A disclaimer before I continue. I am native Dutch (Belgium) and speak/study 10 foreign languages, of which 5 other Germanic languages (English, German, Danish, Afrikaans and Faroese). Luxembourgish is also a Germanic language, so I have a bit of a headstart here and I don’t really begin from scratch. But … I don’t speak a word of Luxembourgish at this moment.
I thought it could be fun to document my language learning journey here, so you might get inspired or maybe because you (just like me) like to read about other people’s trials and errors.
My plan is to track what exactly I do to study the language, the hours I study and the resources I use. I will post once a week, every other week or once a month, there is no fixed schedule. Sometimes I might have too much work and not enough time to focus on language learning and sometimes I might have hours to fill …
So here we go, enjoy the journey with me!
Week 44-49: February 15-March 28, 2021
I was planning to do a full month of immersion in March. I wanted to focus on 1 language in particular for a week – alternating languages every week. I hoped this would strengthen my knowledge and kindle my motivation, which is lacking a bit in general.
Specifically for Luxembourgish, I wanted to focus on speaking during that week and I wanted to book a lesson per day with my italki tutor. My second goal was to finish unit 2 in my B1 textbook.
However … When I was making this plan, I had no work (or very little), but things changed in the meantime and I am fully booked for March, so I will have to postpone this intensive month.
I could really use a break from work to study (not only Luxembourgish, but my other languages as well). My languages would benefit from it.
What did I do this month?
Twitter: as always, I follow a few accounts and read randomly what they post. This can go from a short Twitter status to a lengthy newspaper article. This helps to improve my passive knowledge a lot. Luxembourgish seems rather easy when you have studied it for a while and when you have German under your belt, but it is not really if you want to perfect your knowledge (a bit like Afrikaans and Dutch). Also ZLS has an article per week in a magazine and I would like to get a subscription to that, need to figure out how to do that!
I also tweet sometimes in Luxembourgish but not nearly enough as I should. I do get corrections on what I write, so I could learn from it. I also have a private conversation every now and then with someone in Luxembourgish, which is fun, because this way I get to actually use the language in a normal setting, not in an italki class.
YouTube: people tag me on Twitter with links to Luxembourgish content. So nice of them! If you read this, thanks! There is a new YouTube channel, Lëtzebuergesch mam Leslie, that one of my moots wanted me to check out. A small channel at the moment, but a very good one! I subscribed immediately and watched a few videos.
Netflix: Capitani, of course! (I was also tagged by someone on Twitter) I was so glad to see that finally, there is Luxembourgish content on Netflix, so I binged the whole series. Listening is quite OK but in order to be able to follow the story, I added the subtitles in Luxembourgish and had my online dictionary at hand to look up any words. Luxembourgish has some colourful expressions that are not always instantly understandable. A fun new word, that they apparently use a lot, is GELL, meaning isn’t it? or something along those lines. One of my Luxembourgish Twitter friends told me that there is a second season coming, so me happy!
Italki: my teacher is studying very hard for exams, so she is still unavailable at the moment. Her brother is also teaching (I booked a lesson with him before) and he is as good a teacher as his sister, but for some reason I prefer to stick with Melanie. She is super! She should return in March, fingers crossed.
Pippi Longstocking: I incorporated a bit of reading. 2 chapters and counting.
Week 38-43: January 4-February 14, 2021
I have to admit, I was a bit exhausted after the 2 weeks of language learning I just finished, so I have taken it a bit slow in the beginning of January – turned out to be the whole month of January.
In the last week of January my book with typical Luxembourgish words arrived (after more than a month …), I am going to study a few words per week. There are 130 words in total.
What did I do this month?
Twitter: I am following a few Luxembourgish people on Twitter and read what they post, so I get some authentic input. Every now and then, they post an article to a website, which I then also read. There is also a funny hashtag (#wierderwieder), where d’Zenter fir d’Lëtzebuerger Sprooch posts newspaper clippings with funny words or expressions around a central theme (this week all about the devil!). I write useful expressions in my textbook (they’re not all as useful, not things I would use in every day speech). A good vocabulary building exercise.
In week 42 as well, I scrolled through my Twitter feed and randomly read articles about whatever topic was available. I use this primarily as vocab builder and not so much as texts within my fields of interest.
Internet: I have discovered 3 websites: moien.lu, eldo.lu and 100komma7.lu, where you can listen to and read authentic Luxembourgish material – they’re basically news sites. I don’t do this on a regular basis, but whenever I feel like it.
Netflix: I recently discovered a Luxembourgish series, called Capitani, that I have now been bingewatching – I love it, not only because of the language or the story, but also because of the landscapes. Luxembourg is a neighbouring country and before the big C, we used to go there every now and then. I can’t wait to be able to go again …
Italki: first italki lesson of 2021 is done, as always (I know I am repeating myself) very good. We talked almost exclusively in Luxembourgish and I always have a lot of energy after that. That was the only lesson for 2021 so far. My teacher had to study for school and is absent for January and most of February.
Schwätzt Dir Lëtzebuergesch B1: another review round of chapter 1, I can’t seem to make any progress. I didn’t do anything in this book for quite a while (that’s just life, sometimes you have other priorities), so a review was necessary.
Still stuck on chapter 1 … I need to step it up a bit if I want to make as much progress as I did in 2020. My italki teacher is on a leave for a month, that means no conversation classes … I usually use those to get some studying done before the lesson starts. The thing is that I have a very high passive level, meaning I can understand almost anything I read, so the ‘need’ to learn more is not there anymore. Must work on that!
Pippi Longstocking: I bought the Luxembourgish version of this story and read a chapter in week 39. That was easy-peasy.
Week 34-37: December 7, 2020-January 3, 2021
In week 36 I am doing another #40h7dLC, this time with all my languages, instead of focusing on 1. For Luxembourgish, I studied a lot this week. Had some catching up to do, I noticed, with declension of pronouns and articles.
I also ordered a Christmas gift for myself, a book with some 130 typical Luxembourgish words and a book with all verb conjugations. Can’t wait for it to arrive.
What did I do this month?
Twitter: I follow the account of the Zenter fir Lëtzebuergesch and they post funny expressions, texts … This is good reading practice. I read about the origins of the word for cinnamon. The first time reading a longer text that didn’t come from a textbook (which is always a bit ‘arranged’ to meet the standards of the lesson you are studying), but real-life authentic input.
I also discovered a great website through Twitter (elo.lu), where they have texts with accompanying audio, great for practice!
Italki: In week 36, I had my last class of this year with Melanie. We always work the same way: she prepares a short listening or reading exercise, I then talk about what I heard or read, she adds vocabulary in a Google doc, we discuss the mistakes I made and then finish with a Bildbeschreiwung, to give me extra vocabulary. It was so much fun working with her, I will definitely book more lessons in 2021.
Schwätzt Dir Lëtzebuergesch B1: finally my language learning burnout seems to be coming to an end and I picked up this lovely book again – a lot of re-studying is required, so I am still stuck at chapter 1, but determined to finish that chapter this year! It is much more work than I thought, loads of vocabulary especially …
In week 36 I am still studying hard on this chapter 1. The tricky thing with Luxembourgish is that it resembles German a lot and you THINK you know the vocab, but you don’t really. You see the word, it looks like something you know and you are convinced you know the word, but you’re not able to recall it when you need it. So that is the most important thing I need to work on.
There is also a grammar section, a list of ‘all verbs’ and their conjugation and a vocabulary list per chapter. I am focusing on the different tenses at the moment and go over the vocabulary for chapter 1 here. While reading other texts online, I pick up a lot of new things and add them to the next chapter, so I study them automatically when I get to those pages. The downside of this way of working is that I add an enormous amount of new words, which adds learning time, but it is so rewarding, I can almost feel the progress I’m making.
Week 25-33: October 5-December 6, 2020
Yesssss! The first day of week 25, my new book arrived, Schwätzt Dir Lëtzebuergesch B1.
Ech sinn immens frou mat dësem Buch an fäerdeg fir d’nächst Etapp!
Unfortunately I got really ill in week 25, so I had to pause all my language learning. I hope to pick up again in week 26.
In week 29 I decided to focus on Icelandic for 7 days (having neglected this language for a while). Therefore no real Luxembourgish studying in that week, but rather reviewing a bit of everything.
What did I do this month?
Luxembourgish with Anne: I have decided to not focus on this course anymore for the coming weeks and only study in the 2 other books I have for a while, Assimil and Schwätzt Dir Lëtzebuergesch. I will review it again after I have had a decent amount of studying done in the other textbooks.
I did however put some post-it notes on the pages with relevant grammar (such as personal pronouns in all cases), which makes it easy to reference those if I quickly need to check something.
YouTube: the channel luxdico posts regularly and I always like to watch the videos. They are about different topics, could be grammar, could be vocabulary. Thumbs up for Jérôme Lulling!
Italki: ech sinn esou frou wéi e Kichelchen mat der Lektioun vun haut, mir hunn immens vill geschwat an ech hunn och e puer néi Expressiounen geléiert.
As always, the lesson was top! My teacher is always very well prepared. If I have any questions, I send them via Skype and she prepares exercises or some grammar. She makes me speak a lot of Luxembourgish as well! I cancelled my lesson in week 28 though, because of work (unfortunately because I really to talk to Melanie).
In week 31 I had another class filled with translation exercises and conversation, just what I like! Today she gave me extra difficult sentences to translate, because (and I quote her) ‘your level is really high already’. Made me very happy!
More italki in week 33. A listening exercise this time, which turned out to be a bit more difficult than just having a conversation. But fun! Melanie had prepared questions, I got 2 out of 4 correct, nah not that bad. She then read the text again for me at a slower pace and that went well. I only needed 15 times of that … She also likes to challenge me and make me do difficult things, such as describing every little detail of a picture. Good for building vocabulary! After our class we talked for a while about learning languages – part in Luxembourgish, part in French.
I have decided to not take any classes in any of my languages in December. A quick look at my stats shows me that I have taken 150 classes this year, an average of round 3 per week. I desperately need a break! Ready for a fresh start in January though.
Schwätzt Dir Lëtzebuergesch B1: I started going through unit 1 of this new book and most of it I already know. New is the past tense, that will require a bit of studying. I did the reading exercises, no problem there. My passive knowledge of Luxembourgish is quite big now. A fun thing were the expressions. I did the exercise with my italki teacher.
A rather difficult exercise were the prepositions (they are not my forte in any of the languages I speak/learn), I had a few wrong. I sent a picture of the list to my italki teacher and we will practise them together during our next lesson. Since there is no explanation in French or English, you sort of have to figure everything out yourself. And without a proper dictionary that is tricky sometimes (you need to go via French or German).
The good thing about this book is that there is reading (hard to find online) and listening (with audio provided for free on the website) material. The only downside is that there are only 6 units and no B2 book coming soon … However, the center for Luxembourgish language posted on Twitter that there will be a verb conjugation book coming soon … I will be looking out for that one! 6000 verbs with all conjugations njam njam, a little treat for a grammar nerd like myself, can’t wait!
Week 20-24: August 31-October 4, 2020
I haven’t done a lot in week 20. We came back from a holiday in the south of France and on our last day, the region turned red, which meant we had to go into quarantine for 2 weeks, no school for the kids … I am so fed up with this, we have been locked up in the house since March this year and I really REALLY need to get out and see people. You can’t just always work and nothing else.
Anyway, no energy to do any studying at all in week 20. On Friday I opened my LWA course and started reviewing again. I did not expect it at all, but I liked it a lot (it felt like a chore when I decided to start studying again). So onward we go!
What did I do this month?
Luxembourgish with Anne: in week 20, I reviewed a few lessons of level 2. Remembered most of it (thank God) and felt the language learning itch return, finally! Halfway this level now, the countdown can start … I was very much into Luxembourgish the rest of the week and reviewed/studied up to lesson 14 of level 2.
In week 21, I reviewed lessons 13-16 of LWA 2 and I am now officially looking for a book level B1 to continue studying.
In week 22, I only studied/reviewed lessons 16 and 17 of level 2 LWA.
At the end of week 24 I have revised the complete level A2 of this course. It was very good to go through everything once more. Now I am anxiously waiting for my B2 book Schwätzt Dir Lëtzebuergesch? that is going to arrive any day now.
YouTube: not really YouTube, but rather Instagram. For some reason I ended up on a page of the Luxembourgish archduke and watched a clip of an interview and a look at where he and his family (his wife and baby son) live. It was all in Luxembourgish and although I struggled a bit to understand some things, I was pleasantly surprised … Authentic audio is hard to find, so whenever I come across something, I drop what I’m doing and listen.
I listened to more videos, some by LWA, some others, which is always nice. I really start to see the improvement now. Where in the beginning I could hardly follow anything, just pick up a word here and there, I can now really understand what the conversation is about. Some videos are even without subtitles and I just listen and understand. Not bad, 23 weeks in …
And more videos in the next weeks, by Luxdico this time. They have funny clips, some more than 10 years old, with some grammar, some vocabulary or listening practice. I binged them! I also sent a message to Jérôme Lulling to ask him what book to use for level B1 and he sent me link, so I have immediately ordered that. In case you are interested, the books are called Schwätzt Dir Lëtzebuergesch and they range from A1 to B1!
Italki: in week 21, I had an italki lesson planned with Melanie. She decided that we should now speak only Luxembourgish and so we did. I cannot begin to explain the accomplishment you feel when you are able to have a meaningful conversation in your target language. Of course my Luxembourgish is far from perfect, but I managed to speak at least 30 minutes about the coronavirus (of course …). I learned so many new things, especially building more fluent sentences and thinking of alternative ways to say the same thing. Very enriching and I can’t wait for my next class!
In week 24, time for another italki class. I was so excited, I really feel that I have made so much progress, both in listening and in speaking. My teacher sent me a text to read before the lesson, about living in a multilingual country (such as Belgium where I live and of course also Luxembourg). Just as in week 21, I was really proud of myself for talking half an hour in Luxembourgish! And it was also just a very interesting talk about languages (which always makes me happy, as you know). At the end, she complimented me on my Luxembourgish, said that I was doing really well and can already have a solid conversation (free speech). Apart from having a Kasusproblem on a few occasions, which made me laugh. I know I sometimes make mistakes there, but we’re working on it.
Week 14-19: July 20-August 30, 2020
I didn’t do much in week 14, because of my shoulder operation. It went very well though, much better than expected, but still, it takes a bit of time to get the anaesthetic out of your system. All in all, week 14 was quite a good week for Luxembourgish, I managed to review a bunch of units, which is a good thing mentally, because I feel I still remember a lot, which pushes me to keep reviewing/studying more.
What I also did, was write a short entry for my summer goals blog. I wanted to practice my writing skills in all of my languages this summer, but I found this more difficult than I thought. Everything I write seems so artificial (because I don’t master the language well enough yet) and I don’t seem to have any inspiration.
In week 17 I had a lot of personal things going on, appointments … So my language learning (in all languages) was put on the back burner that week.
In week 19 we are taking a break and we’re off to France for a few days. I will pack some language books, just in case I really don’t know what to do with my days! Time to relax and then start afresh in September!
What did I do this month?
Luxembourgish with Anne: at the end of week 13 I started reviewing A1 and did the first 10 lessons. Everything was still there, I hadn’t forgotten anything … but that’s not going to last. The more lessons I will review, the less I will remember, I think.
At the end of week 14, I have reviewed the first 30 units of this A1 course. So far, so good! And although I had not expected it, most of it was still there!
Good news for week 15 as well, I reviewed the remaining 10 units of A1 and started with a few units of A2. On track to reach my goal for this summer, which is reviewing all Luxembourgish (hm, I should get started on reviewing Assimil then … For some reason it has been lying around here, gathering dust …).
We are on a streak. In week 16 I did some more units of A2. There are only 20 lessons this time, so I think I will be able to review them all before August is over.
Due to some personal things going on in week 17, my language learning was put on the back burner. While reviewing this course, I added sticky notes to the pages with difficulties, with things I have to take another look at. In preparation of my italki class of week 17, I went over those things.
YouTube: in week 14 I found a few channels that have content in Luxembourgish, so I listened to a few videos. I notice that reading, writing and speaking to my tutor all are going very well, but when it comes to real life Luxembourgish, I need a lot more listening practice. Let’s see if I can focus a bit on that in week 15.
Let’s skip to week 16: I discovered, again, another YouTube channel with just a few videos, but it was fun watching them, listening to someone with a slightly different accent than what I am used to.
Assimil: ??? (I am so embarrassed to say that I did not open this book at all in August …)
Italki + anki: on the last day of week 15, I had an italki class with Melanie. As always, top! I really recommend her if you consider learning Luxembourgish. This was a very nice class, we focussed on speaking skills and I loved it! Learning from textbooks is one thing, but then actually using your skill makes you realise that it is not all that easy …
On the last day of week 17, I had again an italki class with Melanie. We discussed the possessive, which is rather complicated. She explained well, we did exercises and at the end it clicked (thank God!).
Week 11-13: June 29-July 19, 2020
In week 10 I finished the translation assignment, so that meant I had more time to dedicate to language learning. At the start of week 11, I am confident I will make good progress this summer, I feel really energetic and can’t wait to get started again.
However I have decided to change things up a bit. I used to study both Luxembourgish and Icelandic every day, but that consumed so much energy and at the end I was focussing more on getting all my studying in both languages done than on studying 1 of them thoroughly. So now, change of plans, I will alternate: day 1 Luxembourgish, day 2 Icelandic and so on. Let’s see how that goes this summer. I hope that this way I can focus solely on the language of the day and make progress.
In week 13, I am immersing myself in Spanish, this language is my sole focus this week, so no update for Luxembourgish.
What did I do this month?
Luxembourgish with Anne: I kicked off week 11 with a review of lessons 11 and 12, the past tense, not that difficult in Luxembourgish. Towards the end of the week I studied lessons 13 and 14.
Week 12: this week I reviewed/studied lessons 12-15 at the beginning of the week. On Saturday I really was in the mood for some Luxembourgish and I studied lessons 16-20, so I am officially done with LWA! Yay! But … I feel that I need to review A LOT and that I don’t really master everything yet. I will use the rest of summer to review and strengthen everything I have learned in this course, levels A1 and A2.
Week 13: immersion in Spanish, so no study.
Assimil: I have rediscovered this book. Last week, in week 10, I reviewed everything done so far, before the break in June, and added an extra unit. Now that I have decided to alternate days with Icelandic, I can’t do as much anymore as I did. I have to pick 1 resource and focus on that for the week. In week 11 this was LWA.
Week 12: good start of the week, I studied lesson 6 and 7 and … that was it for the rest of this week. Now that LWA is finished and I am going to focus on reviewing, I will have more time to dedicate to this book.
Week 13: immersion in Spanish, so no study.
Italki + anki: week 12: on Sunday I had half an hour conversation/class with Melanie. As always, tipptopp. This will be my last class for a while. I have a shoulder operation coming up in a week and I will have to recover from that. Maybe, if all goes well, I will pick up again mid August.
Week 7-10: June 1-28, 2020
All in all, the first week of June was a slow week as far as language learning is concerned. As I said in my previous post, I have a huge translation project that started this month and I had to finish a book translation before mid June and as always, when the end of a long-term project is near, I feel exhausted and the work takes over my whole mind. There is little time for anything else, let alone learning a new language intensively.
Therefore I have decided not to write a weekly update, but a monthly one.
I usually try to write a short intro in Luxembourgish, but I will have to give that a miss this month. Lack of energy …
What did I do this month?
Luxembourgish with Anne: I started the week with the long translation exercise and noticed a few gaps here and there. Not so much in the vocabulary (although I should really take some time to review Level 1 as well), but rather in the construction of sentences. I rely on German quite a lot and that is not 100% proof.
My passive knowledge is very good, I see the sentences and know what they mean. Separate words in word lists are great as well. Translation into Luxembourgish is not bad either, but I want to be better. Writing is quite good, thanks to this blog, where I always try to write a short intro in Luxembourgish (except for this update).
Week 7: I did the translation exercise, went through lessons 11-15 of level 2 and studied level 11 thoroughly. I had a very busy week and didn’t really feel like doing some intense studying in the evening, so I decided to watch a few of her videos on YouTube, that always kickstarts my energy for language learning and so it did this time around as well. I watched several videos, made notes on my pdf’s and then came across the podcast of lesson 11 of level 2, so I decided to study that unit.
Week 8: practically no time to study, but I managed to squeeze in a review of unit 11.
Week 9: *embarrassed* no studying and I really noticed that during my italki class, I couldn’t even remember the simplest things. I should focus on internalizing all that I have learned over the past weeks. (note to self: use July to review everything learned so far)
This is slowly turning into a disaster. Hopefully I will have enough energy to pick it all up again after I finish the gigantic translation project in the first week of July.
Week 10: on Monday I finally got round to reviewing a bit of this course. I managed to have a look at lessons 11 and 12 and to my surprise, I remembered most of it.
Assimil: in week 7 I didn’t open this book. I am addicted to LWA and find that course very accessible. This Assimil book has a lot of vocabulary and grammar and sometimes it is discouraging to just be sitting there, memorising vocab lists. It is aimed at people wanting to relocate to Luxembourg and some of the units are not very interesting for me personally. However I plan on picking it up again in week 8 or 9 and definitely want to have reviewed everything and hopefully have added a lesson or 2 before the end of the month.
Week 8, unfortunately no Assimil either.
Week 9 (now I am really embarrassed), nothing … I am afraid that I will have forgotten everything and will have to start from scratch again.
But then, in week 10, I DID have a look, much to my surprise I remembered almost everything and even reviewed everything I had done so far. On Sunday I even added another unit.
Italki: in week 7 I had an italki lesson with another teacher, not my regular one (who I am very fond of, might I add). It was fun, he was very well prepared, gave me a lot of new vocabulary (giving direction, locations). He had prepared a shared document for me and we had a fun conversation. I spoke a lot and it went a lot better than I expected.
I kicked off week 9 with an italki class with Melanie. This was again a great lesson, but I felt that I hadn’t reviewed/studied as much as I usually do, so I really should pick up again. Another 3 weeks and the big project is finished. I just have to hang in there until then.
My next lesson is only in week 12, the 9th of July, and I am determined to review at least LWA level A2 so I won’t feel like a total beginner (like I did in week 9).
Week 6: May 25-31, 2020
Ech léieren zënter sechs Woche Lëtzebuergesch an ech muss soen, et gefält mer séier. Et geet och ëmmer besser.
Ech hunn och e Puer Liblingswierder: trëppelen a plënneren (et gefält mer wéi ‘ë’ klëngt), Puppelchen (ass dat net butseg! – this means baby), sech tommelen, klawéieren, matzen (local dialect for ‘in the middle of’, e.g. matzen an der Stroos) a schliichlech Paangecher (pancakes).
The coming 5 weeks I have a huge project to translate, which means that I will have very little time to study any languages. My main focus will be on reviewing what I have learned so far, so that I don’t forget anything and don’t have to start from scratch again in July.
This also means that the projects I am working on this week and the next, have to be done in a shorter period of time now, which means that as of this week I have less and less time to dedicate to language learning.
What did I do this week?
Luxembourgish with Anne: against all odds (I didn’t plan to at all) I studied lessons 6-10, meaning I am on track to study 5 units a week and have level 2 done in 4 weeks (by the end of June hopefully, if the work load is not ruining my mood to study languages).
Lesson 10 is a huge translation exercise, so I might redo that again early next week, to review everything I have studied so far.
It feels like I haven’t done a lot this week, I definitely didn’t put in as many hours as previous weeks. I guess it is taking its toll, all the hours of studying (not only Luxembourgish, but also Icelandic from scratch). A good thing then that Luxembourgish resembles German a lot and I don’t have to intensively study the vocabulary. It is mainly reviewing a bit, reading a few times, making lists per gender and that is generally enough to have everything memorised. Also the sentence structure is very familiar to my native language and to German.
Assimil: nothing …
Italki + anki: no italki class this week, the next one is on Wednesday next week. I am looking very much forward to it. We had a short conversation already, he asked me what I wanted to do and I asked for a pure conversation lesson, especially about giving directions. I can’t wait!
How much time did I spend?
Monday: 30 minutes LWA lesson 6-7-8
Tuesday: 25 minutes LWA lesson 6-7-8 review
Thursday: 1 hour 35 minutes YouTube, review LWA
Friday: 45 minutes LWA review 1-8
Saturday: 30 minutes review LWA
Week 5: May 18-24, 2020
Et deet mir Leed, awer ech hunn dës Woch vill Réckwéi a Kappwéi gehat an dofir hunn ech net sou vill studéiert. Glécklecherweis hunn ech dach e Lektioun mat menger Proff gehat. Mir schwätzen ëmmer vun typeschen Expressiounen well dat mir séier gefält. Wann du dës benotz, schwätz du genee wéi e Lëtzebuerger an dat ass dach wat mir wëllen, net, wa mir eng nei Sprooch léieren?
Ech hunn dës geléiert: sech Futti laachen. Elo probéieren ech se e puer Mol ze benotzen, awer ech wees nach net wéini, vläicht mam anerem Proff d’nächst Kéier.
I took a day off last Sunday and that did me good. It was an intensive month of studying Luxembourgish (and other projects) daily for at least an hour and I really needed that break, also because ending level 1 felt like a milestone, after which I had to start from zero again.
But it sure feels great to have accomplished this in a month’s time and I am more determined than ever to reach a B1 by the end of the summer (no idea how I will check that, there is nothing available, not even good textbooks. However in September there will be a B1 textbook, that I plan on buying). Our plan is to go to Luxembourg for a weekend during the summer, if we are allowed to with the lockdown, so that I can practice what I have learned in a real-life setting (and do some hiking of course, that would be our main reason). Fingers crossed!
My favourite word/expression of last week is: ech hunn e Furri gehat, which means I had a blast. Sounds so much more fun than ech hu Spaass gemaach, doesn’t it.
What did I do this week?
Luxembourgish with Anne: it felt strange not to start the week with my dose of video lessons and pdf notes after 4 weeks of the same rhythm. Level 2 consists of 20 video lessons with considerably more input than in level 1. I decided to just work my way through them and not impose myself a fixed number of lessons, like I did with level 1. The information in level 2 is a lot more exhaustive and requires a bit more studying: grammar, verb conjugations, vocabulary. No more weekly challenges either, so I still need to figure out how to make sure I am making progress.
Now that I know much more Luxembourgish, I like to combine the topic of the video lessons that I have already studied and try to make sentences or little stories. That way I realise where my weak points are in the Luxembourgish grammar (which I then add to the word file I share with my italki teacher, so she can explain) and I look up loads of new words in the online dictionary I mentioned last week. This way I build vocabulary that is of interest to me (one thing I hate is studying words I know I will never use).
This week I finished 5 lessons of level 2.
Whenever I don’t really feel like doing some proper studying, I turn to the YouTube page that she has and watch random videos. I take notes and consider this as learning as well. I feel that I have focused well on studying level 2 lessons this week and deserve an easier day. Besides that it was so hot, too hot to do anything. Passive studying, let’s leave it at that.
Italki + anki: my italki teacher sent me my dose of anki words again, which I practised during the week (only once though, I knew it, I am not a very loyal anki user). She added some new words as well, that we haven’t seen during our lesson, because she knows I like to move fast and like to have many new words to study.
The lesson this week was the best! Melanie is such a good teacher (and a very nice person as well). Because I am such a fast learner (hm hm), she keeps adding colloquialisms and makes me translate sentences to speed up the vocabulary learning. I get so energised by it and I could easily have 1 hour lessons or longer with her.
How much time did I spend?
Monday: 1 hour anki, LWA
Tuesday: 55 minutes LWA
Wednesday: 1hour 10 minutes YouTube, review LWA 1-5
Thursday: 1 hour 15 minutes YouTube
Saturday: 1 hour LWA, italki
Sunday: 30 minutes LWA
May 11-17, 2020
Et huet mir esou vill Spaas gemaacht, Lëtzebuergesch ze léieren an ech wëll gär weidermaachen. Dofir hunn ech mech ugemellt fir Level 2 an ech fänken d’nächst Woch domat un. Ech hunn wierklech e Furri mat d’Sprooch an ech kann net waarte bis ech se nach e bësse besser schwätze kann.
Exactly 1 month since my first taste of Luxembourgish, on April 18, and I would never have guessed nor hoped to be here today, speaking at an A2 level more or less, being able to read texts in this wonderful and special language and being completely in love with it!
This was the last week of Luxembourgish with Anne level 1 already, I can hardly believe it. This has gone by so quickly, I have loved it so much and it is incredible how much I have learned in just a few weeks. This course in combination with italki lessons has given me a solid base of Luxembourgish in no time. Can’t wait to continue the journey to Luxembourgish fluency!
What did I do this week?
Luxembourgish with Anne: as always I started the week with listening to all 5 video lessons for this week, the last one. This week focussed more on vocabulary, which I like a lot, because it is the flesh to learning a language (but it is also the most difficult thing to learn, I think, and to sound like a native requires hard work …). The next few days I continued studying the vocabulary, especially the gender was quite challenging.
I have my own method for that. I use a green (for male), a pink (for female) and an orange (for neuter) highlighter and highlight all the words in the conversations and vocabulary lists in the corresponding colour. Per page I also add 3 columns at the top, right for male, middle for female and left for neuter, where I add all the words of the corresponding page. That way I immediately see the colours, my brain links words to colours and to position at the top of the page and I ‘should automatically’ know the gender.
I finally made the last test for this course on Wednesday and therefore level 1 is finished. I scored 95%, which gives me an overall score of 97,5% (and a discount of 50% for level 2, now isn’t that cool!).
On Saturday I got enrolled in Level 2 and started with the first 2 lessons. I listened, as always, to the audio and took notes. Some new vocabulary and verbs and of course that triggered me. There were so many more things I wanted to know (my mind goes in all directions when learning a language), so I explored the Luxembourgish grammar on my own with this free pdf https://www.freelang.com/dictionnaire/docs/luxembourgeois_grammaire.pdf. I had been thinking for a while about how adjectives are inflected in Luxembourgish and now finally I know how to do that. One thing I like to do while studying, is making my own sentences, for which of course I need extra vocabulary. A good and free online dictionary (with English, French and German as well) to help me with that, is www.lod.lu!
No Thursday evening blues this week, but a Sunday afternoon dip … I couldn’t seem to motivate myself to study Luxembourgish (I did work on my Afrikaans though). I think the reason for this is that I have been crash coursing Luxembourgish for the past month and my brain has had an overdose of the language. I did however pick up my books this afternoon and reviewed lessons 1-2 and even studied lesson 3 for a bit. I decided not to feel guilty and just enjoy my other languages. Fresh start tomorrow!
Assimil: here as well, I use the same method for remembering the gender of the words as I do with the LWA course. In preparation of my italki class I reviewed units 1-5 again. At the end of the week I reviewed lesson 5 and started with lesson 6.
Each lesson is packed with information, vocabulary, grammar and requires a bit more time. Not all units are as interesting for me, I feel it is more geared towards people who want to move to Luxembourg. Nevertheless, there IS a lot of useful information (and not really any other course available if you want to learn Luxembourgish).
Italki + anki: this week as well, I studied the anki deck. I have decided not to add extra vocabulary from other courses. I will just review everything with my study notes and the book I use. I was looking forward so much to my italki class this week. I missed last week because I was too late and this week, the only available time slot was Thursday at noon, so I went for that.
The lesson was great. Melanie is a very good teacher, she’s friendly and well prepared and we cover a lot during our class. We share a Google document in which I can add my questions or things I would like to discuss. During the week she has a look at them and prepares the answers and/or exercises. During the lesson, she writes all the grammar in there as well so that afterwards I have everything in one place. We talked about relative and personal pronouns. I had been struggling with that, because it is not covered yet in any other lessons or books I am using and I like to make longer sentences, for which you would need at least relative pronouns. Because I already have a good knowledge of German, she decided to work by deduction. She gave me sentences to translate and we filled out the chart together.
I prefer this way of learning. It makes my brain work, I can piece together the answers based on my knowledge of other languages and I remember everything better then if she would just give me the chart to memorise.
How much time did I spend?
Monday: 1 hour 15 minutes LWA week 8
Tuesday: 1 hour 25 minutes LWA, anki
Wednesday: 25 minutes LWA, anki, test
Thursday: 1 hour 15 minutes anki, italki, assimil
Friday: 1 hour 15 minutes assimil
Saturday: 2 hours LWA level 2 lesson 1-2
Sunday: 30 minutes LWA level 2 review lesson 1-2
May 4-10, 2020
Gudde Moien, wéi geet et Iech? Ech kann net gleewen dat ech schonn dräi Wochen Lëtzebuergesch geléiert hunn an dat ech schonn eppes soen kann. Ech kann et gutt leiden. Ech hunn d’Wieder geléiert an elo léieren ech iwwer d’Aarbecht an iwwer wéi ech schaffen ginn. Et gëtt interessant!
D’letzt Woch hunn ech vill gemaach. Net sou vill geschwat, awer méi geléiert mam Buch a vill nei Wierder! Et maacht mir sou vill Spaas op Lëtzebuergesch ze schreiwen, ech soll dat méi maachen.
Ech hätt am éischten Juli gär op d’mannst B1, mee dat ass net méiglech, d’Buch B1 ass eréischt am September do. Ech muss dann am Summer nach ëmmer mat Assimil liesen a léieren.
Ech weess dass ech nach vill Feeler maachen, awer ech maache mech keng Gedanken, ech schreiwen einfach drop lass a probéiere!
It is so much fun to see the results this quickly. I think it has to do with the fact that it is 1) a Germanic language (close to my native language and to German, one of my fluent languagees) and 2) I am taking conversation classes from day 1 and I am forcing myself to actively use the language. What do you think? Speaking from day 1 or building up slowly?
Did you know?
Strangely enough, children in primary school do not learn any Luxembourgish grammar and they do not learn to write the language. Everything is taught in Luxembourgish, but whatever is written, is either in French or in German. Colleagues as well, they would speak Luxembourgish between them, but anything official is in French or German. However if you want to apply for citizenship, you have to prove you speak Luxembourgish and pass the Sproochentest (which also involves some writing, I suppose). There is also very little literature in Luxembourgish available.
All of this makes it very hard to study the language and to come to a uniform orthography (as I explained last week).
What did I do this week?
Luxembourgish with Anne: I have spent the last weekend studying week 5 of this online course and on Monday, I did the test (it consists of some 10 phrases to translate into Luxembourgish and an audio file with 5 phrases to listen to and translate into English). I scored 96%. I always try to write a little bit in Luxembourgish when sending the test through, to force myself to use the language outside of the context of the lessons and use the vocabulary in a normal setting. The next few days were spent studying week 6 of the self-paced course.
Halfway through the week I felt ready to take the test for week 6. There were a few more verb conjugations to study in this week and I got 1 wrong. My score for this week was 99%. I reviewed the study notes for this week and started with listening to/studying week 7.
There seems to be a pattern here. On Thursday evenings, the end of the week is near and I seem not to have much energy left to focus on studying. Again, I have watched some videos of LWA and took notes of interesting things, such as questions, how to use ‘ze’ or ‘fir … ze’. Passive studying, so to speak. We are slowly getting towards the end of the self-paced course and I am very excited!
The weekend was all about the test for week 7 (for which I scored 100%), watching some more videos on LWA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel and finally reviewing/studying some more assimil. I usually begin a new week of the course on Sunday afternoon, but not this time, week 8, the final week of this course, is for next week.
Assimil: it has been a few days since I last opened this book (Luxembourgeois à grande Vitesse). I am so focussed on the LWA course that I forget that I also have this one. On Wednesday I decided to review what I had studied so far, but it was getting quite late, so I didn’t do more than 2 lessons. Luckily I could remember most of it still! I haven’t done a lot of assimil this week.
Only on Saturday did I study with this book again. This time I reviewed lessons 1-3 and studied lesson 4. A lot of work, there were many new and very useful words (so I could not drop a few that I would never use, without feeling guilty …). Besides that, the grammar was tough, with irregular verbs and specific sentence constructions (such as ‘I would like to’, 2 possibilities). Not much help from German here. I usually can rely on my knowledge of German to figure out what everything means or even construct sentences of my own and just ‘guess’ the vocabulary, but with these verbs, OMG, no way!
Then finally, on Sunday, I did a good amount of work, reviewing lessons 3 and 4, good work yesterday, most of it was still memorised. I added lesson 5 as well, since this was mainly about telling time and about numbers, and I know all that from the LWA course. I studied a bit of the vocabulary and the grammar as well, which I will review the coming days.
Italki + anki: as always, I review anki on a daily basis. I am thinking of adding the vocabulary from the LWA course, but I’m not sure yet. I think it might be a lot of work while I can just study from the study notes. Knowing myself, I will give up on anki after a while, but it is a good way to start building up an extensive vocabulary quickly. There was no italki class this week, I was late in scheduling and there was no more availability, much to my regret. I spoke to myself a bit but somehow that was not quite the same … I did think a lot about what I would write as an intro in Luxembourgish, doesn’t really qualify as italki/speaking time, but it made me use the language actively, which is a good replacement for a conversation class.
How much time did I spend?
Monday: 1 hour 10 min, test LWA week 5, listen to anki, study week 6 LWA
Tuesday: 1 hour, anki and review week 6 LWA
Wednesday: 2 hours and 15 min, anki, review week 6 and test LWA, study week 7, assimil review lesson 1-2
Thursday: 45 min anki, LWA Facebook videos
Friday: 2 hour 5 min anki, review LWA week 7
Saturday: 1 hour 45 min LWA videos, test week 7, anki, assimil
Sunday: 1 hour 30 min assimil, writing practice, anki
April 27-May 3, 2020
Et freet mech schonn eppes Lëtzebuergesch schwätzenzekënnen, awer ech kann et nach net sou gutt. Ech presentéiere mech: ech sinn d’Petra, ech sinn bestuet an ech hunn dräi Kanner, dräi Jongen. Ech kommen aus der Belsch, ech sinn iwwersetzerin an ech léiere gär Sproochen. Ech hunn eelef Stonnen Lëtzebuergesch geléiert.
OK, so the first week was awesome, I am having so much energy and after spending a lot of time on Korean and putting in a lot of effort with only little result, it is so refreshing to see the progress I make almost on a daily basis.
I was looking forward to this week because I didn’t have a lot of work planned (I am a freelance translator) and I was dead set on putting in loads of work on my language learning (not only Luxembourgish).
Did you know?
Luxembourgish is a vehicular language, meaning there was/is no fixed spelling (I am not sure if there is an official spelling at the moment). The government has been trying to do that for tens of years and the official spelling is reviewed in October, in an attempt to have a more uniform spelling system. A new spelling of certain sounds is then presented, but can be rejected. A recent example is the word for ‘going for a walk’ = spazéieren, according to the new spelling, this would be spadséieren. However this can be rejected if the population can not get used to this new spelling.
What did I do this week?
Luxembourgish with Anne: she has a fun Facebook page with a quiz and some useful phrases or extra vocabulary, so I scrolled through all the posts and took whatever I found useful and put that in my anki deck to review during the week. Besides that I also studied the lessons for week 3. I prefer to listen to all 5 lessons of this week in 1 go and then review during the week. By Wednesday I was ready with this. After having reviewed everything, I made the test for week 3. Always good to see if I really master the writing of Luxembourgish and if I didn’t make any silly mistakes (such as gender or the n-rule). Result: 98%, I am on a roll …
The second half of the week, I studied/reviewed LWA week 4 (5 lessons) and made the test for that week. I scored 100%. I seem to be really liking this course. The pace has picked up a bit, there is more information per lesson, which makes it nice to study (I like lessons that are a bit more packed and that go a bit quicker). On Thursday, after a hard day’s work, I had no energy left to do any studying, but thank God there is the YouTube channel of LWA, so I watched a few videos for some passive studying/listening. But the rest of the week was all about language studies (not only Luxembourgish, but also my other languages). I studied week 5, but at a lower pace this time. Over the weekend I listened to the lessons for week 5 twice, studying passively.
Assimil: I reviewed the 2 lessons I had studied earlier and added lessons 3-5. Some of the vocabulary is already known from LWA, some of it is new. These lessons are more packed than the ones in LWA, so they require more studying (and therefore I can’t go quickly). The grammar is concise, it would be a good thing if it were explained a bit more into detail, but maybe we might see that in later lessons …
How do I go about these lessons? The first day, I begin with listening to the audio over and over and highlight typical expressions (that I might confuse with German or that are so distinct from German that I would never guess them). That way I can immediately see them when reviewing the unit. After that I read the grammar/vocabulary a few times, not trying to learn anything by heart yet. The second day I listen to the audio again, focussing on the things I had highlighted, and I try to memorize verb conjugations. The vocabulary is picked up from listening to the audio. From the third day onwards, I try to translate the dialogues into Luxembourgish, I review the verb conjugations and focus on memorizing the vocabulary. I notice that these lessons take longer to digest than the LWA lessons.
Italki + anki: this week I reviewed the anki deck my italki teacher has sent me, based on our lesson of last week (daily). I added more vocabulary from the Facebook page of Luxembourgish with Anne and reviewed that as well. Since this was only our second class, I didn’t know yet what to expect as far as the teaching is concerned. Earlier this week I had asked Melanie to focus on numbers, telling time, talking about dates, birthdays … Anything to do with numbers, since that was what LWA week 4 was all about. This is the first time ever that I am learning a language and I start speaking from day one (more or less). And I must say, I like it! It gives me self-confidence to see that I actually can understand and say things (once again, I am a Dutch native and speak German fluently, so that helps. I couldn’t do this with, say, Bulgarian – a language I have been studying for almost 3 years and I only start speaking earlier this year). The lesson went well, we discussed what I had asked for and I managed to speak a bit of Luxembourgish. She speaks only Luxembourgish to me (except if she needs to explain something) and I understand more than I would have thought. And of course, I review my anki decks daily.
How much time did I spend?
Monday: 1 hour 45 min review anki deck, adding new voc from Facebook page Luxembourgish with Anne, learning week 3 (5 lessons) Luxembourgish with Anne
Tuesday: 1 hour 45 min anki and voc from Facebook page LWA, review LWA week 3 (5 lessons), make the test for week 3, review and study assimil lessons 1-3
Wednesday: 1 hour 30 min LWA week 4 (5 lessons), 5 min for anki review
Thursday: 35 min anki review, YouTube videos LWA
Friday: 2 hours 45 min test week 4 LWA, review week 1-4 (20 lessons) LWA, assimil review/study lesson 1-4, anki review
Saturday: 2 hours LWA (listen to week 5 – 5 lessons), italki conversation/class, anki review
Sunday: 1 hour review week 5 LWA, anki
April 20-26, 2020
I was so excited to get started. It’s like a drug, diving into a new language, trying to crack the code, so to speak. And a funny but welcome side effect is that starting with Luxembourgish has made me eager to focus more on my other languages again (especially Afrikaans and Faroese). Now all I need is enough hours every week …
Whenever I start a new language I listen to a lot of audio, if there is any online (take Faroese for example, hardly anything to find … or I am terrible at Google search …). Doesn’t matter if I understand anything or not, I like to get used to the flow of the language, to the particular sounds. So that’s what I did in the beginning of this week, since I didn’t have any textbook yet. The same (and some other) YouTube videos over and over again (Luxembourgish with Anne – big thumbs up!), so I am starting to have an ear for the accent … It feels really strange, because I get into German mode, only to find that it does not really resemble German (but then again it does …).
Trying to find some Luxembourgish reading material will be like a treasure hunt, no idea if and where I will be able to find novels online that ship to Belgium … I know, I should take some time to acquire enough vocabulary before trying to read anything at all, but I am a book addict, so I will just have a little look already. Only looking, no buying, promise!
What did I do this week?
The first half of the week, I reviewed the things I had studied over the weekend and added the days of the week, the nominative and accusative personal pronouns and a bit of vocabulary (because I still had not received my textbook and the online self-paced course was not finalised yet). This was mainly listening to Luxembourgish with Anne, I selected several topics, such as how to form questions … A lot of extra vocabulary!
I enrolled in the beginner’s course on the same website as mentioned above. Finally on Wednesday, everything was arranged and I could get started. Fun fun fun! I downloaded the first 10 videos and pdf files with grammar and explanations, copied everything I had already written everywhere on small pieces of paper to put in my Luxembourgish folder (I made separate lists with vocabulary and lists with verbs) and listened to the first 10 videos along with the pdf’s. I checked the pronunciation of words I couldn’t find in the videos on forvo.com. I focussed on these 10 lessons for the rest of the week and drilled the extra vocabulary gathered this week. Basically this meant listening again and again to the same videos (I am so boring, I know …) and repeating the vocabulary over and over again. I’m not kidding, I am even dreaming in Luxembourgish right now! Last thing I did for this online course this week was fill in the weekly test for week 1 and week 2 and I scored 96% for each. Whoohoow!
And then, on Friday, sooner than expected my Assimil book arrived. Of course I couldn’t wait and got started with the first chapter. A few things I already knew from other videos and lessons, so far so good … The rest of the weekend I continued studying with Assimil and completed 3 chapters.
Last thing I did this week, was book an italki Lesson with Sena (Melanie) for Luxembourgish classes. I have been taking italki classes in 7 of my languages (French, German, Danish, Spanish, Italian, Bulgarian, Afrikaans) for the past half year more or less and I find that it helps me a lot to practice speaking on a regular basis. It boosts my ability to use the language straight from the start. It was exactly what I had hoped it would be. A good pace, a bit of new vocabulary and a very engaged teacher. I even spoke a bit of Luxembourgish (wow these sounds are way harder to pronounce in a live conversation than when just repeating stuff). She sent me an Anki deck with the vocabulary that we discussed during class and we work in a shared Google drive document for the grammar. Will be continued …
How much time did I spend?
Monday: 1 hour, revision
Tuesday: 40 minutes, revision + new grammar and vocabulary
Wednesday: 2 hours, grammar (cases, personal pronouns, articles)
Thursday: 1 hour (grammar, listening, reviewing all material, Luxembourgish with Anne)
Friday: 2 hours (assimil)
Saturday: 2,5 hours (italki, assimil, Luxembourgish with Anne), revision of everything learned so far
Sunday: 1 hour (assimil, anki deck, Luxembourgish with Anne)
What resources did I use?
Luxembourgish with Anne (YouTube, videos, blog), italki + anki deck, Assimil
April 18-19, 2020
This weekend I have ordered the Assimil course (paper version – in French. This is called laddering, learning one language through another one, which is not your native language).
On Saturday, I have spent about an hour watching Youtube videos by Luxembourgish with Anne and taking notes. I learned personal pronouns, 10 useful verbs (with conjugation), some random words. I have not repeated anything out loud yet. I focussed on listening and writing.
She also offers an online self-paced course and I will most likely enrol. This course consists of 40 lessons, 8 weeks, 1 lesson per weekday. I have no idea about the level at the end of this course, I would guess A1. There is also a second course, level 2, leading up to an A2, I suppose. I would like to combine this with the Assimil textbook.
On Sunday, there was not a lot to do, since I don’t have a course book yet. I studied an hour, learned the verbs I wrote down yesterday, pronunciation (listening carefully, no speaking yet) and writing/conjugation (more difficult than I thought) and listened again to a few videos. I am getting used to the sound of Luxembourgish. I thought it would be a mix of German and French, with the emphasis on German, but it sounds completely different. I also checked out some videos for more advanced speakers (out of curiosity, nothing more) and I was pleasantly surprised that thanks to German, I am able to understand written Luxembourgish better than I expected.
I am doubting between a membership of the website Luxembourgish with Anne or the online course. She also offers interesting blogs (you get access with membership), so I haven’t decided yet. The knot will be cut tomorrow.