New Year Challenges – January 2015

Alrighty, so we’re here on the last day of 2014 and I’ve got a blog post for you! I’m going to do some goal-setting tomorrow but for today, I thought I’d compile a list of all the language challenges I’ve found that are taking place or starting in January 2015. Just a little something for you all to consider! 😉

Challenges Jan 2015

Continue reading “New Year Challenges – January 2015”

100 Days of Spanish: Day 27

First of all, I hope everyone has had a lovely holiday – however you celebrate or don’t celebrate. There’s snow here now, which is amazing; we’ve not had snow in ages. It also gives me the excuse to stay inside and get some studying done. 😉

I also have some non-Spanish related news: I finally finished Harry Potter und der Orden des Phönix! It’s over 1000 pages long in German (around 900 in Spanish, apparently), so it’s taken me since about the end of August to read it – which while that’s been four months, it’s not too bad, all things considered. I’m halfway through Flammender Zorn (Mockingjay) so I’m going to finish that before I go onto the next Harry Potter.

Spanish-wise, I’ve been making some progress. I’ve done a bit more FSI – but at this point it’s mostly pronunciation drills so it’s booooooooring. I do need to work on Assimil. I’m hoping I’ll get on that – mostly because my Kindle died a few weeks ago (it was an incredibly sad moment) but my aunt had a Kindle Fire she wasn’t using anymore so she gave it to me (which was an amazing moment) and I’ve found that in general, the Kindle Fire is much, much better when it comes to displaying PDFs. I’ve put a lot of my language books on there – and the audio files on my iPod – with the hope that I’ll be much more likely to use them on my commutes next year!

Continue reading “100 Days of Spanish: Day 27”

uTalk January Challenge: Which Language Will I Learn?

Drum roll, please!

… Okay, maybe not. So no one guessed which language I was planning on learning for the uTalk January Challenge, but oh well. Without any further ado, the language I’ve picked for January iiiiiiiiis…..

uTalk ScreenshotSlovak!

So I have a few reasons for choosing Slovak, which will be shared with you all on Tuesday (I’ll let you know about that) – but I’m really excited to start it. Aside from a brief flirtation with Russian, I’ve never really invested any time into Slavic languages and it’s going to be interesting to have a bit of a change.

For now, though, I’m packing up to head home for the holidays, so I’m going to say good night to you all (or good afternoon/evening/morning/whatever it is where you are) and once again, ask for anyone else who’s planning on doing the challenge to get in touch. Learning languages can be fun on your own, but it’s much more fun with other people! 🙂 Have a nice weekend!


uTalk January Challenge

I know, I know. I have plenty to do already (today alone I’m supposed to be translating and studying Spanish and simplifying an article for tomorrow for school and presumably packing at some point) – so what am I doing making a post about a challenge in January?

Planning ahead, that’s what! 😉

So I read this post over on the EuroTalk blog when it was first put online and thought that their idea to compete against each other using the uTalk app in January seemed kind of cool, but that was about it. I think I maybe glossed over it a little – I certainly didn’t think about doing it myself. I was still sorting out my own Spanish challenge in my head, so this wasn’t that big a deal.

Fast forward to today and the link to that blog post was published on twitter again – but this time with the addition that ‘Spanish is the most popular choice so far in the uTalk challenge…’ Wait, what? So I moseyed back on over and, lo and behold, there’s a sentence that I must have missed, where it says if you email them and let them know which language you’ve chosen, they’ll send you a code to unlock the Essentials upgrade and you can join in the challenge. (The gist of the challenge is simple – don’t use the app until the 1st of January and then whoever’s first to score maximum points/whoever has the highest score come 31st January wins.)

I emailed them, I got a lovely reply and then an email with my promo code all within about half an hour. You do have to have an iPhone/iPad to join this challenge (the app isn’t available yet on android, I don’t think) – but it seems pretty cool. I did the basics for Spanish in the app today (I’ve not chosen that language for the challenge, for obvious reasons) and it looks fun; there are even games where it records you speaking which I haven’t really used before. (I turned the speaking off in duolingo because I used to use it on the bus to uni last year and no one needs to hear me mumbling German to myself.)

I have, then, two questions for you all. One, is anyone going to take up this challenge with me? I’m very intrigued to see what an app alone could teach me in a month (I’m not seriously investing in the language I’ve picked right now – I have so much else to do!) and my competitive streak is well up for the idea of a challenge like this. Two, any guesses as to which language I’ve chosen? uTalk has about 100 different languages to choose from (which does include, I think, four or five varieties of English, which is kind of awesome) – so which one do you think I picked? I’m going to post again on Friday – I’m flying home for Christmas on Saturday – and I’ll reveal it then. 🙂 Let me know what you think it might be!

100 Days of Spanish: Day 14

It’s been a whirlwind these last two weeks, but I’ve tried to fit in Spanish whenever possible.

As I mentioned in the last post, I had relatives visiting from the 4th-9th December, so I didn’t really study then (though I managed to keep my streak up on memrise! I only messed that up this past weekend…). The rest of that week I spent trying to catch up on lesson planning and everything else that had been neglected; and then last weekend I went to visit friends. So this time hasn’t been as productive as it could have been so far.

However, I’m not letting it bother me. I guess a part of me didn’t really think about how busy December is as a month, but I’d rather have started this on the 1st December and be a month in by the time the new year rolls around than be starting on the 1st January, having done nothing in December. I guess for this month, my main goal is going to have to be to ease myself back into Spanish by doing what I can, when I can. It’s a good goal and I’m not going to pressure myself about it.

The pressure can be ramped up after Christmas. 😉

But yeah, I just thought I’d check in. I also have started using a new resource – Glossika – so I’m going to see how that goes. Having things on my iPod is a lot easier due to the fact that I’m commuting four days a week, so I think that’s going to be my main focus for now.

We’re halfway through December already. How is everyone doing? Getting ready to wrap up for the end of 2014? Let me know! 🙂