Day OneApril 5, 2012
Learning Review Period

The Complete Grammar of Everything!

McGraw-Hill's marketing kind of works on me.

Yesterday I ordered four books: Complete Italian Grammar, Complete French Grammar, Complete German Grammar, and Complete Spanish Grammar. These are all from McGraw-Hill’s Practice Makes Perfect series.  Today they arrived.…

April 11, 2012 | Review Period

Studying As Fast As I Can

And the languages (French, Italian, German, and Spanish) are getting kind of mixed up.

One of the things that most appealed to me about this language review is the opportunity, for the first time, to study a bunch of different languages all in one day. I Went to Top of the Rock Today, with…

April 15, 2012 | Review Period

Grammar Travels Under and Above Ground

Zipping back and forth from one language's grammar to the next is insanely great fun.

In the book Complete German Grammar by Ed Swick, I read, “Sometimes the gender used in Germany is different from the gender used in Austria or Switzerland.” That I did not know, or at least I didn’…

April 17, 2012 | Review Period

How to Sound Foolish in Multiple Languages!

I bitch a lot about my grammar books, but I keep using them, while also making bizarre mistakes.

I tend to complain a lot about my grammar books. My Complete German Grammar by Ed Swick is now full of my irritable comments on grammar-exercise design and how it is not what it should be, but I…

April 24, 2012 | Review Period

A Language Friend Leaves Us

A language lover in my building has died.

The other day I observed to my husband, “I haven’t seen John for a while. I wonder if he’s sick.”  I was referring to a longtime resident in my building, an elderly man I knew who had…

April 28, 2012 | Review Period

Food Teaches You Vocabulary

People tend to remember the names of things they like to eat.

When I look at a list of animal vocabulary in French, or Italian, the words I tend to remember and recognize the best are often animals likely to be found on menus. I Need to Regrow Some Vocabulary Like

May 10, 2012 | Review Period

Don’t Pretend Learning a Language Isn’t Hard

But the fact that something is difficult doesn't preclude pleasure.

A few days ago, in the introduction to the book Spanish Verb Tenses by Dorothy Richmond, I read the following reassurance: “…this careful study of the verbs need not be the drudge work so commonly associated with verbs,…

May 16, 2012 | Review Period

Language Confusion

I'm blending languages. I am largely untroubled by it.

This picture is of the trash area in a cafeteria at one of my corporate client’s locations. I taught an e-mail etiquette seminar to employees of the firm this morning, stopping by the cafeteria beforehand to get some breakfast. …

May 18, 2012 | Review Period

It’s Working!

The review is paying off.

Despite any doom or gloom that may have emanated from my last entry, I am pleased to report that this week, while volunteering at the Official NYC Information Center, I saw real results from my ongoing language review of French,…

May 20, 2012 | Review Period

Life With a Grammar Soundtrack

Grammar and vocabulary questions, musings, and observations.

Earlier this week I finished Level IV of Pimsleur for both French and German, and now I am almost done with Italian. I know it may sound mindbogglingly dull to redo so many lessons, but I don’t find that…