Big Apple Greeter Preparation

<p>
After a winter hiatus, I am back to doing weekly <a href="http://bigapplegreeter.org">Big Apple Greeter</a> visits. What that means is I take tourists around New York through the Big Apple Greeter volunteer program. The goal is to show visitors a slice of life in New York City.</p>
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Each visit hovers around four hours, and usually multiple subway rides to different neighborhoods are involved. I am not allowed to utter the word "tour," because I am not a licensed tour guide.&nbsp;</p>
<p>
I try to take around only people who don't speak English. I took around a nice Swedish couple last week, and all I can say is, it's a good thing the woman spoke English, because I have not yet put enough study time into Swedish to be able to converse. I made efforts, and the nice Swedish couple were complimentary, but in my experience just about anyone is complimentary when Americans make the slightest linguistic effort.&nbsp;</p>
<p>
<img alt="Visitors from Sweden!" src="/assets/images/uploads/Swedish_Couple_Big_Apple.jpg" style="width: 900px; height: 675px;" /></p>
<p class="feed" style="color:blue;">
Visitors from Sweden!</p>
<p>
We are not known internationally for being super interested in other languages.</p>
<p>
Monday I am taking around Italians, and my Italian is rusty, but I don't want to stop studying Swedish, so I am focusing on Assimil's <a href="http://www.assimil.it/catalogo/libro/8312/lo-svedese-collana-senza-sforz... Svedese</em></a>. It is their Italian-based product for Swedish, and it's fabulous! They have a French equivalent as well.</p>
<p>
In it I get to read explanations of Swedish in Italian, and in the translation exercises, I am translating from Swedish to Italian or Italian to Swedish.</p>
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It comes with audio lessons too -- very high-quality and useful. I'm thoroughly into it.</p>
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I recommend this technique when you need to study two languages at once. Forget your native language and buy your products <em>for</em> foreign languages <em>in</em> foreign languages. Double up!</p>
<p>
I had a brain burp when I first started using it and accidentally translated an exercise into the wrong language. It's like I had to repoint my brain to focus on Swedish and Italian. I think doing this kind of thing clears a new special path in my head somewhere, and I like it.</p>

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