November 2, 2009 | Italian

A Birthday Celebration

On my birthday, I experience Italian-induced euphoria.

Today was my birthday. It was the best birthday in ages, because I am doing something I love.

I got up and did Pimsleur lesson 9 (Level I). Then I went out for a five-mile run and did lessons 10, 11, and part of 12, which I finished while stretching. Then I got in the shower, where we fortunately installed a speaker last year, and did some of lesson 13 in there. I was pretty happy at first, because I thought maybe with Italian I would be able to get away with doing Pimsleur in the shower (it was impossible to hear well enough with Arabic and Russian Pimsleur), but as I began making mistakes, I realized the sound just isn't clear enough when the shower water is running. I was guessing at some things that I hadn’t heard clearly, and it was a problem. So even with Italian, no Pimsleur showers.

A Confidently Titled Italian Grammar

I had to redo 13. But the great thing about Italian Pimsleur is that, unlike with Russian and Arabic, I usually don’t have to repeat lessons. I just plow right through. Even if I don’t quite get something in one lesson, I can pick it up in the next. It’s amazing.

I wonder how far I can get in two months. I’m having major fantasies about my potential skills that are probably not realistic. It’s the initial manic phase of language study, which I go through with each new language before I float (fall?) back to earth.

I stayed up studying Italian until 1:30 in the morning. Hours and hours of it: Pimsleur, some work in each of the four grammar books I have, plus I went through my flashcards again. I am really moving on those. Only two days in! I need to learn (1) articles and (2) present-tense conjugations immediately, because not knowing those things is getting in my way.

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