A summer language project


One thing that I have learnt about myself, is that (in general) I am very, very, very bad at doing more than thing at once.

This applies to most areas of my life.

So, as an example, if I’m learning Croatian and at the same time actively trying to improve my Italian, it stresses me out. Or actively trying to learn a new computer language, it stresses me out. Or actively trying to …

And with the language example, as this is something that I do for fun, this kind of defeats the object of learning languages. I also don’t actually achieve very much of whatever that I have set out to do.

I have also belatedly discovered that I am much better at doing one thing for a short period of time.

And so for the next ten weeks (or so) I have decided on a summer language project. I won’t do anything else – actively 😉

As a slight aside, in case you were wondering, and despite my brave talk of having ‘given up Croatian due to the pandemic and lack of travel possibilities’, I miss it! And so after the next ten weeks are up, I will return to my Croatian. It is without doubt my favourite language.

So my ten week project will be to learn as much German as I can over the next ten weeks, bringing me roughly to mid October.

I am a false beginner. I have attempted to use Assimil German, and played at learning German. At one point I even decided that German would be one of the five languages that I would learn. This hasn’t materialised. I have now all but forgotten the German that I learnt with Assimil. But still, I would like to learn a little more, and so it beckons as my perfect summer language project.

I came across a language app called Speakly. It is, I think, really good, so good that I paid to become a lifetime member.

I like the basic premise behind it, which is that you learn words in the order of frequency of use.

Obviously, in reality there is no such thing as absolute word frequency list. It will change depending on context. There will however be a large overlap between all frequency lists.

I have been using Speakly for about ten days, and the app tells me that I now know 215 words. I’m aiming to learn approximately twenty a day, which would give me a respectable end figure of somewhere over 1000 words learnt by the end of the ten weeks.

My maths isn’t bad, and I’m fully aware that twenty multiplied by seven and then again by ten gives 1400.

I’m assuming that I will end up using the app five days a week.

The second cool feature I like about speakly is there is an emphasis on listening to a series of monologues three or so times a day. This is cool. Comprehension is important.

There is more which I will mention over the coming weeks, along with the number of words that I have learnt and the progress that I have made.

Beso, baci and pax.


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