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 life in New York City.
Each visit hovers around four hours, and usually multiple subway rides to different neighborhoods are involved. I am not allowed to utter the word “tour,” because I am not a licensed tour guide.
I try to take around only people who don’t speak English. I took around a nice Swedish couple last week, and all I can say is, it’s a good thing the woman spoke English, because I have not yet put enough study time into Swedish to be able to converse. I made efforts, and the nice Swedish couple were complimentary, but in my experience just about anyone is complimentary when Americans make the slightest linguistic effort.
Visitors from Sweden!
We are not known internationally for being super interested in other languages.
Monday I am taking around Italians, and my Italian is rusty, but I don’t want to stop studying Swedish, so I am focusing on Assimil’s Lo Svedese. It is their Italian-based product for Swedish, and it’s fabulous! They have a French equivalent as well.
In it I get to read explanations of Swedish in Italian, and in the translation exercises, I am translating from Swedish to Italian or Italian to Swedish.
It comes with audio lessons too — very high-quality and useful. I’m thoroughly into it.
I recommend this technique when you need to study two languages at once. Forget your native language and buy your products for foreign languages in foreign languages. Double up!
I had a brain burp when I first started using it and accidentally translated an exercise into the wrong language. It’s like I had to repoint my brain to focus on Swedish and Italian. I think doing this kind of thing clears a new special path in my head somewhere, and I like it.