November 22, 2009 | Italian

Italian Speakers Everywhere

Without realizing it, I have been surrounded all along by Italian speakers.

I am starting to think that my building is filled with people who surreptitiously speak Italian. I had no idea how many of our neighbors were fluent in it. Every week I find a new one. Today I learned that…

November 23, 2009 | Italian

On Language Dreams and Italian Body Parts

I have a bad dream about teaching a foreign language.

Last night I dreamed I was teaching a foreign language (don’t know which one) to a girl of about 15 or 16. There was for some reason an urgency to this undertaking, so I was trying to teach her as fast…

November 24, 2009 | Italian


I consider whether to add Dutch to my language list.

While running in Central Park today, I started wondering whether I should replace one of my non-European languages with Dutch. Even though not many people speak it here now, it was important in New York history, and that could be…

November 25, 2009 | Italian

Italian Facebook Chat and Flashcard-Friendly Purses

Some purses are better suited than others to language study.

Today I did a lot of work with future and conditional verbs, which made me very happy. I love conditional and use it a lot. Without conditional, I find it hard to express myself in a language. That probably says…

November 27, 2009 | Italian

Status Report: Italian Verbs

Italian seems to have an awful lot of verb forms.

Today I made progress on my grasp of imperative. I also took a peek at subjunctive. I think I’ve made my way through almost all of the verb forms now. I just don’t happen to remember a lot…

November 29, 2009 | Italian

Flashcard Ambitions

How much vocabulary can a person learn in two months?

At about 6:00 this morning, I received my first spam e-mail in Italian. Instead of being irritated, I was thrilled, because I could read a lot of it. When one is truly excited about something, even bad things can seem good. …

November 30, 2009 | Italian

A VocabuLearn Day

My hours are filled with VocabuLearn and flashcards.

It was a romantic gray day today, and I felt happy because I love this project so much. I got close to seven hours sleep last night, too, and enough sleep is a great mood enhancer. At the office, I…

December 1, 2009 | Italian

Another VocabuLearn Day

More vocabulary. And more. And more.

Today I kept working on making my VocabuLearn flashcards. Besides learning all three levels available for Italian, I want to consider how the VocabuLearn product could be better. At around $20 per level, it’s a good deal, but there are…

December 2, 2009 | Italian

Field Trip: Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Culture, but more important, Italian, at the Italian Cultural Institute on Manhattan's East Side.

I woke up this morning, way before the alarm again, showered, got dressed, and went to Café Margot, where I did vocabulary. Again. I haven’t done grammar in at least a couple of days. To my right were three…

December 3, 2009 | Italian

Flashcard Anxieties Assuaged

I am reassured that my VocabuLearn flashcard project is not a huge waste of time.

I woke up after just four hours of sleep and was exhausted all day, though functional for much of it. I did some grammar, but much more vocabulary. I’m still making my VocabuLearn flashcards. Which has been causing…