Adventures in urban language-learning

September 1, 2015 |

On a Language-Review Bender

Old languages are bubbling, slithering, slinking around in there, and I want them to come out!

For the past months, my language life has continued unabated, on a daily basis, though undocumented here on this blog. I kind of fizzled out on Swedish, not really quite getting where I wanted to go, but it is not…

March 8, 2015 | Swedish

Big Apple Greeter Preparation

I have to brush up on Italian, so I'm reading Assimil's Lo Svedese!

After a winter hiatus, I am back to doing weekly Big Apple Greeter visits. What that means is I take tourists around New York through the Big Apple Greeter volunteer program. The goal is to show visitors a slice of…

February 17, 2015 | Swedish

A Definite Article Shocker

Swedish articles often show up in unexpected locations.

In my neighborhood last week, I auspiciously came across a new Swedish cafe, Fika, pictured here. At least I think it’s Swedish; I guess it could be pretend Swedish. Att fika in Swedish means “to have…

January 15, 2015 | Swedish

Swedish Pronunciation Tools

My pronunciation challenges with Dutch would have been addressed by all the web-based tools available to me today.

When I studied Dutch in 2012, I had a hard time figuring out how to pronounce things. And I am not a person who can read a text about or in a foreign language without knowing how to pronounce the foreign…

December 9, 2014 | Swedish

Duolingo Swedish Day

I finally return to a site people rave about.

For quite a while now, people I know have been going on about how great Duolingo is. I have been told multiple times how addictive it is and how much fun and bla bla bla. Well, that wasn’t my…

December 8, 2014 | Swedish

More Swedish Books Have Arrived!

I love when I get a package notice from the mailroom.

Today four more Swedish books arrived. Left to right are Get Started in Swedish, by Ivo Holmqvist (Teach Yourself); Essential Swedish Grammar by Julian Granberry (Dover); Swedish: Essentials of Grammar by Åke…

December 7, 2014 | Swedish

Swedish Time!

I am a week into Swedish and it is good.

Swedish has been in my life on a daily basis for a long time. Not the language—the genetic material. Brandt. Husband. My husband, Brandt, is of Swedish descent. He looks it, no? Swedish is a North Germanic language,…

November 29, 2014 | Persian

Language Loot, ACTFL

Sure enough, there were books as far as the eye could see.

A week has now passed since my return from ACTFL, the annual U.S. language conference for teachers of foreign languages. It was well worth the trip to San Antonio, Texas, even though most people there seemed perplexed (since I…

November 21, 2014 | Persian

ACTFL Language Conference!

I've just arrived in downtown San Antonio, which is overrun with marauding gangs of foreign-language teachers.

Over the past two months, I have spent a ton of time on language, but hardly any time writing about language. Oops. Blogs don’t really work if you don’t write. So anyway, I am back. En Route to…

September 18, 2014 | Persian

Yep, I’m an Idiot

In which my technological oblivion kicks me in the ass.

Tonight after months of frustration at the lack of sound in Persian courses on Memrise, I went to the Memrise Madness group on Facebook and expressed my disappointment over my soundless learning experience. George Muresan, a dedicated language learner and…