20 Endangered Languages in 2020: Progress Report #01

20 langs in 2020 progress 01

It’s been six whole days since I embarked on this challenge and while some of you may be thinking that’s too soon to report on any progress, as I only have eighteen days per language, I’m really having to line these up. So, let’s dig into this, shall we?

Right, okay, first question: how do I spell ‘hello’ in Gàidhlig? Because Duolingo is saying ‘halò’ and Teach Yourself is saying ‘hallo’ and I know it’s not that important (because they literally sound the same) but it’s bugging me a little.

Anyway, aside from that, things are going pretty well so far! A little slower than I’d hoped (in terms of the number of things I’ve managed to cover), but I’m making steady progress and I’m really getting into it every day.

So far, I’ve covered the first chapter of the Teach Yourself book and have just started the second (this evening, in fact!). The book isn’t bad, but there’s a reason I don’t usually use Teach Yourself, even though I mostly like their layout: I hate beginner’s coursebooks that don’t translate the texts in the lessons. Yes, I get it, you’ve got some of the new words/phrases and we’re supposed to muddle through it by ourselves, but for at least the first three to five lessons, it would be nice to have a full-on translation sitting there waiting for us.

Also, I definitely try and rush through them. I’ve tried to slow myself down when it comes to examining the texts by writing my own translation and then following a kind of Assimil method to push myself and make sure I’m fully getting everything. I’m also following up with the Memrise course I linked in the last post, but considering it only has the first five chapters available, I’m definitely going to end up making my own.

I’ve also spent possibly more time than I should on Duolingo, but I’m going back and reinforcing the skills I did in early December and it’s giving me a bit of a leg up on the Teach Yourself stuff. Glossika’s been kind of fun but I suspect it’s not all that useful at the moment; I’ll learn the sentences by rote, sure, but it’s going to be a little while before I’ve got enough vocabulary to really use it effectively. I might set that aside for now and work on something else instead.

(Like maybe this free course from Learn Gaelic!)

Anyway, some stats:

So far, I’ve spent 286 minutes (or 4.77 hours) learning Gàidhlig, averaging out to 48 minutes (or 0.79 hours) of study per day.

According to Memrise, I know 32 words (though I suspect that number should be a little higher).

Here’s a breakdown of my study time:

chart (1)

I like this breakdown; it’s good to see that I’m spending more time on actual sit-down studying than I am on apps overall, and I can feel the difference that is making.

I can also do a little self-introduction and talk a bit about the weather! (And yes, there’ll probably be errors, but… 🤷🏼‍♀️)

Halò! Is mise Teàrlag agus tha mi à Sasann. Tha mi a’ fuireach ann a Lunnainn. Tha i fuar an-diugh.

Corrections welcome, of course! I’ll be back with another update on this on the 12th—hopefully by then I’ll be in at least the 100-word range and will be able to talk about work and family!

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