November 11, 2009 | Italian

On Productivity and Cute Cafés

In which I get a lot done and enjoy the cosmopolitan café culture.

Today was an extremely productive day. Here’s what I accomplished language-wise: a bunch of grammar in the Italian Now! book some VocabuLearn on a 10-mile run verb-related work in the afternoon in a second grammar book. I studied present,…

November 12, 2009 | Italian

Wanted: Volunteer Position

I am seeking unpaid work. Only job requirement: Italian must be spoken.

I was tired today, but managed to be productive anyway. I did eight Pimsleur lessons and some VocabuLearn, worked on Italian verbs, ran errands, and cooked a chicken. I also tried to find organizations where I could volunteer while learning…

November 13, 2009 | Italian

Who Cares Where Those Notes Are?

Tormented by a single Pimsleur phrase.

I woke up at 7 a.m. today. Since beginning Italian on November 1, I haven’t slept a full seven hours—my usual minimum requirement for well-being—more than a couple of times. I just keep waking up early. Weirdly, most…

November 15, 2009 | Italian

Italian Facebook!

If I wanted to, I could now spy on my Italian nephews.

A new development: I just realized I can now read my Italian nephews’ Facebook postings—i.e., in Italian! I translated a couple for Brandt. Without a dictionary there are still words I don’t get, but with a dictionary…

November 16, 2009 | Italian

Primitive Italian Conversation

I have an Italian conversation, though I'm not sure what the other person said.

I woke up at 5:00 this morning. I am way too hyperactive about Italian. I almost got up to do grammar exercises, but Brandt talked me into staying in bed. I put on a headset, began listening to Pimsleur, and…

November 17, 2009 | Italian

140 Days of Language Learning

Some words are just plain hard to remember.

This is my 140th consecutive day of language learning. I haven’t missed a single day since I started this whole thing on July 1. I marked the anniversary with a bunch of Pimsleur lessons, grammar exercises, and VocabuLearn. I also…

November 18, 2009 | Italian

Little Italy, Manhattan

I take a field trip to Little Italy.

This morning I tried the flashcards again. More of them are sticking, but at this point I’m not moving them into the done box until I get them right several times in a row. Certain ones I get wrong…

November 19, 2009 | Italian

Pimsleur Done! Now What?

No Pimsleur lessons remain, so I need another way to improve my oral communication skills.

I have finished all 90 Pimsleur Italian lessons. It took me 19 days. Now what am I supposed to do? I am trying to concentrate today on additional Italian studies (books, vocabulary, etc.), but now that I have no more…

November 20, 2009 | Italian

Little Italy, the Bronx

I look for work in the Bronx.

I’m still trying for an Italian job. Today I wrote to the Italian Trade Commission on the Upper East Side asking for (uncompensated) work. I really, really, really want to be surrounded by Italian full-time. A language exchange thing…

November 21, 2009 | Italian

Cheese and Salami in the Bronx

In which I hand out cheese samples; my parents would be proud.

This morning it seemed to take forever to get to the Bronx. Fortunately, I had grammar and vocabulary exercises to keep me company on the subway. I arrived at Mike’s Deli, located in the back right corner of Arthur…