2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 10,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 17 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


TAC Challenge for 2013!

As 2013 beckons, I have been drawn in to doing the HTLAL TAC (Total Annihilation Challenge) challenge. I’ve never done one of these before, so I am really looking forward to it. It seems that the gist of the TAC challenge is to study one (or several) language(s) and log one’s progress in his/her TAC log. The main difference between the TAC and what I
have done on my own is that with TAC there is an entire “team” to lend support. I’m hoping that this helps me with my language “flightiness” and keeps me on task for the year.

The language I have chosen for TAC 2013 is Norwegian. 

I wanted to learn a Germanic language with a Latin script and English cognates. Georgian, Farsi, Mandarin, Thai and Arabic were just too difficult with my work schedule and limited time for language study. Plus, I enjoy reading materials in my target language and he above languages proved too difficult. Let’s face it … I’m lazy!

I have always had an interest in Norwegian as a result of several Norwegian friends in Graduate School introducing me to the Norwegian language and culture. I am excited to be part of “TAC Team Viking”. What a great group. You were also a big reason for me choosing a Scandinavian language!

My knowledge of Norwegian is essentially zero. I have gone through the first eight lessons of Pimsleur to get the rhythm and sounds of Norwegian down. My family has been giving me strange looks as I have been strolling around the house reciting phrases in Norwegian.

“Hva vil du å spise?
Jeg vil gjerne ett glass øl.
Kan vi drikke på hus meg?”

Once I finish Pimsleur I plan to either do Teach Yourself Norwegian or Norwegian in Three Months. I also have the Assimil Le Norvegien Sans Peine course coming in the mail. I haven’t decided which of those three I’ll use. From that point on, who knows?? The really cool thing about the Scandinavian languages is their similarity. From the TAC log I
have been able to understand most of what people have written in Swedish and Danish. I know that the spoken language is a whole other matter but still, being able to read them is pretty cool!

As far as my other languages for 2013:
I don’t have any travel plans outside of the US so I don’t think I will be doing too much with my other languages.

 Spanish    /Portuguese   &  Russian 

 I have some Spanish/Portuguese/Russian speaking friends at work so I’ll try to speak with them from time to time to stay somewhat fresh in these.


I’m not sure what I’ll do with Italian in 2013, but every now and then I read the news in Italian just for fun!


Similar to Italian, I probably won’t be actively studying any Hungarian in
2013. I do, however, like picking up a Hungarian comic or children’s book from time to time to keep it somewhat fresh in my mind!


I’ll try to follow along with the TAC Turkish team to keep Turkish in the back of my mind. Time constraints will keep me from a participant on this team however.


Every year I try to learn a little more Arabic and Persian. I’m not making huge progress in either one of these because they both require quite a bit of time and effort to advance. Nevertheless, I did pick up a copy of Kalaam Gamiil, a really good Egyptian Arabic course. So I may try to work through this over the year…

Again, I’m really excited to learn some Norwegian this year. There are no Norwegian speakers in my area so I would love to talk over Skype if any of you are interested!!