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White Belt
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:11 am
Location: Japan
Languages: Japanese, Portuguese(N)
English, Español, 中文, 한국어, русский язык, Deutsch.
Studying: Français, Italiano, հայերեն, ქართული, Bahasa Melayu, монгол хэл
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9807
x 153

Re: Wanderlust

Postby Iceberg » Thu May 16, 2019 4:46 pm

Hala Madrid! Haha.

Infelizmente o Real deixou muito a desejar nesta temporada. Eu também gosto do Bayern Munich que ficou devendo também...

Tanto o Real quanto o Bayern precisam de renovação. Apesar disso, esta edição da Champions League foi uma das melhores desde que eu comecei a acompanhar em 1999/2000.

Obrigado pelos sites! Eu já os salvei no meu navegador.

On 2019 365 Day Language Challenge: Generic group

If there was something I have been consistent with, it is TAC. I have NOT missed any day so far. Yay!

Group 1:
1. English 2. Español

Achievement list

◎ Recently I have had more time for language exchanges in real life. I could use English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, German, French, Armenian and practice a bit of Mongolian. If I had more time, I could start having more German language exchanges as well.

☯ I have purchased some books for TOEIC, but I’m willing to sit for 英検1級 and either TOEFL or IELTS. There are some other tests on my radar, but I’d rather focusing in one or two tests per language.

I'm not in a hurry for my specific preparation. I don't even know if my working schedule will allow me to take proficiency exams as I need to discuss with my superiors in advance. It is a pity that in the past 3 to 4 years I haven't used any foreign languages at all. I still feel my English is really rusty nowadays.

Therefore, from time to time, I take a look at my bookshelves:

English vocabulary in use - Upper intermediate
English vocabulary in use - Advanced
Business vocabulary in use - Intermediate
Business vocabulary in use - Advanced
English pronunciation in use - Intermediate
English pronunciation in use - Advanced
English collocations in use - Intermediate
English collocations in use - Advanced
English phrasal verbs in use - Intermediate
English phrasal verbs in use - Advanced
English idioms in use - Intermediate
English idioms in use - Advanced
Advanced grammar in use - Advanced

I also found Michael Swan's Guide very useful to check some specific points. Sometimes I pick up Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English, depending on my mood.

I just keep reading fiction books and watching some sitcoms.

Achievement list

I have had language exchanges with native speakers from Peru, Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Uruguay and Chile.

Biggest hurdles so far:

△ Modismos de diferentes países.

Idioms in Spanish have been a headache for me. I have to learn one by one each of them. I guess, the situation is no different for native speakers from other countries. Some of the idioms I heard when speaking to Mexicans, the Spanish people, Peruvians and Argentinians couldn’t understand at all.

Biggest triumphs so far

◎ I have been curious about the Spanish spoken in other countries and I managed to talk with Peruvians, Argentinians, Chileans and Uruguayans. My goal is to have connections with native speakers from other Spanish speaking countries.

◎ I have been listening to Spanish songs from different countries, too.

◎ I talked to Japanese people who studied Spanish literature and linguistics in Japan and who have just come back from Spain or other Spanish speaking countries. We have also commented on SIELE and DELE. One of the Japanese guys told me that he holds B2 (CEFR) in both SIELE and DELE.

When a native speaker from Spain talked to us, she asked me why I am learning Spanish. I said one of the reasons is because I wanted to sit for DELE in the future. Obviously this is just one of the reasons, but I just have stated the first thing that came to my mind. She suddenly asked me: "do you think you can pass C1?" in a very arrogant tone, as if I were not capable of. I didn't like the way she said that to me. She didn't know anything about me and it came out of blue.

I haven't even stated that I was going to start with C1. I could start with B2, for instance. That said, honestly I feel very comfortable and confident with my current Spanish skills, a very closely related language to Portuguese. I am reading native stuff including books, which I also used to do when I was at the university. I have practiced Spanish almost every day (speaking and writing) with native speakers in the past 4 months. The errors I got were becoming less and less frequent and more on nuances, rather than real grammatical mistakes.

I could have simply said: "well, even if you pass N1(JLPT), I'd say that your speaking skills is unfortunately at A2/B1". I am aware of CEFR and I could clearly make her uncomfortable by stating what B1 and B2 level topics she can't clearly speak in Japanese (yet). But, no, I am not such a jerk.

Similarly and funnily, in another place, I was asked "do you think you can pass C1 in English?" in a very negative tone. This person clearly didn't believe in my skills. He accused me of being a liar or crazy. I ignored him, but I could have said: well, next time I will show you my 8.0 on IELTS, 110/120 (TOEFL ibt) and that I also hold B2 and C1 (CEFR) in other English exams accredited in English speaking countries: "Have you ever heard of FCE and CAE?". I don't know why, but here in Japan, it seems that sometimes you are an alien if you do speak 2 languages. And if you speak more than 3 languages (by speaking, I mean, at least B2), you come from another dimension or universe. :D

The thing is, past is past. I have not maintained none of those languages for a couple of years. Since my skills are rusty, some people will give me very negative feedback anyway.

Unfortunately my certificates are older than 2 years, so, I need to re-take all those exams in the future.

Group 2: 3. 中文 4. 한국어/韓國語 5. Deutsch 6. русский язык

Achievement list.

Biggest hurdles so far:
△ None so far.

Biggest triumphs so far:
◎ I found a Korean native speaker who is teaching Korean as a volunteer. We go to a cafe and start speaking in Korean. I really liked her first informal lesson because she can speak Japanese fluently. When I didn’t know the words or the grammar accurately, she could easily mention the Japanese equivalent.

Learning Korean through Japanese is way easier and faster than using any other language. Moreover, if you know Chinese you can grasp the Sino-Korean words as well.

I told her about my current level for every single ability. She brought me a difficult task to get out of my comfort zone. I’m studying with a German girl who is married to a Korean man, so I have to study hard to be able to take this informal lesson. It is arguably cheap and better than taking Italki or any other lessons in an online platform. The place is about 6-7 by train. If I consider the train fees, yes, it might be almost the same as Italki, but interacting with expats or immigrants will open more doors for new friendship and connections with other Koreans living in Japan. In addition, the Korean volunteer, she is a very well educated person. I also learned from the questions asked by the German woman.

Speaking of German, I talked to that German woman after the lesson for one hour. For free. Haha. :D I should have bought her a coffee or tea or something else...My German got rusty over the years, but I still managed to communicate around B1 level? She speaks with Southern German accent, which I am familiar with. So, actually, my exchange ended up being Korean and German! Haha. :D

I also found some partners for Chinese-Japanese or Chinese-English exchanges. I have been practicing with native speakers and I think I am learning new idioms, casual expressions not taught in textbooks.

All in all, I can say that I’m doing well on Chinese, Korean and German.

Regarding Russian...

Achievement list.

◎ None.

Biggest hurdles so far:

△ Vocabulary.

I’m not sure why but Russian is the language that requires more time for me to memorize words. Even Armenian and Mongolian words stick to my brain, but Russian…oh, well.

Biggest triumphs so far.

◎ Despite improving very slowly, my motivation is still the same. I love Russian language. :D

◎I am planning a trip to visit friends in either Moscow or Saint Petersburg by October or November this year, depending my friends' schedule. Therefore, I got some time to prepare myself and add an extra motivation to push myself to B1+ level until then.

Group 3: 7. հայերեն 8. ქართული ენა 9. монгол хэл

Although I have had lot of progress in Armenian and Mongolian, I honestly neglected a bit my Georgian studies. Not because I was lazy, but because I changed jobs and due to the rehabilitation that has been consuming much more time than I expected (3-4 hours every day).

There were days I counted (just as a matter of curiosity) and in one day I take notes on more than 100 new words in Armenian!

As for the hurdles, I suppose I need to get used to the voiceless consonants spoken by most Western Armenian speakers, because my resources are supposedly from Eastern Armenian. Other minor problems have been the vocabulary differences, but this is pretty normal at this stage where I am still a beginner.

Georgian is another beautiful language. People reacted also reacted in a negative way when they discovered that I study Armenian and Georgian: "WHAAAAAT? Georgia? In the US? I didn't know there is an indigenous language in Georgia". Well, people want to make fun of me, bully me, but sometimes it is better to be quiet than showing their ignorance. :lol: I also laughed at them and ignored such comments. I think it is an insult to language enthusiasts like all of us here on this forum. Poor them. Someone also looked from my back? "Why are you learning Russian?" Well, despite that being true, my material was clearly written in Mongolian...or is there another Ulaanbaatar in Russia? :lol: :D Ignorant people will remain ignorant, no matter what you say. Therefore, I took a more wise decision. I ignored them. I can't discuss with people who don't show respect, in first place.

My Mongolian language exchange partner (real life) had to go back to Mongolia and deleted her Line. It was the only way I had to communicate with her. I wish her the best and I wanted to say thanks for all explanations and feedback I received in Japanese. That said, I still have another friend who lives in another province. She is also from Ulaanbaatar and can help me from time to time. I will improve more my Mongolian skills to talk to her in Mongolian one day. She didn't believe that I was serious when I said I will learn her language.

In 2020 I was planning to visit Mongolia, but there are other strong candidates: Mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, Russia and all other "Russian speaking countries or regions" such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan etc.

Since 2000 or before I have been reading about Mongolia. I don't know why I haven't picked up this language before. Group 3, despite being the one that I dedicate fewer time, it is the one I really enjoy at most perhaps.

Group 4: 10. Français and 11. ئۇيغۇرچە‎ 12 ལྷ་སའི་སྐད13 Bahasa Indonesia

Biggest triumphs so far:

◎ Well, for the 1001th time in my life, I think I will try to restart with French again. I clearly don't like how it sounds, but...oh, well. I could easily read and understand 90% of the texts without a dictionary. So, the key point is to be consistent. I guess, there are lot of things stuff originally written in French. I don't like to rely in translations, so I got no choice. Maybe French will be like Galician for me. I might use this language only for passive skills...

If after one month I feel like giving up on French again, then, I will replace with either Hindi or Nepali. I got some Hindi and Nepali's resources on my bookshelves... :D :lol: My mom sent me this week a dictionary of Tagalog. :shock: :o :lol: :D I looked at the cover page so many times...whaaaat? Tagalog? :shock: Not that I am complaining. On the contrary, I am glad she did so. But, I was a bit surprised.

As for the second language, I believe both Chung and vonPeterhof have studied them to some extent. Maybe Expug also studied Uyghur? If I am not wrong, they took part in the Turkic language challenge in the old HTLAL.

I want study Uyghur for many reasons. One of them is obviously my interests in their culture and especially food. Here in Japan, I met Uyghur restaurants cooked by Uyghur people. Apparently the recipe is the same as from their local food, but I cannot say about the taste. Of course, I believe they adapt to the Japanese people's taste. However, when I go there, I ask them to cook like in Uyghur or the way they eat traditionally.

I talked to them in both Mandarin and Japanese and I have asked some questions regarding their culture. There are flights from Japan to Xinjiang region as well.

I think it will be challenging to study Uyghur due to the scarcity of good, reliable and updated resources. I have been to Turkey before and Uyghur reminds me both Turkish culture and language in some ways. Yes, they are different, I know.

Tibetan is also another language that I wanted to study. Not the Modern Tibetan only, but Classical Tibetan actually. Both Uyghur and Tibetan will be challenging because as of May 17th, they are not even available on Google Translator yet. :shock: :?

Speaking of Google Translator, I remember that when I was actively studying Burmese, there were no options for that language either. They also have Lithuanian and Latvian these days.

I got some ideas on how to learn both, but I want to see whether I will struggle more than Armenian, Georgian and Mongolian. The thing is, I should reach a solid A2. From there, many doors will open...

At last, it comes Bahasa Indonesia. Yay! Now it is official. I was supposed to start Indonesian together with "Group 3". Maybe in my next post I will change its status and put it back to the original group.


I keep reading and listening in Galician. :D


My life has been a turmoil in the past few years. As of 2019, I have been mostly dedicating my time at the rehabilitation and little by little, I am gaining some confidence to use the lower body more properly again. On Monday I have jogged for the first time and I felt good during the first 25 minutes. However, I started to feel the pain again on both knees. I also started jumping sessions and training, but I still fell uncomfortable.

My left knee, elbow and shoulder's ligaments, when will they fully recover?! I will never know the answer, but at least, for ONE day in such a long time, I could run, despite not feeling that my lower body works naturally anymore. I decided to accept that I will feel pain forever and just focus on languages. At least, when I am having fun with Uyghur songs and food, I feel I am blessed.

For instance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGVI5XMuplQ

So sleepy during this whole, long and confused post.
7 x
中文: 06 / 15 한국어: 10 / 30 Deutsch: 28 / 100 Русский: 03 / 10 Français: 01 / 100 Italiano: 01 / 100հայերեն: 01 / 100ქართული: 01 / 100Melayu: 01 / 100монгол хэл: 01 / 100

User avatar
White Belt
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:11 am
Location: Japan
Languages: Japanese, Portuguese(N)
English, Español, 中文, 한국어, русский язык, Deutsch.
Studying: Français, Italiano, հայերեն, ქართული, Bahasa Melayu, монгол хэл
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9807
x 153

Re: Wanderlust

Postby Iceberg » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:47 am

TAC 365 days: Generic group.

I have been studying every single day. Yay! :D

2. English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean.

So, it is time to update. :shock:

I met both my parents for the first time since 2016. I was so happy to meet them. After all, parents are parents and they are our best friends. If not, then, I’m lucky because they are our best friends, the ones I have (could and can) trust during the most difficult moments in my life. It is not that I rely on them, of course, but it is very important to know that we can trust some people.

The good news is that aside from sightseeing, eating together and meeting our relatives, they have brought some of my favorite language related books. Not only books, but also my certificates. I thought for a while that I haven’t passed since there were no feedback from them. But I had a good and very positive surprise. Let me report them all! Yeah!

Here we have:

2.1 English

TOEIC 990 points (out of 990). I tried 3 times and I scored 990 points three consecutive times. TOEIC is definitely not a difficult exam. I guess 990 points stands for B2 or B2+.

FCE: 185 points out of 190. YAY! I have just read that they actually assess one’s level below and above the original B2 level. For instance, if you score between 140-159, you will actually get the grade “Level B1”. Between 160-172 is “Grade C (B2)” and if scores between 173-179 points stands for “Grade B”. Lastly, if you get between 180-190, it stands for Grade A (C1).

I was already fine with the overall result. I was only aiming for passing at that time. Since I got Grade A (C1), I thought I could also apply for CAE.

CAE: 203 points out of 210.

They state that scale score between 160–179 stands for B2; 180-192 stands for Grade C (C1), 193-199 stands for Grade B (C1) and 200-210 stands for Grade A (C2). After passing FCE, I got more confident and I thought CAE would be not be a distant dream anymore. I end up scoring more than I have planned, though and I got Grade A (C2). This let me to the ultimate goal regarding English proficiency exams for short-term purposes.

IELTS: 8.5 out of 9.

I have scored 40 out of 40 for both reading and listening; therefore, I got band score 9 for L-R skills. I was expecting to get over 35 answers correctly. As for speaking and writing, I got 8.5 and 7.5 respectively. However, I honestly don’t remember much about the assessment criteria. I just have done it without prior preparation. I mean, I have read and prepared for IELTS some years ago, but not prior to the last exam in specific. So, my overall score was 8.5 and I’m glad. My goal was to reach 7.0 out of 9.

Honestly, I thought I was at B2 or B2+ level. However, after trying different English language proficiency tests, I could get the real picture of my English skills. I also know that I should improve my active skills, especially my writing. Since I have had a hiatus from some languages, especially English, I need to keep on track and maintain my skills.

I believe I'm at B2 level in English. Perhaps, because I cheat before the exams and I do lots of work out, training etc, my performance is much better than the way I actually do speak in real life, for example. Another reason for why I don't improve English is because I don't get to use this language as much as I should or I could. Instead, I rely on other languages and I pretend I don't speak any English when I'm talking with foreigners. I literally play the dumb. :lol:

2.2 Spanish

Now, the C2 level is on “my belt”. I’m finally certified by Instituto Cervantes with C2 level. YAY! YEAH! Well, perhaps I should not celebrate that much, since Spanish is closely related language to Portuguese. Nothing great at all, I know, but every victory is a victory, something positive. That is what matters.

2.3 Chinese

HSK 6. 300 out of 300 points. HSK 6 is an easy test. Therefore, I was actually preparing for TOCFL band C that is more challenging in my opinion. Not due to the traditional characters which I’m fond of (and used to), but due to the level of difficulty itself. I believe HSK 6 stands for B1+ or B2, but definitely not B2+ (B2/C1).

I challenged the band C and I got level 6 in Listening & Reading, Writing and Speaking tests. HSK was a good warming up, but I wish each of the six levels would correspond to the real A, B and C scales (CEFR). Chances are TOECFL Level 6 aren’t necessarily C2, but perhaps C1 or C1+. Anyway, I love traditional characters and I really like Taiwan. That said, I’m trying to explore more Mainland China these days.

2.4 Korean

TOPIK: 290 points out of 300.
I love Korean language, its culture and society. Korean food is yummy. One of my favorite ones, definitely.

I have successfully achieved more than I expected. My “journey without goals” led me to some success when it comes to language related stuff. The less I expect, the more I get. After a couple of months just reviewing here and there, now I am feeling comfortable by digesting native content.

3. German and Russian

3.1 German
I also passed Goethe Institut’s C1 level (CEFR). I’m not surprise since my German has been better than my English in the past years. I’m probably not sitting for C2 level, though. I’m quite satisfied with Herman Hesse’s and Kafka’s books in the original and I will not allocate some time just for the sake of C2 level’s certificate.

3.2 Russian

Hey Russian! Did I type Russian?! Lol. I shall study Russian more seriously or my Russian friends will start getting angry at me. I also have plans to visit Russia or Russian speaking regions around the globe.

4. Armenian, Georgian

4.1. Armenian

Armenian is a very beautiful language. I have sent a request to an Armenian from Yerevan to assess my current language skills. The feedback I received is that my listening and speaking skills aren’t as good as my reading and writing skills.

Since my input comes from real and authentic texts, I tend to internalize what I read with my own voice. So, one of the reasons for my speaking not being that great yet, it is because I haven’t put much effort on listening skills. Listening to what? To whom? I mean, obviously, there are many things, but I don’t have much time to keep searching on the internet. I want to listen to something that catches my attention.

All in all, my acquaintance said I'm A2 level or perhaps A2/B1 so far. Not bad, since my goal for 2019 was to reach a solid A1 until the end of the year.

4.2. Georgian

Georgian studies have been neglected like my Russian studies. That said, I’m not in a hurry. :lol:

5. Mongolian, Uighur, Tibetan

5.1. Mongolian
I've started as a false beginner. I haven’t been to Mongolia yet, but it has been on my wish-list. I have been practicing Mongolian with native speakers from Mongolia and sometimes with those from Inner Mongolia.

I believe I’m already at B1 level. It is not that challenging for me. I have been interested in Mongolia since late 90’s and I think I have read many things so far. Most people who know me in real life, they are surprised to hear that I have never been there, despite loving the Mongolian culture and food. Some Mongolians I have talked to recently, they also didn’t believe that I have never been there. They said that I’m either making a joke or lying. Hahaha. :D

Nowadays I can recognize who comes from Inner Mongolia or other regions from Mongolia (I don’t like the term “outer Mongolia”…) due to the influence of Mandarin or other languages. The dialect spoken in Ulaan Baatar, which is the one I trained at most, it is very different from others.

5.2. Uighur

I have studied Turkish before; therefore, I don’t know how much it will influence me. I’m learning Uighur from a language exchange in Japan. I teach Japanese and in return, the Uighur Chinese teaches me her native language.

The good thing is that she is seriously studying Japanese and aiming to pass N1 (JLPT). She is also aware about CEFR and has experience in learning foreign languages. Another pro is that we both speak Chinese, if or when necessary. Her Chinese sounds very different, though. It sounds so cute! ^^ Her friends say that I speak better than her! Hahaha. Poor her! :D :D :D :D

5.3. Tibetan

I’m not religious, however, I have been learning Tibetan from monks who are either native speakers of Tibetan or have spent decades in Tibet. That means that they have learned Tibetan Buddhism in Tibetan. I’m trying to learn this language from listening and speaking. Who knows when I will study its reading. Instead, I’m writing what I hear with my own phonetic system. However, I believe I will mix with Classical Tibetan since they speak Lhasa Tibetan about texts written originally in Classical Tibetan. Anyway, I'm there learning for free. I can't complain. Who knows if I will really learn this language? :o

6. Indonesian, Tagalog

I have studied Tagalog for a couple of years before. I have been speaking in Tagalog with coworkers. Some years ago, I was more into Cebuano, but I thought Tagalog would be more useful and practical as well.

Indonesian seems fairly easy compared to Tagalog. Maybe next time I will write more about it.

7. Thai, Burmese, Nepali

7.1. Thai

Some years ago, I have contacted Bakunin to know more about his experiences. He has studied Thai, Isaan and Khmer.

There is a lack of material for learners of Thai, Isaan and Khmer. While many websites, Youtube channels, groups on social media, blogs etc cover only the basics; unfortunately, there are very limited resources available for more advanced students. Therefore, Bakunin’s resources proved to be very useful to push myself from B1+ (B1/B2) to B2. He has contributed a lot by providing one more option to improve my speaking skills. Of course, I have to thank my Thai friends who have always supported me during this long journey.

7.2 Nepali

I practice Nepali with my co-workers. I also practice a bit when I buy vegetables and fruits at the Vietnamese grocery store. I mean, not inside the grocery store, but on my way, I see lots of Nepali, Koreans, Chinese, Vietnamese and other foreigners.

I feel like eating Kebab, but it is very intimidating because they are not speaking Turkish. Once I approached to see the menu and they all stared at me. LOL. I mean, the owner of the Kebab Shop is Turkish. However, he speaks another language with his customers. Besides that shop, I buy beans to cook at my home à la Brazilian food. I think the owner is from Pakistan, but I will try to ask him next time.

I tried using Nepali with Indian people, but they could barely understand me. I think many Nepali people who grew up speaking Nepali as a mother tongue and that got exposure to Indian movies, songs etc, they can understand quite a lot of Hindi. However, the other way is not necessary true, unless this person comes from a region where they speak a closely related language to Nepali.

7.3 Burmese

I spoke to my Burmese co-worker yesterday and he was surprised that I managed to talk to him without relying in Japanese. At first, I just greeted him in Burmese, which he thought I could only say the basic greetings.

We talked about Japanese law in Burmese and the differences between Myanmar and Japan’s constitution regarding labor work. My Vietnamese co-worker opened her mouth and said “wooow”.

8. Vietnamese, Khmer

8.1. Vietnamese

Then, I switched back to Vietnamese. She asked me why I speak with the southern accent. Actually, I started learning Vietnamese with the Hanoi’s accent. Sometimes I unconsciously switch to Southern’ patterns because I have worked with lots of Vietnamese people coming from all over the country, especially from Southern provinces.

I think Indonesian, Tagalog, Burmese, Vietnamese, Thai and Nepali are very useful languages depending on where you live in Japan and your networks. Of course, it is also a matter of me being a language enthusiast interested in languages, traveling and foreign cuisine. Perhaps, those languages are even more important than FIGS. At least, it is so in the context I live in. I see so many foreign workers without doing any effort.

8.2 Khmer

My Khmer skills are far below from the other languages aforementioned. I believe I have finished A2, but I don’t know what to do, what to read, listen and with whom to speak. Not that speaking is necessarily important, but it is very fun to connect with individuals who are native speakers. I like to receive feedback, so that I can move towards a more specific route.


I think that is my limit. Even if I fully recover physically and get to walk properly again, I guess I will not use my time destined for rehabilitation for languages. Once I fully recover (hopefully this day will come true…), perhaps by 2020, I would use that time for other hobbies.

I have abandoned Finnish, Estonian, Icelandic, Faroese, Lithuanian, Latvian, Sanskrit, Pali, Yoruba, Swahili, Turkish and Tetum, for example. There is nothing wrong about that. However, I do admit that it hurt to abandon Finnish and Estonian, though sometimes I read in both languages. It also still hurts that I have abandoned both Lithuanian and Latvian.

Among the languages I dropped, there are two languages I would take more seriously in the near future: they are Sanskrit and Pali.

I once wanted to study Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Tamil. Unfortunately, I don’t see any realistic plan to include any of the languages above, unless, I substitute with the ones that I’m currently either maintaining or studying actively. There are quite a lot of languages to work on daily basis and I’m not a machine.

My dream was to play Ukulele again. I’m still young, I think. I want to play Ukulele and sing in some of my target languages.
Has any of you heard of Haikaa?

I thought about writing lyrics on this format: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peIVn2rW-bk

I have dreamed of creating a song where I would write (someone has to sing for me…LOL) in Uighur, Tibetan and Mongolian (with the accent from Inner Mongolia).

I think I would write another song in Thai and Vietnamese altogether, though I’d prefer to add Nepali and Burmese. A third song would be in Armenian and Georgian, if one day, the latter reaches a reasonable level. Lol.
5 x
中文: 06 / 15 한국어: 10 / 30 Deutsch: 28 / 100 Русский: 03 / 10 Français: 01 / 100 Italiano: 01 / 100հայերեն: 01 / 100ქართული: 01 / 100Melayu: 01 / 100монгол хэл: 01 / 100

User avatar
White Belt
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:11 am
Location: Japan
Languages: Japanese, Portuguese(N)
English, Español, 中文, 한국어, русский язык, Deutsch.
Studying: Français, Italiano, հայերեն, ქართული, Bahasa Melayu, монгол хэл
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9807
x 153

Now and ever!

Postby Iceberg » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:46 am

Hey, what’s up guys?

So, here I am again.
Disclaimer: this post is going to be very long. Please, refrain from reading it and don’t waste your time.

1. The comeback
I thought about creating a new log since it took me some time to find out my own log here on the system. I thought it has been deleted or moved somewhere due to my inactivity here. :lol: :D

I will restart my language journey probably by next month, more specifically on April 6th. I have had a series of physical related complications since mid of 2018. I have been struggling to learn how to walk, correct my balance and gain muscles on one of the sides of the injured leg, knee ligaments and so on. Well, accidents happens and that is life. Yes, life on a wheelchair and later on using crutches sucks. Fortunately, my life is back to normal! YAY! :) :D

1.1 Physical health
Due to the corona outbreak’s consequences, lack of improvements and some personal reasons, I temporarily decided to refrain from seeking professional advice and treatment. Call me any name, but I don’t trust the Japanese medicine at all, except for one or two specific fields. Unfortunately having spent some time in overseas in different countries and continents, I can say without any doubt that I could and should have treated my lower body in overseas. I don’t regret not having moved, though, because I had to choose between advancing in professional career and having a balance between private life (which included my time spent in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities).

Everything in (my?) life comes with a cost. I had to quit entirely my language activities, but I'm back. Yeah, that is what matters. Now and ever, hopefully!

I will miss this part of my life where I could handle some languages without sacrificing my professional and private life (social time etc).

2. Language reports

Little by little, I will write my overview on languages I have studied before. I'm no longer studying any of them, but it could be useful in case I decide to restart some activities in those languages in the future.

3. 2020

The main languages for the year:

Category 1: English, Spanish;
Category 2: Chinese, Korean and Russian;
Category 3: German. Perhaps French and Malay, too.

Let's keep it simple with small goals. So, I should change the title very soon. I will think about a good name.

I want to set up small goals to motive myself once again. That said, languages is a secondary hobby to me. Right now, I am focused more on learning front-end and back-end development knowledge, skills and practice in order to become full stack developer in the future.

I have been studying and practicing IT skills every day. Somehow, this motivated me to work on languages and keep going to the gym as well. I have been working out for more than a decade. The three activities combined altogether makes me feel so much happier than before.

3.1. General approaches

I will add two platforms that I have neglected for a couple of years: Quora and Reddit.

Although I personally believe that Quora is not and will never have the quality it had on its peak, with many prolific users, I can use it in a different way. Sometimes I use it to relax my mind and read about some topics in both English and Japanese.

I'm not sure about the quality in other languages, but I'm planning to check answers on Spanish and German. I thought I could get some more input if in French and perhaps Bahasa Indonesia, in case I don't find good resources for Malay (Bahasa Melayu). I will write about the reason why I am choosing Bahasa Melayu over Bahasa Indonesia.
Last edited by Iceberg on Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
4 x
中文: 06 / 15 한국어: 10 / 30 Deutsch: 28 / 100 Русский: 03 / 10 Français: 01 / 100 Italiano: 01 / 100հայերեն: 01 / 100ქართული: 01 / 100Melayu: 01 / 100монгол хэл: 01 / 100

White Belt
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:40 pm
Languages: French (N)
English (C1)
Spanish (B2)
Italian (B1)
Persian (A2)
German (A1)
Beginner in russian.
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Re: Wanderlust

Postby cmia11 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:25 am

I have read the post above and the amount of language you can speak at a decent level are impressive so I'm glad to see you back here.
If you ever want to write in French or ask something in French, don't hesitate, I'm a French native speaker ;) well I understand though that you don't want to, any language should be fun to learn and I really would hate to learn a language out of pure necessity without finding anything to enjoy it. (And well, my dad is Persian so I also have a few resources in Persian even though I'm not as good as I would like to be)
1 x

Orange Belt
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:52 pm
Languages: English (N)
French, Spanish (advanced)
Russian, Portuguese, Italian, German (proficient)
Mandarin, Japanese, Dutch (low-intermediate)
Latin: (beginner)
Abandoned languages (for now) :( Greek, Czech, Bengali, Arabic, Norwegian, Polish
x 572

Re: Wanderlust

Postby David27 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:07 pm

https://medium.com/bahasantara/introduc ... ----------

Uighur talk slides and commentary from the last polyglot conference
1 x

User avatar
White Belt
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:11 am
Location: Japan
Languages: Japanese, Portuguese(N)
English, Español, 中文, 한국어, русский язык, Deutsch.
Studying: Français, Italiano, հայերեն, ქართული, Bahasa Melayu, монгол хэл
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9807
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Re: Wanderlust

Postby Iceberg » Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:53 am

David27 wrote:https://medium.com/bahasantara/introduction-to-uyghur-slides-from-polyglot-conference-fukuoka-2019-with-commentary-e2136d65e00d?source=collection_home---4------0-----------------------

Uighur talk slides and commentary from the last polyglot conference

Thanks. I will check it soon!

Disclaimer: Very long post. Don’t waste your time and skip my log. This is just for future references on what I have (and have not) been doing regarding my language activities.

Tier 1: English, Español
Tier 2: 大熊猫, 김치 , Борщ, Deutsch, Français, Italiano
Tier 3: հայերեն, ქართული ენა, Nasi Lemak, Чингис хаан
Tier 4: Team Special. Updates on “Galego, JSL”

Restarting my languages activities in April will coincide with the fiscal year of Japan. What a restart point…Anyway, my idea was to separate into different tiers, so that I could prioritize one language within a pair or a group. I will probably rotate the languages every month or every 3 months.

I got a little bit frustrated because all my trips for the first semester were cancelled. I had to cancel my trips to South Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia, Russia, Indonesia, China (Xingjiang Province, Inner Mongolia, Tibet) …

It is unlikely I will be travelling by next year, too, giving the uncertainties and consequences related to Covid-19. Most likely many countries will still not open borders that easily and I wonder which airlines will be operating by then.

Time flies and hopefully between September 2022 and April 2023, I will be visiting Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Russia and Mongolia. Mainland China can wait. The positive aspect is that the money I was supposed to use this year, I could use to go to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Another thing is that I will have time to improve my Russian skills and try to navigate using Russian in Central Asian countries.

To complete my journey, I still need to go back to Thailand and perhaps visit Laos and the Philippines. I feel like visiting Spain, too. Let’s see how the air tickets’ fares will be 2 years from now. If there is one thing, I have never understood is the price of the air tickets. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense at all. Also, it can change very quickly. I have always been looking for the cheapest deals in terms of cost and benefit. Going on low season has been always great choice for me.


More than a year ago, I have asked IT professionals from different fields on many questions. Right now, I’m studying and practicing front-end development. I’m doing well and hopefully I will be working on more back-end development. My goal is to become a full stack developer in the near future.

What does IT have to do with a language related forum, then? The reason I’m writing here is because I’d like to highlight that my experiences in learning natural languages, they have been helping in learning programming.

Now, let’s go back to the natural languages…

Tier 1: English, Español

1. English

Achievement list.

Regarding language activities in general, I have worked as a translator, interpreter, editor, proof-reader and an educator for more than a decade. Despite not being a native speaker, both clients and superiors have highly appreciated my services.

Biggest hurdles so far:

I think the biggest hurdles were related to health or physical issues in the past few years. Fortunately, I consider having overcome most of the biggest physical related challenges in my recent life. Now that I have settled them, I can finally have fun with my hobbies. It was a very hard decision, but I have decided to retire working in the aforementioned industries and move on to the next step in my life. However, at same time, having decided to restart my languages journey has made me very satisfied.

Biggest triumphs so far.

I have gotten technical knowledge and work experience in many fields. As a matter of consequence, clients have highly appreciated my services and I have always achieved my kpis. It is very satisfying to know that I could earn extra money (incentives) because of the quality of my work. However, most importantly, I have always appreciated receiving positive feedback from foreign clients. At the end of the day, it makes me feel glad when I can hear “thank you for your hard working” or words like that. “I know you are just doing your job but keep this level of professionalism and you are gonna succeed in your life” and so on. English native speakers from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland and C2 level speakers from Europe have really appreciated my effort and services.

I also got lots of daily exposure to the varieties spoken in the Scotland, Northern Ireland, South Africa, as well as English spoken by people from over 30 countries. It has naturally helped me to improve my overall listening abilities and get used to how different people pronounce and structure their sentences.

Next time:

There are always room to improve. My ultimate goal was to take a C level exam around this time of the year. However, due to the Covid-19 effects, unfortunately the examination center has cancelled or postponed it, until they receive further notification from the British Council.

I have been reading fiction and non-fiction books and other content written by English native speakers. I should practice more writing and practice more speaking to continue improving and maintaining my overall skills.

2. Spanish

Achievement list.

In the past few years, I have been speaking with native speakers from many different countries. Among all Spanish-speaking countries, I think the only ones I had little to zero contact were people from Paraguay, Dominican Republic and Cuba. I cannot recall having met native speakers from those countries last year, for instance.

Biggest hurdles so far:

When I first started speaking in Spanish, I didn’t have as much vocabulary as today. Even my passive vocabulary wasn’t that great, despite being a native speaker of Portuguese and being able to recognize more words than non-Romance language native speakers. Another big challenge that I felt like I have overcome is the Argentinian Spanish varieties, some of which I had trouble in terms of listening comprehension.

Biggest triumphs so far:

I have taken some online language lessons to prepare for my DELE examination. My teachers were prepared to guide students for DELE preparation. They knew about the tests and they have taught foreigners for both DELE and SIELE. I got very positive feedback for both written and speaking tasks. Aside from the boring preparation stuff, obviously I have improved my business Spanish and also talked about native content (books, films, TV series and documentaries) I have been through. All in all, I am very confident I would be able to pass DELE C1 (CEFR) if the test were today. Anyway, similarly to the situation of English, my goal is not C1, but to reach (if I haven’t yet) and maintain C2 level.

I have a hyperpolyglot friend who comes from Mexico. We have met some weeks ago and he volunteered to evaluate my skills. I asked him to evaluate my written and spoken skills, because I’m eager to take DELE C2 (CEFR) soon. Since he is aware of proficiency exams in many different languages and CEFR, he said that I would pass based on my speaking and writing skills.

He asked me if I am dating a native Spanish-speaking person, because my active vocabulary has clearly increased, and I no longer speak like a B2 level. The fact is that due to the nature of my previous career, speaking with South and Central Americans and Spanish people was necessary on daily basis. I got lot of exposure to their idiomatic expressions, to certain vocabulary that are very specific to one country or region, to their intonation and so on. I try to incorporate new expressions I learn by using them in both writing and speaking settings. Of course, some of them cannot be used at proficiency exams for obvious reasons, for not being the right register for that specific type of exam.

Next time:

I need to maintain my Spanish skills during this Covid-19 and quarantine stages. As of today, Japan has officially "locked down", but not in the strict sense. completely, but it is not a good timing to keep meeting people. I cannot force or won’t convince people to talk to me over Skype or any other apps either. However, in terms of reading and listening, I can always maintain it by consuming native contents. It is what I have been doing for years and I have proved myself that it has worked due to my achievements and the positive feedback I received from native speakers, including teachers and clients.

I will work on minor mistakes that I committed on my writing tasks and try to keep writing as much as possible in Spanish. More importantly, receiving feedback from well educated native speakers will be a huge plus.

Tier 2: 大熊猫, 김치 , Борщ, Deutsch, Français, Italiano

1. 大熊猫

Achievement list.

I’m reading native content, but still consider my reading speed very slow. I kind of cheat because of my “guessing” when I see Chinese characters. I mean, since I first started learning it, the meaning sticks into my head. However, when it comes to the pinyin, sometimes I forget the correct tones, and this is probably because of the lack of exposure to more native content. Even if I don’t actively use it for speaking purposes, I probably lacked on training my ears.

Biggest hurdles so far:

It is not that I’m very worried about my accent, but Chinese native speakers from Mainland China and Taiwan have given me the same feedback: they stated that I have a very poor accent.

Last time I had a conversation with a Chinese native speaker from Taiwan, I felt the lack of vocabulary to explain things without relying in other common languages. Some of the vocabulary I needed and that I either didn’t know or I haven’t used in ages:
點號is used to express a pause。Some of the examples of punctuation are:

句號,句點( 。)period / full stop
逗號, 逗點( ,)comma
問號( ?)question mark
嘆號, 感嘆號, 驚嘆號( !)exclamation mark
頓號 (、)Chinese back sloping comma, enumeration comma (separates items in a series)
標號is used to indicate the property of the sentence or phrase
引號 (“ ” ‘ ’)quotation mark
破折號 ( ── )Chinese dash
書名號(《 》〈 〉)indicates book or article titles, or names of newspapers etc.
括號, 括弧〔( ) [ ] { } 〕parentheses/brackets
專名號 ( __ ) Chinese underline
著重號( .)Chinese under dot
間隔號(·)Chinese centered dot mark. It separates the given name from the surname in translations of foreign names.

I needed that vocabulary to talk about subjects that are more technical on Microsoft Word and keyboards on iOS, Android and Windows (laptop) system.

Biggest triumphs so far:

Next time:

I will start working on my input through Taiwanese native content. I’m quite into stuff I’m watching from Taiwan and hopefully I’m going to find out something that really catches my attention in regard to Mainland China’s media.

2. 김치

Achievement list.

Biggest hurdles so far:

I have been making mistakes about the Korean honorifics. I still have lots to improve.

Biggest triumphs so far:

I’d say that learning Korean with a solid base of Japanese (say, C2 level) is not very challenging. I have used Japanese stuff to learn Korean and that is what I’d recommend for Japanese speakers learning Korean and vice-versa.

Native Korean speakers have reported me that my accent sounds very good.

Next time:
I will start using native content because it helps me to learn many idiomatic expressions and increase my passive vocabulary.

3. Борщ

Achievement list.

Biggest hurdles so far:

Aside from the cancellation of my flights to Russia, I will have more headache soon. Japanese citizens are required to enter with Visa in Russia. However, since I have a second passport, I use it whenever I can or I want, to avoid wasting my time applying and paying for the Visa. The problem is that I need to renew my secondary passport and my documents are not in Japan. I left some of the documents in overseas and I cannot send them back to Brazil immediately due to the Covid-19 related issues.

Recently I got motivated again to keep my Russian alive. I think I’m going on the right track, but just improving very slowly.

Biggest triumphs so far:

I guess, differently from Chinese, usually Russian native speakers from Russia and Ukraine say that my accent is good.

Next time:

I need to keep working on every aspect of the language. My Russian skills are still at a relatively low level. It is one of my favorite languages so far. I find Russian language very beautiful and one of my biggest motivations aside from reading native content is the fact that I can navigate more easily using Russian in former Soviet Union countries such as Kazakhstan. It would be probably very useful when I visit Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Belarus in the future. Russian played an important role in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Russia when I was navigating through those countries few years ago.

4. Deutsch

Achievement list.

I have studied German for years until a high-level many years ago. Since then, I keep studying on and off, but now it seems that it will become one of the most skilled languages, at least passively speaking. I really like this language, despite the lack of usage and opportunities to use it actively where I live. Yet, I really enjoy reading in German.

Biggest hurdles so far:

Being consistent over the years has been a tough task to me. Sometimes due to the lack of motivation, sometimes due to other priorities in my life. But during all this time, I have always liked this language.

Biggest triumphs so far:

Next time:
I usually read football related stuff in Spanish and German. Due to the lack of official matches, I have not reading much about both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, two football teams I cheer for.

I’m reviewing A1-B1 (CEFR) content due to my long inactivity. At same time, I keep watching TV in German as well as reading native content. I have been able to read and understand non-fiction contents so far, checking one word or another every few pages. Let’s see how it goes.

5. French

Not my priority language at all. I am still waiting for my Assimil French be shipped to Japan…

I’m aiming to read native content in French, but that will take some time…Eventually I will probably write in French, but active skills are not priority for now.

Basically, my plan is to study 10 minutes a day, five times a week.

Achievement list.
Biggest hurdles so far:
Biggest triumphs so far:
Next time:

If my Assimil French takes time to arrive, I’m going to look for other resources out there. Unfortunately, I can’t take the risk of taking trains at the moment, as they are usually very crowded and so the area where I need to pass by.

6. Italiano

Adding Italian means, I will be finally going for the famous and very popular FIGS. Italian is a transparent language and it seems to be less challenging than French, giving my background.

Basically, my plan is to study 10 minutes a day, five times a week.

Achievement list.
Biggest hurdles so far:
Biggest triumphs so far:
Next time:

Tier 3: հայերեն, ქართული ენა, Nasi Lemak, Чингис хаан

1. հայերեն

I’m going to restart my Armenian related studies. I have ordered some books from Armenia, but unfortunately the shipping is going to be suspended for a while. I wasn’t prepared for backup activities on this language, but sooner or later I’m going to use Armenian textbooks once again to review everything.

Achievement list.
Biggest hurdles so far:
Biggest triumphs so far:
Next time:

2. ქართული ენა

I’m going to restart my Georgian related studies. That said, Armenian would be my priority over Georgian for personal reasons.

Achievement list.
Biggest hurdles so far:
Biggest triumphs so far:
Next time:

3. Nasi Lemak

I had to decide whether to pick up Malay (Bahasa Melayu) or Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) to restart with. Both have pros and cons. I chose the former over the latter for personal reasons.

Achievement list.
Nothing achieved yet. Nothing done yet. Still trying to figure out which resources would be more helpful to start with.

Biggest hurdles so far:
Getting more updated and reliable resources on Bahasa Melayu variety.

Biggest triumphs so far:

Next time:
I should update on why I chose Malay.

4. Чингис хаан

I’m going to restart my Mongolian relates studies. It is one of my favorite languages from languages list this year.

I like to see what my Mongolian friends write in their social media. No, I’m not a social media person, but sometimes I have to make good use of them. I learn a lot by reading how well-educated Mongolians write in both formal and informal messages. It is my source of getting more exposure to the language, even though it is very passive way. It is much better than textbooks with all those robotic expressions and set of awkward phrases from outdated books…

Reading how Mongolians express on the internet is also very interesting to know how technology related vocabulary are being used nowadays. When I first thought about Mongolian language, exactly by 2000, I have always wondered about the following questions: Is it highly through English-base words or are they more conservative, by creating new words to replace? Are they based on other languages’ roots such as Russian? 20 years passed already, but I still want to investigate the English literacy there. Giving the fact that Mongolian’s government statistics (2019) showed me that they have very little literacy in English, even among young and educated people in the capital city of Ulan Baator, I wonder how neologisms work in Mongolian language.

Mongolian is not a very popular language among Western polyglots or language enthusiasts. I have checked once again the thread created by Speakeasy:

I’m thankful for his effort. As we can see, most resources are very outdated.

I have many questions on Mongolian language, some of which lies on the differences between the Mongolian variety spoken in Mongolia in comparison to the variety spoken in Inner Mongolia. I also want to verify how much I’d be able to understand a native speaker of Buryat, Oirat and possibly other Mongolic languages.

Achievement list:
Biggest hurdles so far:
Biggest triumphs so far:
Next time:

I’m expecting to review A1 related vocabulary and grammar structures as I have not done anything in months.
I have a strong connection with both the language and Mongolian culture. Unfortunately, it is likely I won’t be able to visit their biggest festival Naadam this year. Наадам, from “эрийн гурван наадам”, it is held in the National Sports Stadium. Loooking forward to go there by next year.

Tier 5: Extra languages.

I don’t need to learn this language. I don’t live in Europe and I don’t see myself visiting Galician in the next few years. Yet, this language appeals to me in some ways. I like listening to Galician native speakers and I also have lots of fun reading in Galician.

It is very interesting to read Portuguese literature in Galician. I wish I had more resources, though. I’m out of resources, so I might keep checking news until my Portuguese friend suggests something else again.

Next time:
Provided good and reliable resources, I will keep actively reading in Galician. I’d like to understand the differences on European Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, (European) Spanish and Galician in regard to the writing.


Japanese sign language is definitely very interesting. There are some paper based resources such as dictionaries out there, but they need to compile the dialectal variations. I have had lots of trouble when trying to understand what a native speaker of Japanese sign language was trying to say, giving the differences on their dialects in comparison to the supposedly “standard” variation I have been taught. Due to the Covid-19, however, it is likely the classes will be suspended for an unknown period.


I’m not sure when, but I should write a little bit about Ainu language anytime in the future.
2 x
中文: 06 / 15 한국어: 10 / 30 Deutsch: 28 / 100 Русский: 03 / 10 Français: 01 / 100 Italiano: 01 / 100հայերեն: 01 / 100ქართული: 01 / 100Melayu: 01 / 100монгол хэл: 01 / 100

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