Thursday, January 15, 2009


My chair met with the dean yesterday to discuss my request to take a year off. They're approving the leave, which allows me to keep my job and return next year. It's nice to be able to go and not close any doors behind me -- though several people have told me that they think I'll end up staying in Norway longer than a year. News is traveling -- I've had three people in other departments so far ask me about the leave!

Language practice continues, and it continues to be fun despite the occasional burnout. I got my Eurotalk software, which is okay. I can watch video conversations and be tested on them, and it has a recording feature so you can listen to yourself. The interface, however, is a little clunky and takes more time and effort than I'm happy with. I'll complete the program and then decide whether or not to get the intermediate level.

I've been enjoying the Teach Yourself Norwegian Conversation series. Olav keeps picking up women, and so I'm learning dating techniques as well as language! The conversation I listened to yesterday was very funny. Olav meets his friend Odd at a bar. Odd's mother is old and has toothaches, his uncle is in the hospital and not expected to get better, his cat died last Friday, and Odd himself has headaches everyday. In fact, he's got a headache now and needs to go home. Dang!

Still my favorite language learning tool: the Pimsleur series.

Also, I'm trying to find Norwegian songs on YouTube, popular songs, but it's proving quite tricky. Most of the Norwegian artists, it seems, record in English. I suppose this makes sense -- a song in Norwegian has an audience of 4.5 million, while one in English has a market hundreds of times bigger.

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