This team needs some Vietnamese representation, so I'm going to do my best, okay?
I'm a little unclear on this, but it seems I'll need to make my own log in another thread.
In any case, here's a recap of the first month and a half of 2016.
I'm studying Vietnamese (primary target langauge) and Korean (secondary target language). I'm studying Vietnamese because it's what my wife speaks, and I had some Korean ages ago in college, but I never really got the hang of learning languages back then, so my tiny vocabulary killed my progress. Now that I know about about using SRS, I'm doing better now than I did back then.
So, a summary of my results so far.Vietnamese
I have a lot of weaknesses, because Vietnamese is tough for an English speaker. One of the big challenges is a bit analogous to the Mandarin-Cantonese problem in the U.S. but moreso, i.e., almost everyone in the U.S. speaks Southern dialect (analogous to Cantonese), but most teaching materials are in Northen dialect (analogous to Mandarin). Thus, the version I need to learn is a bit harder.
Nevertheless, I started taking Memrise seriously last year, and my vocabulary grew from basically just the contents of one of those "first 100 words of X language" books to something a bit larger. It's not quite large enough to read children's literature unassisted, though, so I have to keep going. I've been fighting through a second Memrise course in Vietnamese vocabulary, and so far it has had relatively little overlap with my first course. There have been a few duplicates, but most of it has been new stuff. The lessons were well-spaced for a while, so I was able to do about 20 words every couple of days, but the latest lesson was a big pile of adjectives. Over 90 of them. And the next lesson contains almost 200 verbs (I haven't started it yet). The adjectives lesson has some familiar material to it, though, so it wasn't so bad. I'm starting to pick up a few of the roots of the words, and that's making things easier.
My listening practice still comes from YouTube, where I listen to "Learn Vietnamese with Annie." I'd like to start the FSI course, but I've been focusing elsewhere so far.
Speaking practice comes when I take weekly walks. I'm getting better at pronunciation, but I'm going to end up with a funky accent, because my wife doesn't exactly speak a standard variety. It's a little strange to listen to some of the learners on YouTube. One guy I found was pretty great at speaking (limited vocabulary, I could tell), but his accent was terrible. I think it was obvious that he picked up a lot of phrases from songs, which is not a bad thing. I need to get better at that.
Reading is progressing. With some support from web browser translation extension, I can slog through the first Harry Potter
. Slow progress.Korean
I hadn't done anything for this language in a while, and it's definitely secondary now, because I don't feel any pressure to learn it quickly.
What's I've done so far this year is to add a bunch of words to my vocabulary through Memrise. Fair enough. Everyone does that, right?
The other thing, though, is that I'm finally teaching myself some Hanja. That's going pretty well, too. I'm not bothering learning how to write them, but I'm figuring out how to read them, with the idea being that I'll pick up new vocabulary (in Korean and
in Vietnamese!) if I know the Chinese roots. I'm up to 45 Hanja right now, and I'm due to add at least 15 more this week. My strategy has been to go with a lesson until I can get a perfect score on the (mobile version of) Memrise's speed review game without any difficulty, consistently. If I can do it without thinking, then I have a pretty good immediate grasp of the characters. If I have to stop and think, then I don't know that character well enough yet, and it'll slow me down when I read it.
Thought of another way, well, I never have to stop and think to myself to pronounce anything written in Hangul, so I don't think it's too much to ask to get to where I can recognize Hanja instantly, even if that slows down my progress.
Perhaps more importantly, studying Hanja has reignited my desire to study the language. Vietnamese has been utterly dominant for the last few years, especially since I made so much progress in 2015. As much as I love Korean, the motivation to study it has to come from within, since there aren't as many outside reasons to learn it. Finally getting good at Hanja (even recognizing one of the Chinese characters at the New Year's celebration I went to) has been amazingly helpful for this.
It also helps that I finally figured out how to do it. I've tried Hanja before. Hanja books never really worked for me, because I'd read about a character and then get stuck on it. The Memrise course I'm doing covers more Hanja than the average Korean adult knows (some well-educated people know a lot more, of course), so when I finally get through it, I'll have a pretty good handle on what Chinese characters I'll be likely to encounter while reading Korean stuff. Since there's an official Hanja test people can take, it seems to me that the course I'm on covers the Hanja on that, in order. I think. I haven't really confirmed it, but so far it's matched up with every other Hanja list I've found.
So, that's how things are going to far. I've added a few hundred Vietnamese words this year, about a hundred Korean words, and 45 Hanja, and I'm working on my Vietnamese reading and listening skills.
Here's to a great year! Good luck, everyone else!
Edit (log link): http://www.forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2170