Over the years I have built up a small collection of language learning resources that I have looked after and taken with me as I moved around the country. Now that I’ve settled down for good, I am going to try to do something I always mean to do but never get around to: I am going to use some of those resources to learn languages.
As this year is a bit of a strange one with a lot of free time ahead of me, I am going to aim to complete four language challenges. Click on the one that interests you most to jump down the page to it.
100 Days of Mandarin
In December of last year, I completed the HSK 1 and 2 coursebooks, and took both the HSK 1 and HSK 2 language exams. I even passed them, which came as a surprise as I’d spent years telling myself I’d never be able to learn Mandarin. (Yay!)
But those 300 characters I’ve learned barely get my language level up to A1. (Boo!)
So I am going to keep on increasing my knowledge of characters and grammar. By doing an hour of studying every day for 100 days, I’m hoping that I’ll have learned a couple of hundred more characters, and will be able to understand a few more snatches of speech when watching C-Dramas. Who knows, I might even be able to pass HSK 3 by the end of the year…
Introvert Language Challenge
I actually created this challenge for myself because, as mentioned above, I have a lot of language learning resources. The aim of the challenge isn’t actually to get to B2 or anything lofty like that. Instead I’ve created this challenge to give myself permission to dabble in learning different languages. If I’m feeling nostalgic for LangJam, I might even spend a weekend or two learning the “survival basics” of other languages.
This year I am aiming to complete two of the self-study language courses that I have at home. To make life easy for myself (and because I have wanted to learn some Norwegian since about 2010) I am going to start by working through the Teach Yourself Norwegian course. When I’ve finished it, I’ll work through another language course, as the mood takes me.
The Output Challenge
I lurk on Language Learners’ Forum being inspired by others’ progress, but have never actually made an account on there. So I’ve not officially signed up for the ambitious Output Challenge, which involves writing 50,000 words in your target language AND recording 50 hours of speech, but I am going to aim to complete this challenge.
Spanish is my stronger-weakest language: I used to be on frustrating B2/C1 cusp, but have not used it at all since leaving Spain in 2015 and have regressed back to B1 for all things production-related. I really want to de-rust my knowledge of Spanish this year. If this baptism by fire does not help then nothing will! I sense some very earnest and very terrible fiction is about to be written. Forgive me, world…
As one of my goals this year is to read more books written in languages that aren’t English, I thought why not make an event of it and join a Tadoku challenge! As of January, I’ve started participating in one in French, and am reading Mousseline la Sérieuse. Here’s hoping I’ll complete at least 1 book per challenge!
If you’re learning a language this year, or are even thinking of it, I’d love to hear about which language you’ve chosen!