The Ambitious Goals of a Wallflower [ES, IT, ZH, and More!]

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marie39
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The Ambitious Goals of a Wallflower [ES, IT, ZH, and More!]

Postby marie39 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:28 pm

Hello everyone! Well, I already have a Spanish log which I will continue to update in Spanish but I also felt like making a general log for all of the languages I am actively studying and dabbling in. I will keep this in (mostly) English since that will be easier. I also have very ambitious goals. I have a long list of languages I want to learn. Some I want to reach a high level in while others I would be fine with reaching an intermediate level. Either way, the list is long and I am not getting any younger.

I am considering testing out the premium account on lingq because it has a lot of languages that I want to learn and intensive reading is probably my favorite way to learn.

Currently Studying

Spanish: I have gotten to the point with Spanish that I need to just consume a lot of native materials. No more textbooks. From here on out I will improve my Spanish with massive input largely in the format of books and television. I'll have to start introducing more writing and speaking into my plans as I continue to work on my language skills. I recently decided to start a kpop/jpop/asian pop fan journal and I'll be writing in it in Spanish. I already have a personal journal going in Italian.

Italian: I've always wanted to learn Italian. I have some Italian heritage but other than that, I love Italian food, the culture, the history, the art and just the way the language sounds. This year I got serious with Italian. I am now working through and intermediate textbook and once I finish with that I will increase the amount of native materials (books, television, etc.) I use. So, I'll be intensively using native materials like how I am using native materials in Spanish now.

Catalan: This came out of no where and I'm using Spanish to study a bit of Catalan for fun when I have free time.

Mandarin: I took a couple of beginner Chinese classes in college and felt pretty good with some basics afterwards. The classes were small so everyone participated and moved at a good pace. But I'm no longer in college and my Mandarin has slipped. I need to sit down and study but sometimes it feels like my brain just goes "this is too hard" before I even start.

There's more on my list (much more) of languages to learn but I'll stop here for now. I want to work on reviving my Malay skills, try my hand at Latin again, start French and maybe add a Germanic language to the mix to balance out all the romance languages.

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Last edited by marie39 on Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Ambitious Goals of a Wallflower

Postby marie39 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:37 am

I went to a local thrift store today to check out some books. I found a book in German! Then I found one in Dutch! Which language should I learn first? German or Dutch?

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Weekly Update Aug 11 - Aug 18

Spanish: I finished reading Renncuento. This is a very short story and it's part one of a series. I'm not going to continue reading the next books. This book was free when I picked it up. It's not difficult to read but I found it boring. I am currently listening to the audiobook Maximiliano, emperador de México. Oh my gods it's not a romance novel! I need to improve my listening skills. When I watch television wih Spanish subtitles I don't really have a problem following along more or less but just listening can be a bit challenging. I just need mroe input.a

Catalan: I translaed and made Catalan-Spanish flash cards out of the song Ningú més que tu. I also found a free ebook called "Ni tan alt Ni tan difícil" but it is actually only a sample of the book that is free. I'm probably going to just remove i from my Nook app but I did start reading it and made a few flashcards. I'm waiting for my textbook to arrive.

French: I was watching the tv show Versailles on Netflix and I felt like learning a bit of French. Then I remembered how difficult speaking French is.

Italian: I'm still working through my textbook as well as slowly reading Keith by Paola Camberti.
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Re: The Ambitious Goals of a Wallflower

Postby marie39 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:01 am

Week Ending Aug. 24th

I unfortunately did not get much done this week. Between work, interviewing for a new job and family, I didn't squeeze much time for studying in during the week. So, most of my studying was done on Saturday. I've also been mainly reading in English this week because I'm participating in the Thrillerathon. I love readathons and I try to throw one Spanish book in but this readathon is only a week long so that didn't happen.

Spanish: I's still listening to the audio book Maximiliano, emperador de México. It's very short (2 hours) and I probably have to listen to it again. I feel like I'm missing things because my ear is not used to Spanish audio without accompanying Spanish text/subtitles. I'm also reading El Sueno de America by Esmeralda Santiago.

Catalan: I'm waiting for my copy of Assimil El Catalan Sin Esfuerzo to arrive.

Italian: I am still working my way through the intermediate textbook book Insieme.

Mandarin Chinese: I am currently on chapter 6 of Chinese Link Level 2 Part 1. That's half way through the book! My only problem with this book is that not everything has pinyin. The example sentences in the grammar explanations and the extra stories/text do not have pinyin. So when I copy the grammar points and example sentences over to my notes, I have to look up the pinyin to make sure I have it correct. As for the extra short stories in each chapter, I have a notebook where I copy down each chapter's dialogue + pinyin + English translation and I can't really do that with the extra short stories/texts. It's too much work to be honest. I have my dialogue notebook because it forces me to write the characters instead of just looking at them and it forces me to read the dialogue a few more times.

I won't remember the characters if I don't also practice writing them. That's why I also have a notebook where I practice writing Chinese characters.

I'm also on chapter 25 of Mandarin Chinese Through Conversation Volume 2 which is really chapter 5 of this book.

My current goal is to learn, in total, 8 languages to an intermediate level in the next five/six years. Now if only I could decide on what eight languages to learn.
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Re: The Ambitious Goals of a Wallflower [ES, IT, ZH, and More!]

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:39 am

marie39 wrote:I went to a local thrift store today to check out some books. I found a book in German! Then I found one in Dutch! Which language should I learn first? German or Dutch?


Dutch! Why? Easier grammar, I believe more closely related to English. Will make the transition to the trickier German grammar easier when it comes to time to do so with Dutch under your belt.

German! Why? If looking to travel in Europe, Germans are not as proficient in English as the Dutch and there are around 100 million DE speakers (the highest number for any native language in EU) compared to a little over 20 million for Dutch. Mastering German grammar will make Dutch grammar like a walk in the park and you’ll have access to much more litterature and film, but I’d still begin with NL to make the grammatical learning curve less evil. ;)
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Re: The Ambitious Goals of a Wallflower [ES, IT, ZH, and More!]

Postby marie39 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:49 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:
marie39 wrote:I went to a local thrift store today to check out some books. I found a book in German! Then I found one in Dutch! Which language should I learn first? German or Dutch?


Dutch! Why? Easier grammar, I believe more closely related to English. Will make the transition to the trickier German grammar easier when it comes to time to do so with Dutch under your belt.

German! Why? If looking to travel in Europe, Germans are not as proficient in English as the Dutch and there are around 100 million DE speakers (the highest number for any native language in EU) compared to a little over 20 million for Dutch. Mastering German grammar will make Dutch grammar like a walk in the park and you’ll have access to much more litterature and film, but I’d still begin with NL to make the grammatical learning curve less evil. ;)


I'm still undecided lol. I told myself I would make a decision by the end of the month though. See, I've dabbled in German back in high school (years ago) but I mostly just gathered resources and listened to music. I can probably remember a few basic phrases and words. I like German but I also like Dutch. And I have an interest in the Dutch painters of the Renaissance. I would like to explore Dutch art, literature and culture more.

It may come down to what resources I can find.
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Re: The Ambitious Goals of a Wallflower [ES, IT, ZH, and More!]

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:38 am

marie39 wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:
marie39 wrote:I went to a local thrift store today to check out some books. I found a book in German! Then I found one in Dutch! Which language should I learn first? German or Dutch?


Dutch! Why? Easier grammar, I believe more closely related to English. Will make the transition to the trickier German grammar easier when it comes to time to do so with Dutch under your belt.

German! Why? If looking to travel in Europe, Germans are not as proficient in English as the Dutch and there are around 100 million DE speakers (the highest number for any native language in EU) compared to a little over 20 million for Dutch. Mastering German grammar will make Dutch grammar like a walk in the park and you’ll have access to much more litterature and film, but I’d still begin with NL to make the grammatical learning curve less evil. ;)


I'm still undecided lol. I told myself I would make a decision by the end of the month though. See, I've dabbled in German back in high school (years ago) but I mostly just gathered resources and listened to music. I can probably remember a few basic phrases and words. I like German but I also like Dutch. And I have an interest in the Dutch painters of the Renaissance. I would like to explore Dutch art, literature and culture more.

It may come down to what resources I can find.


Your indecisiveness on which language to choose reminds me of someone I know ;) If you can't decide and are particularly interested in Dutch culture, go for Dutch first. There are plenty of resources out there, but maybe you meant if you could find resources from your local library or some other obscure place to borrow content from, which I am not considering in the broader sense. Actually, I'm considering mainly language learning manuels/programs such as Assimil, Hugo, Teach Yourself, Colloquial etc. Plenty even for Dutch, but you might need to dig a little to uncover some more advanced Dutch learning content. It is out there, though...

...I know this as I have sourced the materials myself and for Dutch it's not that much harder than German to find the stuff you need at a more advanced level (Old copies of 'Taking Dutch Further/Hugo Advanced Dutch' can be found, 'Colloquial Dutch 2' looks worthwhile and even older copies of Assimil 'La Pratique du Néerlandais' (in French only) can be found, if only in digital format. Teach Yourself Dutch Grammar, in particular looks like a very worthwhile course to own for a more advanced learner. Also, once you make it past beginner's learning content for Dutch, there are a number of materials available from within the Netherlands aimed at the higher levels of the CEFR which you're likely to be able to dig up online once your Dutch improves, should you go down that path.

The reason I'm somewhat curious here about you're litle language choice dilemma is that I myself am undergoing mental battles of ridiculous proportions trying to decide which languages are most important for me personally to learn and in which order - Dutch, German, Norwegian and even Luxembourgish! Ah the things us language learners do (or don't do!)! Good luck with your decision, marie39!
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Re: The Ambitious Goals of a Wallflower

Postby marie39 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:01 pm

I told myself I would make a decision between Dutch and German by the end of this week and so I am making a decision now. I will learn Dutch!

I'm trying to decide between Colloquial Dutch and Beginner's Dutch for my beginner's textbook. I probably won't start Dutch right away either just because I'm going through a job change and other stuff. Ah, family drama. So much fun.

Week Aug 25th - Aug 31st
Unfortunately, this week was not very productive. I'm still waiting for my Catalan textbook. I started watching a couple of Chinese shows: 女儿们的男朋友 & 伙伴夫妻. Neither show has English subtitles so I was a bit lost but still entertained. I had a sudden burst of motivation to go back to Japanese so I started working in my Japanese for Busy People I textbook.

August 2019 Monthly Stats


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Every month I aim to study for a total of 930 minutes give or take. It's based on the idea that I will/can/should study for 30 minutes a day. Spanish, Italian and Chinese are my main focuses. The other languages listed on the spreadsheet are more just me playing around. So, I'm less concerned with the time spent on other languages aside from the top three unless it takes too much time away form my top three languages.

I'm honestly not too happy with this month. Yes, I was busier this month with work, looking for a second job, and family drama but I could have done more honestly. September already looks busier too.

I am happy that most of my Spanish studying was mainly spent on reading and passive listening because that is what I am focused on this year. Massive input from books and television. Next year I will focus more on Writing and Speaking. Italian is good. Once I finish up this textbook, I will move on to massive input. I really need to stop lollygagging with Chinese and get disciplined. I'm getting rid of the anki column next month. I've started reviewing anki cards and making word lists while at work.

I'm also worried about tracking my Spanish reading next month because I'm planing to read while at work and I can't really track the time in a proficient way if I do read at work. I'll have to see how it goes.
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Re: The Ambitious Goals of a Wallflower [ES, IT, ZH, and More!]

Postby marie39 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:32 pm

Week of Sept. 1 - Sept. 7

Not much happened this week with my languages because I've been busy. I decided to leave my job. I actually got another job. I left my full time call center job in favor of a part time that pays well. I was going to try to work both but it was going to be too much on my mental health due to scheduling while I'm training for the part time job. My part time job has training during the day. Then, after training, I'm going on the weekend night shift. Fun~ I am also looking for a second part time job for during the week. I should actually make more money this way too!

I also moved a lot of furniture with my boyfriend this weekend. I'm exhausted.

Spanish: I have done so much reading this week. I got to chapter 7 in Pequeño País which is the group read for this forum's book club. I am also 19% of the way through Contactos Peligrosos which is a Science Fiction romance or, as I call it, SciFi Smut.

This year I decided to do some intense Spanish reading. My goal was to read a book a month or a total of 12 books by the end of the year. It was tough trying to read in the beginning but it was worth it. Reading in Spanish has become much easier and more enjoyable. I'm not struggling to understand and I'm highlighting/writing down fewer vocab words. I was a little afraid to start reading Pequeño País because I was afraid it might be above my reading level but that hasn't been the case so far.

I also wrote an entry in my Kpop/AsianPop journal. And I recorded an introduction for the #SpeakingIn20 challenge on tumblr. My introduction was terrible but I was able to do it from memory more or less. I also watched a few youtube videos. I'm trying to fill my lazy youtube browsing time with more Spanish videos. I follow a bunch of booktubers and lifestyle vloggers including a Mexican woman living in Turkey in Spanish.

Italian: I did some reading. I'm still slowly making my way through my romance book.

Chinese: Just did a little work in one of my textbooks.
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Re: The Ambitious Goals of a Wallflower [ES, IT, ZH, and More!]

Postby marie39 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:50 pm

I know that at the end of August I said I was picking Dutch but I'm changing my mind. I'm going with German. I already have five books in German. I was at the bookstore last week and found an art book in English, French and German! I have two other art books in German. I think they both have a bilingual English text too. I have a graded reader in German and a fiction book. I was listening to some German songs I used to listen to in high School too. And it's easier to find tv shows that I will want to watch in German. Plus the Deutsche Welle "Deutsch Interaktiv" course is still available and free.

Week of Sept. 8 - Sept. 14

Spanish: I am 50% of the way through Pequeño País and 44% of the way through Contactos Peligrosos. As you can probably tell, reading is still my main focus. I also just really enjoy reading. Plus Tadoku is happening this month. I also watched a couple of episodes of Always a Witch on nextflix.

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Italian: I finished a book! Finally. I started Keith by Paola Camberti back in February and just now finished it. I think I got the gist of the story but there was a lot I did not understand. I'm not too worried though. I just recently had a break through with my Spanish after some intense reading this year so I'm sure I will get here with Italian at some point. I wrote a lot of vocab down for Italian too.

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Japanese: I had a good chuck of free time this weekend so I decided to restart my Japanese. I'm currently on chapter 10 of Japanese for Busy People Volume 1. I started at chapter 6 yesterday. I also started watching My Husband Won't Fit on Netflix which is based on a book. It's about intimacy problems in the bedroom. From what I heard, the series is based on various experiences from multiple women and the book is a collection of these experiences/stories. Or something like that. Either way, episode one was so weird. If some guy just walked into my apartment, put together my bookshelf without introducing himself first, drank my tea then invited himself over for the night I would kick him out and call the police, not make him my boyfriend. She is just so passive.

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Re: The Ambitious Goals of a Wallflower [ES, IT, ZH, and More!]

Postby Cèid Donn » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:15 pm

I like your furry study buddy there. :D
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