A thought just came up – if we could buy and simply upload languages to our heads, which ones would I go with? I would definitely probably go with Japanese, French and Portuguese, as well as Armenian first. These are the languages I would like to be able to speak, but I don’t have time resources to learn yet.
And then a second thought came up – maybe people who speak many languages are so impressive to monolinguals because we all know that languages can’t be bought. And you don’t need to go to an expensive school in order to learn a language well – you just need passion, motivation, a good internet connection and an open heart and mind. I feel that in our materialistic world it is important to pursue something that you can’t just buy, you have to work hard for it.
So my Chinesepod subscription is expiring in middle February, and few weeks ago I decided that I need to make a good use of it before it expires. Since then I’ve been crunching their podcasts on a pace of 2-3 lessons a day (and they are usually 15 minutes long). The upside – I practice listening more and learn lots of new vocabulary. The downside is the vocabulary itself, since I’m such a hoarder I kept adding all the new words to my word lists, so now I have almost new 200 words added to my Memrise course just in a space of a couple of weeks and I have no idea how many more will I add until February. Being overwhelmed by lots of new vocab was what hindered my Korean progress, but now I try to not get anxious about it and just keep pushing forward. Challenge accepted 🙂
I do feel kind of guilty for not using Chinesepod much during the year and just waking up to it now, but to be honest until we took HSK 2 exam end of October our level was too low to take advantage of more interesting intermediate and pre-intermediate levels, and these levels are much more enjoyable than the beginner ones. So now that I finally came to like it I am faced with the time pressure of using it as much as possible until February 🙂 But now that I think of it – I will probably have to extend it if I want to try to have a go at their advanced levels after finishing Intermediate ones, but let’s see how it goes 🙂
So I wanted to hear more Tagalog and stumbled upon this video, which I found very interesting! Mixing Tagalog with English doesn’t sound unnatural or weird at all. I’ve never heard anyone speak like this in any other language (except expats who like abroad), so I got even more curious about this phenomenon.
At the beginning of 2016 I have stumbled upon this video and it completely changed my mind. Up to that point I’ve been learning Korean every day for at least 5 months (I started in August) and I couldn’t string even a couple of sentences together, even though I could already read and write some things.
After watching this video I realized that I urgently needed to start looking for a Korean language parent and did not stop until I found her – the wife of a Korean professor at the University of Ljubljana, who kindly agreed to talk to me for an hour or two once a week, and she was nice enough to do it completely free, just out of her love for Korean language. Only thanks to her I was able to start speaking in just 8 months from the beginning of the study (in January 2016 I came across this video, in April I already spoke Korean during my trip to Korea).
Back then I didn’t know about italki, so I was always on lookout for Korean exchange students in Ljubljana, always trying to hang out with them just for the sake of practising the language with them. This year I discovered italki, and now finding a language parent has never been easier, no more awkward conversations with random people, just pay the price of one or two coffees and talk as much as you want))
Just ordered a book for learning Tagalog. I still don’t know why I did it, it was such an impulsive purchase 🙂 Right now I don’t even have time or plans for learning it, I just thought if I get the book now I will have it here so I will be able to use it right away if I decide to study Tagalog in the future. Also I was just curious to look through it and get the feel for the language, plus it wasn’t that expensive and it was a last one in stock 🙂
I sometimes get asked how me and my husband learn Chinese and I thought to start this website so that I can just link them to this post 🙂 I must say right away that I am not a linguist or a sinologist, I just love languages and the mindset of being a polyglot. I mastered Italian, Slovenian, Korean and Spanish all by myself, without attending any language courses, and also read a couple of books on this topic – “Fluent Forever” (Gabriel Wyner) and “How to Speak Any Language Fluently” (Alex Rawlings). I must say right away that I started reading these books after I had figured out everything myself, since most of the tips can be found online, but I sometimes wish that I started with reading the books first, since they do a pretty good job of neatly organizing everything in one place.
Yesterday I had a call with my Korean friend Tiffany to practice Korean. It went quite well, however, I noticed something interesting – I wanted to use Chinese grammar to say “I have a friend” – In chinese it is “I – there is – one – piece – friend” with a counter word, but in Korean the word order is totally different, the verb goes at the end and there is not counter word – it is just “I – friend – there is”. I got so confused for a moment, but luckily I remembered the correct way quickly.
It got me thinking that now my Chinese is starting to overpower Korean and that probably I should practice Korean more or maybe even come back to Korean books and start learning again, because right now I’m just keeping it in maintenance mode. I also thought how I’m still not satisfied with my Korean. I can talk in Korean non-stop for one hour, but it’s not fluent, I have to think what I’m going to say, sometimes I get stuck. In other words, it’s far from perfect.
So last night I was again dreaming of going to Korea to learn the language properly. I even started checking out different visa options etc. We’re in the middle of the pandemic so of course it’s not gonna happen any time soon, but we all have dreams and aspirations, and this is one of mine. However, as soon as I start to think about it the second voice chimes in: “and what about Mandarin? You have to take it to fluency as well!” and I just get overwhelmed 🙂
But I think that luckily I’m still young and with the right planning and cooperation from my hubby we might just be able to pull it off 😉
In 2018 my life was a crazy whirlwind of business trips, non-stop events and travel. My travels took me all around the world, but when I saw that Polyglot Conference was going to be held in Ljubljana I just knew I had to go.
I’m still waiting for the results from the test, but all I can say – it really helped my motivation! The pressure to not “lose face” really pushed me to study vocab. Previously I was just listening to the Zoom classes without really trying that hard because my main focus was Chinese, but because of the test my priorities and focus shifted. I thought this sudden burst of motivation would disappear right after the test, but it’s still there (at least for now).