Lesson 59 of Pimsleur Mandarin was knocked back today, and it hit on lots of earlier vocab as well. I barely need to hit the pause button to knock out the dialogue now. It's very nice.
I'm going to make a blanket statement: If you're going to learn ANY language, it is very worth your while to do the 10-lesson Pimsleur starter set for that language. I had been doing KoreanClass101 for 5 weeks, and sort of was into it... but now I'm 5 lessons into the Pimsleur Korean starter class, and I have a much more natural grasp of the SOUND of the language and how the rhythms work... and I can come BACK to KoreanClass and use it for vocabulary and grammar, while now my "korean ear" is stronger.
I don't know that I recommend doing all 90 lessons of a Pimsleur for everyone... but the first 10 really will create a confidence in the language that can't be beat.
As I was having Pho yesterday, I listened around me and was able to start to recognize the distinctive sounds of Vietnamese - there are a couple of sounds that are unique to that language as far as I can tell - a "gyoom" that is way up in the nose, and a very open mouthed "Bah". I still have my "survivalphrases.com" membership for Vietnamese, and before my next Pho run, I'll be sure to remember "xin" for please, "gam ung" for thanks, and "jao" for hello.
I'm starting to work on my 'big trip' for 2008 - sometime in my 40th year. I'm thinking 2 weeks - one in Japan, and one in China. It would be amazing. The only issue is that Pamela really has very little desire for travel east as far as I can tell... and part of it is a fear of the cuisine. Perhaps it's my fault, being as fixated as I am on raw fish and whatnot. So I'm going to work on those plans (and obviously hit that Japanese again sometime soon to freshen up!).
A last bit - for all Mac users, I'm amazed by a little application called "iFlash" - it's flash card software, and you can load it up with anything you like. But there's a public library of flash cards made by other users too... and I've found German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and other language sets... and it's great fun. It doesn't do audio (no spoken drills, I guess), but it does all manner of foreign fonts (as the Mac is so good at doing).
Och nü, jag skulle vilja studerar mig svenska.