Tag Archives: pimsleur

Norwegian Progress 1-19

Hyggelig å hilse på deg.

Kunne du si det en gang til?

Can’t believe I’m just about two-thirds done with the program. Norwegian is starting to make more sense with the way things are pronounced. They’re not completely fixed like Italian or Spanish, but I think I can remember most of the sounds. Again, the familiarity is so divided between English and the other romantic languages: English in terms of how close some of the words are similar, and romantic languages in terms of adjectives having genders.

I still have to get right the intonations of words. Oftentimes, sentences sound like questions, and questions sound like sentences. I have to remind myself to try to copy the pronunciation of the speakers.

(79 days)

(Germany won the World Cup over the weekend.)

Norwegian Progress 1-9, and Smørbrød

Favorite word right now: kjøpe, only because its pronunciation is so different from English (it sounds something like “shiurper”)

Also in Lesson 9, I learned about smørbrød, which is an open-faced sandwich popular in Norway and that region. One thing I love about getting ready for this trip is that I learn about the culture.

So now, I’m going to try to eat one while I’m in Norway, and I looked up how to eat it (answer: with a knife and fork). I looked it up on YouTube and found this brief story about the smørbrød (or smørrebrød in Danish) in Denmark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ-0WbjIvbo

(88 days)

(I spent the past two days researching and logging clothes that I’d like to get for the trip. It’s a lot of work shopping, and I look forward to being done with it and move on the next part of the planning: where to sleep for the forty or so nights)

(Just read that the TSA is requiring electronic devices to be charged for any U.S. bound flights. Makes sense, but now I have to make sure my flight from Japan to Hawaii will have my devices charged!)

(Talked to my friend Mike on Facebook today. He’s taking a year off and is currently traveling in Europe. Need to do a mind-dump with him when he gets back and get advice for traveling in Europe).

Norwegian Progress 1-7

Favorite/speakable/longest line so far: Jeg vil ha noe å spisa hos deg.

I’m in the state between catching and asking myself why I’m making seemingly random sounds, and totally impressed, dumbfounded, and surprised that I’m understanding and learning these words in just the past few days. It goes to remind us that language is a human construct, and we make meaning out of things and enough of us just agree on those meanings in order to interact with one another.

I’m still having trouble making sense of all of it, but with each new group of words, I have a better grasp. I do find myself asking why I’m learning Norwegian, but other than the applicability in other countries that also speak the language (very few), I could say the same thing about the other languages I’m learning as well.

Because of the origins, it’s very different from the Romantic languages (French, Italian, Spanish), and it’s different but also similar to English, which is just a bit comforting.

I also looked up the city of Tromsø on a map, with a bit of Street Viewing. It’s actually a nice little town, and I can’t wait to visit and experience the normalness of other people’s home while admiring any beauty it might have.

(Just under three months, 90 days. It’s actually making me a little anxious)

(Hurricane Arthur is making landfall)

(An overpass collapsed in a World Cup city in Brazil, which brought up issues that Brazil is having managing its airports and services. I hope my layover in São Paulo will be smooth.)

Spanish Progress 1-15

Word I just learned and kind of like: “demasiado”. It’s simple and long-ish. The other is “juntos”. So different but familiar.

Only in the past two lessons did I finally start feeling intuitive enough to think of words in Spanish without translating seconds before. The pronunciations of all the Rs and Ls from one word to the next is still hard.

Also, I’m starting to blend some really similar words into Italian. I’m also forgetting a little bit of the Italian as well. I do short reviews every week but I may need to review more as the trip gets closer. And it’s getting closer.

(107 days)

(There is some sort of situation in Iraq. Not very clear what exactly)

Spanish Progress 1-6

Favorite word to say: Bolivar
Hardest word to say: restaurante

So far, I’m taking Spanish somewhat casually. That may or may not contribute to my difficulty in “feeling” the language. It may be that this is the fourth language I’m going through and I’m getting very used to the progression of topics and words they are teaching at this point of the program.

Finished Japanese I

Just finished the Pimsleur Japanese I set of 30 half-hour lessons. I’ve enjoyed them, along with the French I and Italian I sets.

I’m realizing though, that this is still giving me very limited vocabularies at my destinations. Even though it’s better than nothing, for sure, and even though I’m going to be at these locations for 3-5 days only, I’ll most likely going to be alone with my English thoughts. And that is fine; that was my original expectations anyway.

But having seen “A Map for Saturday”, I’m expecting to meet people in hostels, but I feel obligated to still communicate in the local language and not just English. Being an introvert and having never stayed in a hostel, I do hope I’ll at least meet some people I can do activities with for even a short part of the trip.

(119 days left)

(It’s D-Day 70th anniversary)

Japanese Progress 1-27


As cheesy as that sounds, I sort of wish I will have real use for this utterance sometime this trip.

(Current trip planning status: assembling packing list, may start seriously looking at accommodations next)

(WWDC revealed a bunch of stuff. I may find good use of iOS 8’s new features during the trip.)

(121 days. 4 months!)

Japanese Progress: 1-6


I swear Pimsleur made these programs with the focus for customers to pick up people in foreign places. It’s more like Pimp-sleur. This being my third language series, I can guess what’s coming at around lessons 9 or 10.

(141 days)

(Bought travel insurance yesterday.)

(Justin Timberlake released feel-good music video with Michael Jackson)

Italian Progress: 1-24

New favorite word/phrase: sbagliare, as in “Non si può sbagliare.”

Past favorite words/phrases: vorrebbe, diciotto, and velocemente.

I’m enjoying that practically every word in Italian has one pronunciation, it’s similar to Japanese, where each word is made up of predefined sounds.

But I’m still getting the hang of plurals and some gender differentiations.

(150 days before start date)

(Sarah Bareilles released a cool video that involved two sweet proposals)

Round-the-World Ticket Booked

It’s pretty official. I finally booked my round-the-world ticket.

There was a lot of checking and double checking, and I may write about this more in detail later on. But I actually went back and included the round-trip flights between Lima and Cuzco into the RTW ticket itinerary instead of buying them separately (because apparently there was practically no change in cost whether I include it). And more importantly, I also included my flights within Europe instead of using Athens as a hub. No more Greece, and slightly less time in the air.

Quick advice, if you know you’re going to make the purchase, it may help to tell your credit card company that you’re going to make a huge purchase. My credit card company emailed me (as they should, I’m glad) right after I click the order button about potential fraud activity. Fortunately, I was able to approve the purchase from the credit card’s site and I didn’t have to call anybody (it’s getting late right now also).

Now that that’s done, I get to move on to a million other things I have to do to plan this trip. That’s another post.

(The first of four “Blood Moons” is about to start soon)

(It’s my cousin’s birthday today)

(I think I can handle saying that you would like to drink something later at my house in Italian now.)

(171 days before start of the Big Trip)