It's funny how certain things can push my buttons. I recently decided to learn some Italian, and was in search of materials. I have studied Spanish in prior times and years with a wide range of books, CDs, and programs. My familiarity with language acquisition was both an asset and a liability. I know what it takes to gain mastery of anything, especially a foreign tongue.
As they say, "ignorance is bliss," well anything worth learning takes work and effort. The truth is, I spent many hours working on my Spanish to gain even a small modicum of proficiency.
With that in mind I went searching online for Italian resources. When I saw the number of websites, sales pitches, and various offerings it was staggering. I have an eye and mind for picking things apart.
One program was called, Learning Italian Like Crazy. http://www.learningitalianlikecrazy.com
It appeared interesting, so I read their materials.
These are the first problems I saw:
1. It starts with a picture of a fairly young woman (could she be more than 30 or 35 years old), Giovanna, who states that she has been a "linguist" for 20 years, and teaching for the same period of time professionally and at the University level. The advertisement gives the impression that this is "her" course, ie. that she developed it. She even gives the Guarantee. She invites you (in the materials) to get a coffee with her in Naples, Italy.
2. Inconsistency one, the people in back of this course, see "about us" on their website are "men."
Founded by Patrick Johnson in 2004, then Joel Contreras (president and chief executive officer) joins in 2005, and they are based in NYC, NY. No mention of "Giovanni" at all being involved in the course development. Does she have a last name? None mentioned. Naples, Italy?
Compare this to a Spanish course I took called, Spanish Power.
I spent mucho dinero with their many programs, and it was all worth it. It is an incredible course and resource. They are upfront about everything. The founder is from Puerto Rico, and his materials are excellent.
3. Inconsistency two, they offer the Italian Foreign Service Institute Materials as a bonus gift.
From their materials:
I don’t know how long they are going to let me offer it, but it is safe to say that if you are reading these words, it is still available Free.
I have a problem because these materials along with many other foreign service language programs are all in the Public Domain for FREE. You don't need anyone to offer them to you or gift them to you. Public domain means that they are free to use and share, the copyright period has ended. Does she mean the federal government (they) giving her permission to offer these materials?
My disclaimer: I believe that they may have a fantastic language program. What they offer on their site appears to be well organized. The various topics are inclusive and in all the relevant areas of language learning. Grammar is very important and it appears they offer a strong foundation in the verb tenses and conjugations. They may be the best thing since sliced bread (an old reference to great things) but they are not being genuine in my opinion on their site or offerings. Again, I can't get beyond these types of things. This is purely my opinion.
I think the majority of people have issues with just about anything, if they find a "chink" in the armor, so to speak. If you are not being upfront about one thing, well they think to themselves, what else?
What does all this have to do with personal injury law. I believe that Credibility is everything in injury law.
People want real. Juries are people. They want consistent. They want the truth, warts and all. Half the truth is not the truth. Feeding me, telling me that this is yours, or that this is steak when it's a hamburger is never going to "help" you win me over. If you have injuries from an accident? they will need to be proven. They will need to be shown, documented, and demonstrated.
The Four C's: Compensation = Completely Communicated Consistent Credibility
Compensation in any PI case is related to the "seriousness" of your injuries. The impact of those injuries upon your life needs to be completely communicated. There has to be Credibility in your story, in your injuries, and in the true damages to you as a person. This consistency of links, from accident to injuries, to diagnosis to treatment to impact must all align. This is not something to be taken lightly.
I believe the big win is in showing it all to a jury. As they say, people will make an informed decision, with both sides revealed. This allows people to make a truly fair, just, and complete decision based in reality.
This credibility applies not just to those offering foreign language programs online but to those with personal injury cases as well.
Lawrence Newman, D.C., Esq.
504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850