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Logging my language progress

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:04 pm
by annelions
There are several languages that I'd like to be able to speak for various reasons. This is my journey to (partial) fluency in as many of those languages as possible. To start with, I will be focusing on German, Spanish, and Croatian.

German:
I will be living in Germany once the borders open. I've been plugging away at German for a couple of years now but not with any real consistency. I need to step up my game to be able to navigate around. I can already handle basic shop transactions but I can't tell what the transport announcements are saying even when the voice is not fuzzy (in other words, if the announcements had been in English, I'd understand). A lot of Croatians speak German instead of English (see below).

Spanish:
I used to live in an area with a lot of Spanish-speakers and I think I learned more Spanish by going shopping at the local Hispanic markets than I did in school. I am roughly at an A1 level when it comes to basic reading comprehension but I guess I may be more of a false beginner because I have issues with very basic verb conjugation.

Croatian:
I am currently living in Croatia and I don't know when I will be allowed to leave (stupid closed borders). When I was only going to be here for a few weeks, learning Croatian wasn't that important. Now, I would at least like to know what the cashier is saying when he/she asks me something.



Near future goals (to work on a couple of years from now):

Italian:
Not currently a focus but I would like to achieve fluency in this language. Italy is a beautiful country and I hope to be able to visit again once the pandemic is over. Many Italians speak English very well but a lot of them do not. I have a basic understanding of the language and can get the gist of a spoken Italian conversation. I don't think I'm quite at A1, though.

Portuguese
If I can pick up Spanish and Italian, Portuguese shouldn't be too difficult.

Esperanto:
I dabble with this sometimes. Maybe I should put more of a focus on it? I don't know; it's not actively useful for my daily life.



Now for the really ambitious ones:

Korean:
Faaaaaaar in the future. I'd like to tackle a language that's very different and that doesn't use the Latin alphabet. I don't think I could deal with the Japanese writing system but Korean seems doable.

Ancient Greek:
I've always wanted to be able to read ancient Greek texts. Not especially useful for modern life but it could be fun.




Again, I am only focusing on the first three right now and I realize that even that is a tad bit ambitious. With 4 months left in the year, let's see how far I can get with some focused attention on those languages.

Re: Logging my language progress

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:27 pm
by annelions
I just joined the super challenge for all 3 of my languages. Full challenge for German, half challenges for Spanish and Croatian.

Super challenge progress:







German Spanish Croatian
Books : 0 / 100
Films : 9 / 900
Books : 0 / 50
Films : 0 / 50
Books : 0 / 50
Films : 0 / 50


I have some books and films for German and Croatian but I need to find things to read/watch for Spanish. I can borrow Spanish-language books using Libby but finding ones that I'd actually want to read is a bit more challenging. If I'm not interested in the content then I have a hard time focusing on the words.

Re: Logging my language progress

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:13 pm
by Xenops
Welcome to the forum! :) I am sorry about your being stuck in Croatia, I hope things are not terrible for you? It's difficult being stuck somewhere other than your home country.

Re: Logging my language progress

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:42 pm
by annelions
I like Croatia better than America. The food is better and everything is just cheaper in general. It's not terrible here. But it's not where I'd like to be, either. I miss being able to travel Europe - even if that meant being the stupid (mostly) monolingual American.

Re: Logging my language progress

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:56 pm
by Daniel N.
annelions wrote:Croatian:
I am currently living in Croatia and I don't know when I will be allowed to leave (stupid closed borders). When I was only going to be here for a few weeks, learning Croatian wasn't that important. Now, I would at least like to know what the cashier is saying when he/she asks me something.

Learning a Slavic language is not trivial, however if you learn a bit of it -- and it's hopeless to try to do it in a month -- you'll find many things in Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Russian etc very familiar. But many things will be very alien to you in the beginning... :)

Re: Logging my language progress

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:54 pm
by annelions
Once upon a time, I spent about a week learning the Cyrillic alphabet and a couple of Russian words because I'd read a story about an American businessman who went to Russia and kept, among other things, reading "restaurant" in Russian as "pektopa".

You're right about some things being the same and some being different, though, in Croatian. Mushrooms are easy, they're from French. Some shapes are easy. The colors feel impossible, though. And I keep getting beans and bread confused even though they're more than a single letter apart.

I've been listening to Pimsleur and picking away at Drops to try to get a bit more vocabulary in me. I've watched several Croatian videos on YT. It's helping me to be able to pick out a few words in speech but it's still a long way to go.