Thanks for following along in my Japanese project! Right now there should be two weeks left, but realistically what was initially a three month project has morphed into a two month one. This final month has led to another secret project of mine taking over! [Edit: Several months before this Japanese project, I had written my first […]MORE
Note: While I was initially aiming for 3 months, unfortunately preparations for my published book took up all of my time and I had to end the project at this 2 month point. Summary of the project is given here, but this video below represents the end point of the 2-months that were intensive in […]MORE
This week, I can finally do what I had wanted to do last week and give you a full example of how my conversations tend to be going, right now a little after my half-way point in the Japanese project!
At this stage, I can handle straightforward question and answer exchanges pretty well, but my grammar and vocab still need serious improving, and will continue to be the focus for the next weeks. I’m also not so confident about explaining a concept for a few minutes and did a really poor job at describing what “Couchsurfing” was, especially when the lack of important vocab held me back.
As well as this, my accent and pronunciation need lots of improvement. I’m aware of such issues, but they will definitely take the back seat to higher priorities for now.MORE
Sorry that this video is so short! Starting next week, I’ll get back into weekly updates until the end of the project with maybe just one break (so that’s six more videos up until the week my 3 months runs out), but I hope this teaser snapshot shows you more or less how I’m doing right now!
The reason the video isn’t longer is because my Skype recording software crashed after 4 minutes, which is a pity because Yuri asked me interesting questions and we had a real exchange (you only hear her say a couple of words in this video), discussing how my parents visited me here in Valencia.MORE
Last week on Wednesday, I reached the one month point of my Japanese project. After an excellent start, I had a little bit of a bumpy final bit of my first month that slowed me down a little, but am back on track now to hopefully make up for lost time by the end of […]MORE
A little tradition I’ve kept up since starting the blog, is to give you a video tour of almost every place I temporarily call home! For instance, in English I showed you my penthouse in Rio, my lovely flat in Medellín, the flat around the corner from the Danube in Budapest, and the beach cottage […]MORE
As you know, earlier this week I started my project to try to reach fluency in Japanese in 3 months! As promised, I am going to be uploading very regular updates of my progress, and when better to do that than by recording my first attempt at a Japanese only video, just three days after […]MORE
While proving that “virtual immersion” is indeed possible, and while I do genuinely hope to inspire language learners over the coming months, no matter what language you are learning, what will be motivating me to keep going on a day to day basis will be the fact that I’m going to travel Japan next year.MORE
Time to reveal what my fun part-time language mission for the summer is, and you may be surprised by how genuinely practical it is!! Basically, rather than learn a new language, as I normally tend to do (or maintain my current languages, which I am doing anyway this summer), I’ve decided to learn a new […]MORE
After last week’s announcement, you should know that I had an intensive project to re-activate my Hungarian! The reason I was doing this was to prepare to go back to Budapest to attend the Polyglot Conference, and I had a great time at it, but I did want to make sure I was using some Hungarian outside of it. In this post, I’ll say how both the mission and the conference went!
Firstly, I had signed up for six hours of Hungarian spoken lessons via italki. While I had blogged that I would be putting about ten hours into the project, once again my super-secret project in Berlin was consuming my time, and I barely had 10 minutes before each lesson to quickly revise things. So in total, I had about 7 hours of exposure time to Hungarian before arriving.
I find that because I am so busy on another project, if I don’t actually schedule a lesson, then I can keep putting off the work, so I’m really glad I did put aside that time in advance. Busy or not, when you know you have another person scheduled to talk to you, you’ll make the time!MORE
It’s time to raise the dead!! My secret mission that is taking up the vast majority of my time in Berlin continues (don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it when the time is right! For now, it’s so secret that I can’t even give clues as to what it is or when I can […]MORE
with a pretty successful Polish mini-mission behind me, tomorrow I am flying to Oslo!
Of course I plan to be a respectful tourist and be fully capable of ordering food, asking directions, being polite, and giving basic info about myself, all in Norwegian.
However, since I am not under any pressure to do something else (my trip to Warsaw was specifically to speak at TEDx, and preparing for that talk took time out of the 5 hours I had planned for polish, knocking it down to only 2! The talk went well, and you can see a cool visual representation of what I was saying in the image above that was drawn while I was saying it!) I think I will actually manage to do five full hours of preparation this time! 🙂MORE
As you saw last week, I challenged myself to take five hours to learn enough Polish to help me get by on my brief visit to Warsaw.
In the end, I didn’t actually do that as planned… because I was so busy preparing for my TEDx talk (which will be completely different to the other one I gave, but still with the same topic of encouraging adult language learners – online in the next month or two), and working on my secret 3-month contract, that I only had two hours total time to invest into learning Polish.
Despite having even less time than I initially planned, I was pleased to learn what I needed and can even share the results with you on video!MORE
On Wednesday, I’ll be arriving in Warsaw to give a TEDx talk. Unlike the first one I gave, which was completely made up on the spot and only the second time I ever had a stage to myself like that, this time I have been preparing for it in advance and want to give a completely different but really powerful talk that could inspire many language learners. It should hopefully be up on Youtube in a month or two!
I’ll only be in Poland for 3 days, but I’m going to have a unique mission this time of giving myself 5 hours to cram for Polish to become as effective a tourist as I can be! Right now, I don’t know any Polish at all (other than likely common vocabulary that many languages share), and I’ve been too busy with a full time contracted job I have here in Berlin (much more on the top-secret reason I’m in Berlin later) as well as preparing my talk over the last week.MORE
This has been a very interesting project!
I started back in September, with three months to intensively learn the language while in Brazil, and then spent January and February travelling through Egypt (ultimately not doing more than a couple of hours intentional work on my Arabic level, although getting lots of practice), and if you check out the above completely unedited, and unscripted conversation, you can hear what my Arabic sounds like!
Unlike in my other videos, where I was focusing much more on an interesting message that the native speaker could share with the world, this time I did most of the talking, but had a very special guest interview me – the first person I ever spoke Arabic with! It’s got an almost poetic conclusion to the mission that I should finally meet her just before I leave! I found Amera on italki in September, and she is one of the teachers I stuck consistently with all the way through to December.MORE