Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Two New Finds

Allan and his family drove to Florida and back over winter break on what he calls a "Viking trip". Aparently, the Vikings used to load up their boats and travel south during the cold dark winters, and this tradition continues to this day. Instead of a boat, there were instead 6 family members in a mini-van. That's a lot of togetherness!

They returned yesterday, and Allan and I met this afternoon and talked for over an hour. I felt very comfortable with language today, as if I've improved noticeably over the break. What fun this is!

I found a couple more things worth mentioning:

BYKI: Before You Know It

This is a flashcard program, available in many many languages. I thought it silly at first, but I've been playing more and more with it and doing it with my children, and I like it now. It shows a word or phrase, speaks it, and often has a picture to go with it. You follow a series of routines working back and forth between the languages. A stripped down version is available for free, the deluxe version costs $50, which seems a bit steep. It took a little while to figure out how to get the special Norwegian vowels ø, å, and æ. On my computer, I have grown used to typing option-o, option-a, or option-' to get these characters, and this works in any text box or program except for BYKI, which is annoying. Instead you must select a keyboard mapping and then it designates three keys as these vowels.

Download it for free at

Pimsleur Comprehensive via

I've been eyeing this series of 30 units, having much enjoyed units 1-10. The set is very expensive though, hundreds of dollars. Today I found it on an audiobook site, You can join for $7.50/month for two months and $15/month each month thereafter, and get one free download per month. They have the Pimsleur lessons in blocks of 5, so I picked up units 11-15 for $7.50. I should be able to complete my collection of units for $45 instead of around $200. The total I will have paid for all units 1-30 is $75. Totally worth it!

The down side: I'll need to wait one month to get the next set of 5, but this should tide me over until my Eurotalk software arrives next week.

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