All right then, let’s go over what I was able to accomplish this month in terms of my language learning goals. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I have not been doing enough to learn my current languages (Finnish, German, Japanese and Catalan) and it’s time to get real with myself and my goals. So this series will be done toward the end of every month just to see where I am at and where I actually need to be. Now with that being said, I have been busy with another project that I have been focusing on for my other non-language learning related business. Which I will not be mentioning here just because it’s not relevant but I did want to mention what has been taking up most of my time.
Let’s get started, shall we?
This month I only managed to get 1-hour speaking practice with a lovely Finnish tutor. Which continued one from my 1-hour session with the same tutor last month. Now, I do have one session booked for next month with the same tutor due to her availability being limited this month. But, it’s still better than going for months and months without practising with a tutor. Last year was a catastrophic year for me and it really taught me a lot about myself that I was not willing to face or admit. Before March, my previous session with a language tutor was on 15 June 2016 with a German tutor. That’s a horribly long time for me to go without practising with a tutor. Now my goal was to do at least 3 sessions with a Finnish tutor this month. Well, that did not happen! But I am glad I was able to get at least ONE session in. That is progress since June but I know that I can do so much better.
The last time I actually practised writing in Finnish was back in February. I still have time to practise (at the time of writing this blog post) but it has not happened at all. I had multiple opportunities to do so and I missed each and every one of them. My intention was to write about my plans I have in Finnish. I also did not make any time this month for the #IGLC challenge. Which could have given me the writing practice I needed. But even then that isn’t enough obviously. So next month I need to practise writing at least 3 times MINIMUM in order to get the most out of learning Finnish.
This one is the easier for me to do. I have spent a lot of time looking up Finnish music videos and reading and listening to the lyrics of each and every song I listened to. So what’s the problem here? I didn’t spend any time learning any the words from the lyrics. It’s just been passive listening and reading which is also crucial don’t get me wrong. But if I’m not proactively learning the lyrics and seeing how the language is being used in a lyrical or poetic way. Even if the song is totally weird and completely out there like many Finnish songs tend to be. Such as this one: Kohta sataa(“It’s gonna rain”) by Pete Parkkonen. From what I was able to see from the lyrics and the music video. It’s basically a song about wanting to have sex and the music video practically emphasises it. I must say that’s a catchy song no less.
Apart from listening to songs, I haven’t been listening to other sources of media like I should be doing. Such as the news, podcasts, Finnish TV series/YouTube vlogs/movies, radio, etc. Something that needs to be incorporated into the next month.
This one goes hand-in-hand with my listening practice. If I’ve been reading something in Finnish, I’ve probably been listening to something at the same time. However, apart from reading lyrics and subtitles on Swedish language programme in Finland, I didn’t get much practice in at all. I need to get back into doing it. Reading something in Finnish was a daily goal for this month and that only partially happened or rather only when listening to lyrics of songs. Yeah, I should go read something in Finnish like a news article. No, Teach Yourself Finnish doesn’t count. Which I have been using more or less.
New Words and Phrases I’ve Learnt This Month
I’ve spent time learning the numbers and counting in Finnish. I did notice a funny pattern that exists with numbers in Finnish.
That’s so illogical because you have to make these incredibly long numbers and then you get 100 and 1000 and it’s totally easy to say and remember. That’s been hilarious to discover and yet frustrating at the same time.
Minkälainen or Millainen- What kind of/What sort of
Ei mikään- Nothing
Ei kukaan- Nobody
Ei missään- Nowhere
Kotona- at home
Hyvää työtä- Good work.
So as you can see just the basics as I haven’t been able to really communicate well yet in Finnish. We have to build a foundation somewhere, don’t we? I also learned to conjugate the verb Olla (To be) in the present tense as well. Progress is being made slowly but surely. Now to make this a regular daily habit. Seeing that my daily goal (for now anyway) is to get in 30 minutes a day learning Finnish MINIMUM. Which is doable for my busy schedule and then once it becomes more and more consistent I will be able to spend even more time learning Finnish.
LingQ? Memrise? HiNative? (Language Learning Apps/Websites)
Nope, I did not use any apps or websites specifically for language learning this month. Take about a lack of motivation and/or laziness. But then again, another project like I mentioned earlier has been taking up most of my time lately. So I guess it can’t be helped or in Japanese: しょうがない・仕方がない. This check-in has made it clear to me that I really shouldn’t make excuses and to incorporate more and more time into learning not only Finnish but other languages I’m learning as well.
I’m just glad I got in at least one session speaking Finnish this month rather than not at all.
What were your language goals for April? Which goals did you accomplish and which ones could be improved on? How motivated were you this month? I’d love to hear your perspective.