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
I woke up groggy, still trying to snooze off a sleepless night of New Year’s parties, looked out my window and could see that we had just flown over a small bay of some sort that showed the Mediterranean sea part of my journey was done. Our flight had just entered Egypt, and it […]MORE
My three months are officially up! In a few hours I’ll be getting a flight back to Ireland to spend Christmas with my family, then heading to Germany for a few days to celebrate the New Year in Esperanto with some good friends as always. Then, a few days into January, I fly into Egypt, […]MORE
Here it is; my official two month point in Arabic! Subtitles in English, Arabic and Portuguese via Youtube.
I had initially planned to go to the Egyptian consulate in Rio, to finally speak the language for the first time in my life in person, but there were issues in setting up a meeting there. Luckily, I randomly ran into an Egyptian-American, Ahmed, at a Couchsurfing meeting!
I decided to only speak English with him then and ask him if he’d be up for recording a video with me. We still spoke English before recording the video, so he had no idea what my level would have been at. The reason I did this, was so you could literally see the very first time I genuinely spoke the language face-to-face with someone in my life, the moment after I pressed record.
Sharing this key moment is good for tracking my progress, since I know people are curious about such important milestones of the mission, (unlike some friends of mine, I don’t tend to have a camera on my head to catch such moments in cognito!) but obviously breaking into Arabic suddenly, after not speaking it for over a day since my previous Skype session, meant I didn’t have quite the ideal kind of flow I’d like. In future, I’ll speak in the relevant language for several minutes before recording, so I have this flow.MORE
Today’s video marks the half-way point of my mission to learn Egyptian Arabic to fluency in 3 months, while in Brazil. I’m talking to Henry, an Egyptian who lives in Australia, and it was the first time we ever talked. He’s a reader of this blog, and offered to let me record our Skype conversation.MORE
My “Learn Egyptian Arabic in Brazil” week 2 project update. Here I have no script to refer to, and I recite the entire seven minute script from memory. There are a LOT of mistakes, but I like to think I am at least coming across as a bit more confident than the previous week.MORE
Here it is – my first ever video in Arabic, a week after starting to learn it! Subtitles are provided in original Arabic, English and Portuguese for all videos of this project. In this video, I read a script written entirely in Arabic (no romanisation) about how I’m in Rio and just starting the mission. To make it more interesting, I’ve thrown in some nice views of the city at various points in the video, but there is no editing out of my pauses and hesitations.MORE
As you all know, I’m attempting to get Fluent in Arabic in 3 months, in a city 500km deep inside Brazil. It’s on! A good start is essential if you want to get the momentum to learn as fast as possible, so this meant that I did as much as I could not related to […]MORE
This may be one of the craziest language projects I’ve ever undertaken! Watch the video for the proper introduction. As you’ll see, I have three months, starting today, to reach fluency (more specifically, high level B2/low C1 on this scale) in (Egyptian) Arabic and I plan to do it… in Brazil!MORE
[Quick reminder: the next language mission will be announced in the Language Hacking League email list next week! Enter your email in the top-right of the site to find out in advance of the blog announcement] Check out today’s video interview with Diarmuid Ó Mathúna from Raidió na Life, and don’t forget to click Youtube’s […]MORE
I spent a month in Austin (TX) and learned enough ASL to make a multilingual music video in ASL, but not enough to record a video interacting with someone. But then I made it a major focus to improve my ASL to a level where I could interview people to share Deaf culture and more about ASL and how it works with the world. Check out today’s video, entirely in American Sign Language.MORE