My languages and goals

Goals for 2019:

Learn Croatian to a B1 level – having starting from mid October 2018 knowing  absolutely nothing.

Maintain and improve Spanish.

Goals for 2018:

OK. So an update. I read a lot of Spanish in the first few months of the year, and also a facing page translation of Kafkas der Process which I enjoyed enormously. I also listened to the audio several times.

But then life intruded. Work. Other stuff. Etc.

And my goal as of October (a bit late in the year I know) is too learn Croatian to a B1 level.

I’ve kept my goals deliberately simple this year.

I want to understand as much German as possible by using the Lingq website for 30 minutes a day. My focus will be on listening and reading.  I am interested in seeing how much it is possible to achieve in what is a fairly modest time investment. My current level is basic, to say the least, so while I am not a beginner I am hovering around that level.

I will also learn a few dozen German phrases that will be useful to me personally.

January to March. All my leisure reading will be in Spanish. I’m trying to maintain my Spanish and will luck improve my vocabulary.

Impove my spoken Italian. Natch.

Ditto with my spoken Spanish. Obvs.

Goals for 2017:

Towards the end 0f 2016 I finally started to speak French, and now have weekly lessons on iTalki. I wanted to improve my spoken French and reach a good B1 or low B2 level by the end of 2017, and so my primary focus this year will be on French. OK. It was French, and I reached a B1 level (according to my tutor) around April. My pronunciation is still appalling but I got there.

My other aims were :-

I’m going to complete Assimil German.

I reached around Lesson 34. So 34 percent achievement.

I’m going to complete Assimil Romanian.

I reached around Lesson 10. Hmm. Could do better.

Past attempts and language dabbling


During 2016, I decided I wanted to be able to read Afrikaans, which in part was because of my site Easy Afrikaans.

I read, or rather struggled through Jack Parrows book Die Ou Met die Snor by die Bar .

No Afrikaans for me in 2017 but I’m sure I’ll return to you in future.


I dabble in Latin – especially during the winter months, and continue to do so on a very ad hoc;) basis.


I spent two years dallying with Polish, but played more than studying effectively, and consequently never achieved much.


In year (2015) I started to learn Russian, and began full of enthusiasm to describe the process here, and then stopped.

Besos, Baci & Pax.


10 thoughts on “My languages and goals”

  1. Hello. I just found your mobile app for Yiddish and I love it.

    Thank you!

    I have an idea for you to partner with two parties to increase your Yiddish content.

    E-mail me if you’re interested.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion.

      I haven’t decided what I’m going to add to Surface languages this year, but if it is Yiddish I’ll drop you a mail.


  2. I realy like your courses! I have already installed Greek and Norwegian and it is amazing! But I have smething to say about language courses. Bosnian and Croatian are versions of SERBIAN, but I respect Bosnians’ and Croatians’ thinking. I saw that you don’t have Serbian course after all that. I just want to say that all people of Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia can understand theirselves perfectly but they don’t have one name for that language. Serbia and Montenegro were together just a few years ago and they all spoke Serbian. Now Montenegro has its own language.
    Your courses are awesome, I like them, but, I don’t know for these courses. This was just a suggestion. Don’t take its bad side. I just want to say that it could be serbocroatian as it was called years before. (I must say it again these courses were the right thing I was searching for!)

    1. Thanks for your comment. I realise that the languages or perhaps dialects are extremely similar, but I suppose that like you I respect Bosnians, Croatians and Serbians way of thinking about their language.

      The only reason that I haven’t added Serbian (yet) is time and money (and finding someone to record the audio), and the same with Montenegrin, so one day I would like to add them both. It might be that I do this when (or if) I add sentences in these languages, which maybe might show the differences more than with common words. There is only one person running Surface Languages (me!), and it is a side-project/hobby, so I only have limited time etc.

      Anyway, thanks for your comment, it seems pretty fair to me, and I’m glad you like the course.


      1. I’m happy to see that you haven’t understood my suggestion like a hater’s one. However you are doing a great thing: you make free language courses for all people and I am impressed. (Sorry for my english it is probably bad when I write it like that. ) It is good that anybody can learn anything. Of course it is hard to just one persone do all that.

  3. Hi! I have recently started learning Afrikaans and I am looking for people to interview for an Afrikaans language learning series that I am doing. I really like your site and would really love to do an informal interview/chat you via Skype, if you would be happy for me to do so. This will be very informal and relaxed, and a sharing of experiences and ideas, but at the same time please do not feel any pressure if you would rather not. Please do email me if you would like to.

    Best Wishes and geniet jou dag!

    1. Hi. I’m really pleased that you like my site. It is very encouraging to have positive feedback. Thanks for the interview/chat idea, but it really isn’t me. I think that there are lots of other people who as it were, are experts on the subject of language learning, and whose ideas are more relevant than mine.

      I hope your Afrikaans learning continues! (And try reading …;).


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