Time for a language learning break over the holidays!
I still have two weeks left in my Japanese fluency 3-month project, that I'll take up again starting January 11th, so that the last day of intensive Japanese learning will be my second day in Japan! After that, I want to focus my time in the country entirely on cultural exploration through speaking the local language 😉
This means that the next videos you see will be several of me on location in Japan! I can't wait! The last two weeks of intensive learning will be in Thailand – sadly, it's time to leave Spain in a few days.
2 week shift in my project end due to illness
My 3 months were initially due to run out on December 16th (since I started this Japanese project on September 16th), but I was incredibly ill for one week straight (I was genuinely considering going to the emergency room at one stage when I could genuinely barely breathe, but I found a private doctor before it became dangerously serious), and then needed an entire week just to catch up on my work backlog, since I can usually keep work at bay with about 2-4 hours invested per day.
As such, I've essentially been 2 weeks behind since then, so it made more sense to just ignore those 2 weeks in the overall count, since I didn't do any Japanese learning work in that period. I initially thought I could just “work extra hard” to make up for the time lost, but that was a pretty silly idea considering I was already working as intensively as possible!
However, I was pacing myself well, and actually got the level that I wanted at my 2 month point (shifted a fortnight later to two weeks ago) when I went to the Manga Hall to try (and fail) to speak Japanese there, and my account of the experience that I shared afterwards with my italki teacher Yuri.
At that 2-month point, I was at the stage where I was able to have pretty good conversations, as long as I was controlling the direction the conversation was going in. I still couldn't understand normal speed Japanese, and that's why it's great to chat to Yuri who speaks slowly and clearly. As well as this, my pronunciation still needed tidying up.
I've been working super hard to be able to handle a greater range of conversations, and in the last days have reached my limit where I feel like my brain is melting. I'm starting to feel burnt-out, so the timing works to take a break, and recharge my batteries, before I dive in for 2 more final intensive weeks! Feeling burnt out is also the reason why I unfortunately won't have a 2.5 month video update. My brain feels like goo right now 😛
Huge news coming January 10th!
Why not just take a break until Christmas, and get back into it late December? Well, while I may be taking a break from learning Japanese, I definitely won't be putting my feet up for the next month! In fact, immediately after Christmas, I'm going to be working incredibly hard!
About half of the work I've been doing this entire year, has been related to what I'm secretly referring to as the “Berlin project” that I took 3 months to spend 100% of my time to work on back in March, and have been working on part time ever since.
It wasn't learning a language for myself, but is more about making a real difference to language learning to help you in YOUR language learning projects. So, after Christmas, I'll get back to work on that project, until I can finally tell you what all this has been about! There are so many things to tell that I'll have to split the announcements in two and give a second one a week or two later! It'll be worth the wait, I promise!
As well as this, I'll be putting time into seriously improving and updating the Fluent in 3 Months PREMIUM package. I'll time that update with the second announcement, around January 20th. But of course, I want to get everything done by January 10th, so I can get back into studying Japanese 😉
A fun 2014 awaits!
I am sorry if any of you who were waiting for “the” final update video over the next days! I've always said that the purpose of these 3 month projects has never been to lead up to ONE video. I've never had “the” 3-month video; since these projects were always about preparing for improved cultural immersion. I'm not passionate about learning languages quickly just to know a new language, I'm passionate about using them! My “final” video, is generally one after I've had a chance to explore the lovely country of Japan first.
If you have a specific goal and a time limit (in my case, always three months), to push yourself to as high a level as you can in as short a time as you can, you'll get much better and faster results than you ever would by vaguely trying to just generally improve. That's the true power of intensive projects.
You'll see videos next year to gauge where I ended up after 3 intensive months learning Japanese, and can decide for yourselves what level you think I'm at. For me, so far I'm happy with my overall progress, and hope this break gives me the boost I need to make those final 2 weeks really count.
I want to be able to speak Japanese for the rest of my life, and plan to slowly continue improving it from my 3-month level and onward, even after I leave Japan. But the intense beginning will have always given me the boost that a “take your time” approach simply never does, even if I will likely have gradual improvements for Japanese and all my other languages over the long-term.
I look forward to a fun 2014, not just wrapping up this intensive project, but to first see Japan for myself (as a tourist who can speak good Japanese), and then to make Japanese as much a part of my life over the long term as Spanish, French and other languages are. As well as improving all my languages, I'll have lots of other fun things in store for my 2014, and can't wait to share them with you!
Thanks for joining me in the first 2.5 months, and I look forward to sharing the last stretch and more importantly, Japanese culture first hand that I'll discover thanks to learning the language.