After lurking on these forums for a long time I thought I'd start posting some, so welcome to my log!
About me: I'm a young (mid-20s) American guy. I grew up in a monolingual English household, but I was always interested in languages growing up. I took a couple years of Spanish in school, like probably most Americans, and like most Americans I didn't learn a ton as our classes weren't very good-- though I did learn more my peers, I think. I continued doing Spanish on and off in my free time in college and afterwards until late last year, when I did three months of intensive study in South America, taking 4-6 hours a day of classes, mostly private, in language schools. I went in with probably some kind of B1 level and left at B2 or maybe B2+.
Now that my Spanish is pretty decent, I'm ready to start another language, something I had hitherto disciplined myself away from doing-- I much prefer having a good/useful level of fewer languages to having a shallow but less useful level of more. I picked French, since I think it's got about the highest level of cultural material that I'm interested in, is widely spoken, and should be aided by my Spanish knowledge. I've thus just started learning.
Speaking of cultural activities, my high level goals and motivations are largely around media: movies, TV, and especially literature. I'm a big opera fan which isn't really relevant to Spanish but is for French (though Italian is really the most important language here, and some of my favorite opera is German, so go figure). I like traveling a good bit, and it's definitely partly a motivator, but I feel like the ROI isn't good enough for me to justify learning a language for travel alone.
In the medium term, I expect to be focusing mostly on French and focusing on maintaining and perhaps slowly improving my Spanish. I'd like to hit C1 in Spanish eventually, but I'm in no rush. My grammar knowledge of Spanish is pretty good and probably already C1-level or close to it, so I mostly plan on consuming a lot of native materials for now as my main method of making progress: watching TV and especially reading Spanish-language literature. I'm a big believer in the value and power of reading.
For French, I've got the first half of French in Action and I started it a couple days ago. We'll see how well I manage to stick with it, since there's a ton of stuff here. I did realize to my displeasure that I bought some 2nd edition materials when there's a 3rd edition available; I have the 2nd edition textbook and study guide and 3rd edition workbook. I only bought part 1 so at least I'll be able to get the 3rd ed for part 2.
I think that covers all the basics for now! Going forward I hope to update this log with info on how I'm getting along and other language-related thoughts, so stay tuned!
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