Hey guys! How are things going? Well, I hope.
For me, things are going well in a general sense – I can’t complain, certainly. In a language challenge sense… I’ve finally hit the slump. Maybe not as badly as in past challenges, but I can feel it there. Let me tell you about what I’ve been up to the past few days.
Time logged to date: 3021 minutes (50 hours, 21 minutes)
Time spent learning Slovak: 879 minutes (14 hours, 39 minutes)
It was bound to happen at some point – and I’m honestly surprised that I’ve kept on it for so long. I have hit that wall though, where I feel like I’m not really making progress and everything is difficult and I just want a day off, but where I know that if I give myself a day off, then it’ll take me a week to get back on the horse.
Still, while I’ve only added about an hour of Slovak study since my last update, I’ve “studied” about seven hours all in all, which is pretty good, especially since I worked two of those days.
So what’s happening with Slovak? It’s just difficult. I think the Colloquial Slovak book is actually a little too fast – in that it presents the grammar in two sections per chapter and expects you to read through it and learn it; and then you have the exercises that take all that new grammar and some of the old grammar and all of the vocabulary – and I just don’t remember it all yet! It makes them very frustrating. Plus, I’m still looking up lots of words I should know, so that’s not great.
I’ve spent some time on Memrise though, and all my plants are watered – and I’ve been working on my Anki deck, too. I think I’m going to complete lesson eight in Colloquial Slovak and then maybe use another book for a while. I have a textbook called Krížom krážom that looks like it’ll be more interesting and honestly, I think the change of pace might do me some good. I know lots of people recommend sticking to one resource but if, for whatever reason, that resource isn’t working for you any more, then sometimes it’s worth it to just move on.
As for my goal from Monday – well, I didn’t complete it, but I have one exercise left and then two more texts and I’ll be done with that lesson. I think I can do that by Sunday, probably.
German hasn’t seen as much action as I would have liked either, despite my claims that I would be reading everything. I read some of the next part of Kind 44 on Monday, but haven’t read anything since. Today is a German day though, so hopefully I’ll get on that. I also haven’t found anything to watch still; any recommendations? I know plenty of films I need to get around to, it’s just TV shows that are eluding me right now.
I had a pretty good day for Mandarin on Tuesday – I worked on the final reading text in NPCR 4 for a little while and then ended up watching four more episodes of 花千骨. It’s kind of paying off; I received a reply from an old lecturer this week about references I need for applications and she emailed me entirely in Mandarin; but the renewed exposure meant that sending my reply wasn’t as difficult as it could have been. Granted, it was short, but still. I need to remember to focus on reading, but that show is just so fun – and I did hit my short-term goal, which was to make sure I studied before I watched TV. 😉
And yesterday was, of course, Spanish day, which also went well. I finished the lesson I was working on in the Teach Yourself book – it took a lot less time than the one before because it was dealing mostly with giving your age/familial relationships and comparative adjectives, which I picked up again quickly. The next lesson doesn’t seem like it will be too hard either; at least, I hope so! I didn’t end up watching another episode of Águila Roja simply because I didn’t have time (the fact that I do need to read the subtitles means I can’t do anything else while I watch) but hopefully I’ll get around to that on Saturday.
And, some more short-term goals:
- Slovak: finish Colloquial Slovak lesson eight and add at least twenty more words to my Anki deck.
- German: read! Try and read at least fifty pages (that’s fewer than twenty a day).
- Mandarin: finish NPCR 4 – it shouldn’t take too long if I just work at it.
- Spanish: keep doing what I’m doing, and try and watch at least one episode of Águila Roja. That’s another fun show.
- Generally: try to get some of that spark back. Maybe I need to try studying somewhere else or try exercising before I study or something – but I hope I’ll have it all together by the time I report back on Sunday.
Let me know how you deal with slumps in your language learning – or any other hobby. Oh, and Sunday will be my halfway progress report (time is flying), so how’s your progress? We’re getting close to December now!