In addition to a list that includes such unparalleled authors as Ernest Hemingway, David McCullough, Stephen King, Phillip McGraw, and Mary Higgins Clark, Simon & Schuster Audio has produced audiobooks that have won six Grammy Awards and earned twenty-eight Grammy nominations since 1989. For more information about Simon & Schuster Audio, visit our website at www.simonandschuster.com.
ABOUT THE USO
The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America's troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.
The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers and donors. In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President's Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, Clear Channel, Kangaroo Express, Kroger, Lowe's, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble, and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Lockheed Martin, and Microsoft Corporation. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.
ABOUT THE BOSTON FOUNDATION
The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston's community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with assets of $682 million. In Fiscal Year 2009, the Foundation and its donors made more than $95 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $81 million. The Foundation is made up of some 900 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives designed to address the community's and region's most pressing challenges. For more information about the Boston Foundation, visit www.tbf.org