Hej gullepullar! Hur är läget? Hoppas att ni hade kul under helgdagarna. New Year’s is coming up very quickly and I figured it was time to reassess my goals for the year ahead. I’ve never been one to do the whole “New Year’s Resolutions” thing as I’m not someone who can follow through with them or maybe it’s because I’m not comfortable with announcing things that may or may not happen. Especially if it ends up not happening. It’s like I got a bunch of people excited only to push them off cliffs in the end.
2014 was the year I decided to begin my journey learning languages more intensively by participating in the italki Language Challenge for the first time. It was a great learning experience and showed me where I needed to improve when it came to learning Japanese. During the challenge, I was finally granted the full-time at my current job which unexpectedly created an inconvenience that lead to me being unable to complete the challenge.
I was discouraged with my failure, I decided that the language challenge wasn’t for me and tried to focus on building up my passive vocabulary in Japanese, forgetting to practise my speaking skills. This was a year ago. During the end of spring and beginning of summer, italki announced their World Cup Language Challenge, which I was conflicted as to whether or not I should do it. Luckily, I was inspired by fellow language enthusiast Lindsay (LindsayDoesLanguages) and decided to have another go at it.
But this time I was going to learn a language that I started learning (mostly dabbling to be honest) between 2008-2010ish. Which was Catalan! It really wanted to be able to get the basics down so I could truly discover this incredibly beautiful language down. My Catalan tutors were incredibly motivational and were very passionate about teaching me a language close to their hearts. It’s definitely a language I will be continuing with in the upcoming year.
During this challenge, I had something else unexpected happen: Moving house! Thankfully, I was able to move in rather quickly but it cause a significant inconvenience to me while I was trying to ensure I had enough sessions with my tutors. When I was finally settled and had a reliable internet connection, I was able to continue where I left off but, I wasn’t able to complete the challenge again. However, I got so much closer than I had during my previous challenge that I knew the third time I would win it!
I was right!/Jag hade rätt!
As Halloween/Samhain approached, there was another italki language challenge for the month of October. This time I decided to re-focus on Japanese again and was a lot more proactive in ensuring that I had all my lessons booked in advance. Not only was able to finish the challenge early but I had two additional lessons as well! I used a wider variety of Japanese tutors this time and really felt like my spoken Japanese had improved significantly. It was a great feeling knowing that I finally achieved my goals during the challenge.
What Do You Want To Achieve in 2015?
Although I did make more of a conscious effort to blog more regularly this year, I would like to be much more consisting in 2015. Perhaps even providing exclusive content or actually releasing a product (such as an e-book) to my email list (apart from only receiving my blog posts).
I would like to add more resource pages for specific languages like I already have for Catalan, Danish, German, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish. I originally created these for languages I was learning as well as provide resources learning my native languages (Danish and Swedish) as well as lesser studied languages (Norwegian, Catalan, Icelandic). Of course, if you have any beneficial resources for any of the languages, I already have: feel free to mention them in the comments!
I would like to focus more on German (since I have unfortunately neglected it for the most part this year, unlike 2013), Catalan (because I’m still fascinated by this language and would like to progress further in it), and Icelandic (whether it’s finding new materials, translating a friend’s Facebook posts (assuming it’s not too personal or difficult) and perhaps using an Icelandic tutor on italki. Although they are scarce. At the time of this post: There are currently two Icelandic tutors (both community tutors). Hopefully they still around for me to learn with them.
Learn new languages/re-learning previous languages. I don’t mean the ones mentioned above but ones I have learned seriously(or dabbled) in the past. These languages include Dutch, Finnish, Spanish, French, Italian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Russian, Czech, Mandarin Chinese, Bulgarian, Portuguese, Afrikaans, Swahili, Polish, Hungarian, Luxembourgish, Swiss German (if it counts, seeing as differences are so vast!) and maybe some others too. But you get the idea. I learned French for 3 years in school, Mandarin Chinese for 1 year in school, Italian (on and off) since I was 13 years old, Spanish (I’ve been exposed to it on a daily basis whether I’d like to admit it or not. Especially, where I was living. It was on billboards, you could easily find Spanish language TV channels, on every day products I was using, friends who spoke it natively, and the list continues on to infinity).
The rest were mostly me dabbling through a Teach Yourself course in that particular language or through a language learning community I was apart of since I was 12 years old.
Participation in the italki Language Challenge
The New Year’s italki Challenge begins on the 1st of January. Will I be participating in this challenge as well? Most likely! I will ensure that each lesson with my tutors are booked ahead of time. I’m not sure which language(s) I want to do for this challenge but it will be revealed when it is ready to be known. I’m feeling a bit ambitious for the new year. So don’t be surprised if I end up learning 3 languages for the italki Language Challenge. There’s so much ground (err…. languages!) I would like to cover. I’m looking forward to what’s to come in the near future.
But in the meantime feel free to guess which language(s), I might choose for this particular challenge!
What are your language resolutions/goals for the upcoming year? Are you learning a new language? Are you trying to advance your skills in your target? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!