Ég er að læra íslensku

Okay, so I did this thing … Call me crazy, verrückt, folle, tosset, matta, whatever you like, but I have decided to swap Faroese for Icelandic and see how that goes.

For the past half year I have been studying Faroese on and off and I really love it! I love the melodious sound of it and the accent that reminds one of English, but is actually a completely different language. But … the thing I miss the most is being able to speak to someone. I have only 1 textbook with audio and that’s it. There was an italki teacher, but he decided to stop teaching shortly after I contacted him. There is almost no authentic input available, no YouTube, no Netflix, no nothing. And after all that home studying, I really feel that I need authentic input and a conversation partner in order to achieve good results and stay motivated. Conversation is the oxygen to my language studies.

So it’s decided. Icelandic it is. There are many YouTube videos, there is a lot of content online, so I am hoping that will hel…

Ech léiere Lëtzebuergesch

A disclaimer before I continue. I am native Dutch (Belgium) and speak/study 10 foreign languages, of which 5 other Germanic languages (English, German, Danish, Afrikaans and Faroese). Luxembourgish is also a Germanic language, so I have a bit of a headstart here and I don’t really begin from scratch. But … I don’t speak a word of Luxembourgish at this moment.

I thought it could be fun to document my language learning journey here, so you might get inspired or maybe because you (just like me) like to read about other people’s trials and errors.
My plan is to track what exactly I do to study the language, the hours I study and the resources I use. I will post once a week, every other week or once a month, there is no fixed schedule. Sometimes I might have too much work and not enough time to focus on language learning and sometimes I might have hours to fill …

So here we go, enjoy the journey with me!

Week 6: May 25-31, 2020Ech léieren zënter sechs Woche Lëtzebuergesch an ech muss soen, et…

Practice makes perfect!

I am a (not so active, I have to admit) member of the language learning community on Twitter and I love to read other people’s opinions on languages and how they study them (and which languages everyone studies and what resources they use …).

Last week, someone posted a message about how online language coaches post general statements about language learning as if this were the truth. This gives beginners a false impression that they should go about it like this or like that and if they are not successful within a short period of time, they fail. I agree.

I have never followed anyone’s advice on how to start learning a language. I look at what is available and then distil my own method. A one-size-fits-all doesn’t work for language learning, I think.

I speak/study 10 languages (some fluent, others are still in the early stages) and I have done this in 10 different ways. Someone asked me to describe how I did this, so here I go … I list the languages in order of fluency.

French, English, …

#polyglottweet review

Finally it’s here, my thoughts on the #polyglottweet challenge by @maripolyglot last January. I decided to join, because I liked the idea of focusing on my target languages for a whole month and because there would be a group of likeminded polyglots, discussing and correcting each other’s tweets. Me like!

Let’s look at some facts and figures first.
- The challenge took 30 days. That means 30 days in a row, tweeting once a day about anything you like in whatever language you study, using the hashtag polyglottweet.

  - I am studying/speaking 10 foreign languages and I tweeted in all of them.
French: 6, English and Afrikaans: 5, Korean: 4, Italian: 3, Bulgarian and Faroese: 2, German, Danish and Spanish: 1.
  - I also did 1 audio tweet in French, I tweeted one blog I wrote in English and as a final tweet on day 30, I made a thread with all my target languages (which was fun to do).


I loved to give my target languages some TLC on a daily basis. Sometimes I was already thinking about …

Ek het 'n Afrikaanse boek gelees

Ek het vandag vir die eerste keer ‘n Afrikaanse boek gelees en ek is baie bly dat ek dit kan doen het, want ek leer net twee maande die taal.
Als jy nie wil weet hoe hierdie storie afloop nie, dan moet jy nie verder lees nie ...
Die titel van die boek wat ek gelees het, is Die Horlosiemaker, geskryf deur Anna Erishkigal. Eintlik is dit nie regtig 'n boek nie, maar 'n novelle, wat slegs 38 bladsye tel. Ek dink dit was ’n Engelse boek, wat vertaal is in Afrikaans, want die storie vertel die verhaal van ’n meisie wat in ’n stad woon met Engelse straatname en dit lyk gewoon so asof dit in Amerika is (later lees ons dat haar kêrel as soldaat met die leër naar Afganistan toe gaan om te veg teen die Taliban).
Die meisie waaroor die storie gaan, is Marae. Sy het van haar kêrel ‘n horlosie gekry, wat gestop het om presies 3.57 uur namiddag, op Woensdag, die 29ste Januarie. Ons kom te weet dat dit die oomblik is waarop Jos (Marae se kêrel) gesterf het.
Jos wil trou met Marae, want hy is sol…

Silence is NOT golden

Picture this (and I’m sure you are all familiar with what I am going to say):

There is an upcoming language carousel, a polyglot event, a meeting with people speaking several languages or just an occasion for you to practice your target language. You are all excited and pumped. Adrenaline’s flowing. In your head you have it all figured out. You know exactly what you are going to say. You anticipated the many questions they may ask you or you may ask them. You looked up some words you may need (better be prepared, right?). You did a mental warm-up. To make a long story short, you are ready to have a fluent conversation in one of your target languages. You can already see yourself nailing it! Yeah! Tsjaka (as we say in Dutch, including the arm movement)!

And then ... Euhm ... Blank ... Nothing comes … You stutter like a toddler. You can’t even remember the simplest words and you end up hiding from the other guests the rest of the evening. And when you get home, you feel like a loser. Your…