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About

OptiLingo is a site devoted to the optimal way to learn languages, hence our name. Of course, we are not alone in this area. There are tons of people looking to learn languages, and few of them want the slow, inefficient way. How we got here is what makes us a bit unique.

OptiLingo is the brain child of me, Jonty Yamisha. I am an ethnic Circassian, and I speak the Kabardian dialect of that language.... except I didn't always. My parents came to the United States as refugees and worked hard to ensure I had a solid education. This meant a heavy emphasis on academics and English. As a child, aside from English, I was exposed to many different languages, including: Circassian, Arabic, Turkish, Russian, Hebrew and German. Growing up, however, I spoke none of these.

At the tender age of 31, I decided to learn my ethnic language. I just had a few problems:

  • I'd never been to any country where Circassian was spoken
  • Circassian is a poorly documented language
  • There are limited books, magazines, radio or videos
  • Circassian is an endangered language, and may disappear some day
Oh, did I happen to leave out that the few materials that exist on Circassian are written in Russian, Turkish or Arabic? I should also point out that the language has 56 letters, with sounds that don't exist in any other spoken language on the planet.

  I felt overwhelmed. I didn't know where to start, and I was worried I'd have to learn an intermediate language (Russian, Turkish or Arabic) in order to achieve my goal. (Don't get me wrong. Today, I love these languages, and speak all three of them to varying degrees, but it's tough when there's a big barrier to the real goal at hand.)

Today, I'm just about fluent in Circassian. I won't get into how I accomplished this, but this is what motivated me to understand the optimal path to learning a language. During the course of my efforts, I eventually started a non-profit foundation for the Circassian language, and over the past decade or so, I've taught over 500 people how to speak Circassian. I've written my own teaching materials, and they've been translated into several different languages.

In order to get there, I've purchased and used every commercial language learning program on the market. I'm not kidding here. You name it, I've tried it. Some of these programs helped me to develop my own Circassian language teaching materials. Several inspired me to take bits and pieces of different programs to create the "best of the best". Sadly, most were just a waste of time.

I have my own views on learning languages; I won't get into them here, but you can read about them on our blog. I still believe that there is a "perfect program" yet to be created... perhaps it'll grow out of my Circassian language teaching documents. For the time being, however, I truly believe that the Assimil method is the best and most efficient way to learn a new language. By the way, I'm not alone. There are no shortage of positive reviews on the Assimil method.

The sad thing about Assimil is that they haven't really done a great job marketing themselves in the US. As you may have seen from my link above, the Assimil corporate web site doesn't even provide an option for English speakers.

For consumers, it's even worse. Not all of Assimil's language programs are available in the US, and when they are, availability is spotty, and price can be out of control. I've personally spent several hundred dollars on hard to find languages in their catalog.

Fortunately, you don't have to. OptiLingo has a direct relationship to sell all of the English language Assimil products, and because we are a direct seller, you don't have to pay markups from all the middle men.

Put simply, OptiLingo is the only place where you can find all of Assimil's language programs for English speakers, and we offer the best price available in the United States. Sorry if that was a bit long, but I hope it was at least interesting. Thanks for stopping by, and don't be shy to contact us if you'd like to get in touch.

Jonty Yamisha


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