Update: I completely forgot that the italki world cup language challenge had just opened up for registration. I will be changing my deadline from July 29 to June 30th and will be aiming for 25 lessons with tutors and professional teachers. The challenge starts June 1st so if you want to participate, sign up as soon as possible!
I decided to try a new language that I’ve been dying to learn but put it aside for quite some time. Now there are several languages I would like to learn by if you remember my encounter with language wanderlust when I should be focusing on maintaining the one’s I would like to become fluent in soon (Japanese and German). I’ll still be learning Japanese and German to keep them maintain at the levels they’re already at right now, while primarily focusing on a new language that I really wanted to learn.
A New Journey Awaits
Despite failing the italki language challenge back in January, I hope to achieve a bit more with this challenge seeing as I’m almost starting from scratch. I did own Teach Yourself Catalan at one point and I regret losing it because it was an incredibly well-written course for Catalan. I would highly recommend it if you’re learning Catalan. These challenges can really motivate you to create set a schedule devoted to the languages you’re learning.
Knowing what you want to accomplish in a specific time-frame can guide you to reaching your goal in the language. Whether it’s going beyond making small talk and actually having a meaningful conversation or just being able to survive in the language(s) you’re learning, it will make all the difference in the end.
Speaking At Least Once To Twice A Week
Due to having a busy schedule I will only be able to get in 2 days a week at most with a Catalan tutor via Skype. This will give me the opportunity to study Catalan on my breaks at work as well as when I get home. I recently purchased the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and I will be using it to practise reading in Catalan as well as review my lessons too. I can also officially say that I’ve completed a lesson with a Professional Teacher on italki for Catalan. It was definitely worth paying the higher price for it. Especially with all the useful resources she provided me.
The italki Professional Teacher option definitely offers you a lot more than the informal tutoring but you can still make the most out of that too!
Making Use Of Authentic Content in Catalan
Finding engaging content to boost my motivation to continue learning Catalan is important to achieving success in the language. I guess my Catalan resource page will come in handy after all! 🙂 Or at least for this mission anyway! If you’re also learning Catalan, it’s definitely a great place to collect materials to learn this beautiful language. I will be using whichever opportunity I can to “touch” Catalan at every given moment. The collection I’ve collected was what I was able to find in the relatively short amount of time to find resources for Catalan.
Setting Myself A Deadline
This is usually the part that gets quite ambiguous because I have never done it before when learning languages. My main objective is to devote as much time as I can to it every single day. That’s why it’s important to have a set schedule to allow yourself to learn your new language without being easily detoured from your goal. Maybe having a deadline like I had for the italki challenge in January will motivate me to do better this time around. Giving myself a specific deadline such as a 6 week to a 90 day challenge to improve my skills will keep me motivated to continue until the challenge is complete.
My aim is to be able to have a basic conversation completely in Catalan by July 29th.
That gives me time to get past the basics and allow me to construct my own sentences in Catalan without too much assistance from a dictionary. While I probably won’t be heading to Spain after the deadline is met, it will definitely get me ready for when I do decide to travel to Spain, Andorra, or with Catalan speaking communities in France and Italy as well.
Why Catalan and not Spanish?
Because I find this language to be quite beautiful and I do plan on visiting Barcelona, Valencia, and other Catalan speaking areas of Spain. It’s also a great way to interact with a group of people that Spanish alone would not enable you to do. Can you get by just fine only knowing Spanish and not Catalan? Yes, of course and I’m aware that Spanish is a lot more useful internationally than Catalan. But wouldn’t it be amazing to impress the locals by knowing both languages?
It also gives me an excuse to not learn Spanish through a similar language. After I finish learning Catalan, I will have a head-start at learning Spanish later on but it also will give you an advantage if you know French and Italian as well. You can think of Catalan as a bridge between French, Italian and Spanish as well as having it’s own unique features outside of Spanish, French and Italian.
Are you doing a language challenge? If so, which language(s) and for how long? I’d love to hear from you!