As I said in last week’s blog, I have decided to repeat the challenge this week and try and put in another 40 or more hours of language learning. Might as well profit from the quiet days at work!
I would like to start this blog with a quote: Comparison is the thief of joy
(by T. Roosevelt). I know many people compare themselves to others, to the progress others make (which is sometimes more than what they do themselves). But there is no need to! Everyone has his or her own journey, personal situation, interests and let’s not forget, life sometimes gets in the way as well! So follow your own path. Every stap you take, however small, is a step forward, a step towards the fluency you want to reach. And last but not least, don’t forget to have fun. Language learning is so rewarding, enjoy the process and don’t focus too much on the destination.
Last week I was able to put in an enormous amount of hours, but since I am self-employed, I can basically decide how to fill my weekdays. I took 2 weeks off over the holidays, which would give me enough time to brush up on all my languages again.
I also split the holidays in 2 and added an extra day to my week (wouldn’t that be great, to be able to add a day whenever you need one!). I should actually make it a #40h8dLC …
**Update at the end of the week** Even though I have put in an enormous amount of hours, I noticed that it involved more passive studying than in week 1. Doing 2 of these challenges was very hard and towards the end of week 2 I did more and more passive studying, listening to YouTube, watching Netflix and so on.
My conclusion after these 2 weeks and 57 hours 30 min:
– it is worth the effort very much, the progress you make is considerable (I am even thinking about doing another one at the end of February, but then focus again on 1 of my weaker languages).
– I am glad I did the challenge, especially for Bulgarian and Icelandic. They had been neglected a bit, especially Bulgarian, but now I have revised everything again and I can start studying new materials.
– 2 weeks however is too much, I am not as productive anymore as I was in week 1, when I was looking forward so much to doing another week. I don’t have that energy now anymore. I will definitely repeat the challenge throughout the year (my plan is to do this quarterly), but only 1 week at the time and probably switch between focussing on 1 language (to make real progress, combined with an italki lesson a day) and revising all of them (to keep them all up to their level and review old stuff).
Sunday 27 Dec: 8 hours 15 min
Honestly, I was a bit exhausted after the first 8 days of language learning, so I decided to take it easy today (it is stormy outside, raining as well, perfect for cuddling up on the couch and not do a thing). I want to maybe read a bit, watch some YouTube and Netflix a little and not do any real studying today.
English: YouTube (thanks to Elysse DaVega’s video on her Sephardic heritage, I am totally addicted to an online course about the history of the Sephardic Jews – many 1 hour classes to follow! 1 hour 35 min) – I also watched an episode of a new Netflix series (1 hour)
Afrikaans: reading Oorlewingsgids van ‘n bedonnerde diva (no, it’s still not finished! 1 hour 30 min)
Bulgarian: I finally found a few YouTube channels that I might like. I listened to several videos, hardly understood anything but every word I DID understand, was a little victory! (1 hour)
Spanish: reading (Valeria en el espejo, 1 hour 10 min)
Danish: Norskov (Netflix – 2 hours)
Monday 28 Dec: 7 hours 15 min
Afrikaans: Oorlewingsgids van ‘n bedonnerde diva (finally, I finished my book! It only took me about six months – 2 hours 5 min)
English: translation/revision (30 min), listening to Tim Doner talking about PIE (40 min), Netflix (an episode of the series I started watching yesterday, 1 hour)
Yiddish: Colloquial Yiddish review/study unit 4-5-6 (3 hours)
Tuesday 29 Dec: 9 hours 25 min
Today was a good day for language learning. I had an early morning (5.30 am), so that meant lots of hours to spend – and no work to be expected. Also, today was my last italki class of this year, with a new Yiddish teacher.
English: YouTube, social media (1 hour), Netflix (episode 3 of the series I started watching, 1 hour)
Spanish: read (Valeria, 1 hour 5 min), Netflix (El desorden que dejas, 1 hour)
Yiddish: review grammar units 9-13 (1 hour), study units 14-15 (1 hour), italki (1 hour)
Icelandic: review Islenska fyrir alla book 1 units 1-7 (2 hours 20 min)
Wednesday 30 Dec: 7 hours 20 min
I was planning to go biking today and not spend too much time learning languages (yesterday was a very intensive day with lots of active studying), but the weather was horrible – once again – so I had to stay inside.
As I said last week, I have been obsessed with the history of the Jews, particularly the Sephardic Jews, and I am watching a series of history classes on YouTube.
French: reading (45 min)
English: checking social media, YouTube (1 hour), Jewish history (YouTube, 55 min), Netflix (another episode of the series, 1 hour)
Danish: 1864 (Netflix, 55 min)
Bulgarian: Intensive Bulgarian review unit 6-7 (quite a bit of vocabulary to restudy here … 2 hours 45 min)
Thursday 31 Dec: 4 hours 55 min
As always I had a lot of plans for today. We are in lockdown still, so we cannot go out, not see anyone, there’s a curfew at midnight and fireworks are forbidden. I wanted to watch a lot of Netflix this morning, but the weather was so nice, so we took advantage of that and went for a long walk.
But then I had no more energy left, I think the many hours of last week and this week have exhausted me. Therefore I went for the easy option in the afternoon and watched Netflix and YouTube (lazy, I know).
Danish: 1864 (Netflix, 1 hour)
Engels: another few Netflix episodes (2 hours 30 min)
French: reading (Au secours, 1 hour)
Spanish: a bit of reading online (10 min)
Luxembourgish: I discovered a nice channel with text and audio to follow along (25 min)
Friday 1 Jan: 6 hours 45 min
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you will all have a year filled with language learning! It will be a rather quiet day for us, with a bit of languages, but also some time for my family.
English: Netflix, the end of the series I have been watching (1 hour 45 min), watch a bit of YouTube (30 min)
Danish: another episode of 1864 (1 hour) – we also watched 2 episodes of Equinox together (Netflix, 1 hour 30 min)
Bulgarian: I have been watching recipes and cooking videos in Bulgarian, really fun and I understood many of the ingredients (1 hour)
French: the advantage of living in a trilingual country is that you don’t have to drive that far to be able to speak one of the other languages (Flemish, French or German), so this afternoon I got to speak a lot of French (1 hour)
Saturday 2 Jan: 8 hours 15 min
I have had 2 lazy days, where I mostly just watched content (passive learning), so today – after a good night’s sleep – I will be doing some actual studying! My plan is Bulgarian, Luxembourgish and maybe some Icelandic revision. Let’s see how that goes!
**update** Well, that didn’t go as planned. I feel that towards the end of this second week, the energy for doing some active studying is very low. Today I did do quite a bit of active Bulgarian, but then I was all done.
English: I usually start with a bit of YouTube in the morning, mostly language related, but other things as well – I don’t know why but in English I like bullet journaling videos – I don’t do it myself, but I like watching it (30 min)
Bulgarian: for some reason I like cooking videos in different languages, this time I found a few Bulgarian channels, good for listening practice. Although I don’t understand most of it, I ‘feel’ the language and do recognize a few words here and there (1 hour) / I also studied lesson 7 in Intensive Bulgarian and revised the vocabulary of previous units (boy, that’s hard! 1 hour) / I added more studying in the afternoon and have now started lesson 8, which is an entirely new chapter, I’m done with revising! (25 min)
French: reading (25 min)
Danish: the least I can say is that it was a very Danish day today, so much so that I was thinking in Danish at the end (but that is what we want when we immerse ourselves, right?). I watched a few more episodes of 1864 and we finished the series Equinox, a total of 4 hours 55 min.
Sunday 3 Jan: 5 hours 20 min
My plan for today is to do some German reading (and finish that book already) and study Italian this afternoon.
German: reading (50 min)
English: Netflix 2020 (1 hour 10 min)
Italian: to get into the right mood for an afternoon of italian study in preparation of my italki class tomorrow, I watched a few of Lucrezia’s vlogs (1 hour 40 min) / I studied the congiuntivo in my book Via della grammatica (40 min)
Danish: of course my day wouldn’t be perfect without another episode of 1864 (1 hour)