How to fit 11 languages into your daily routine

I get asked that question a lot, so I thought it could be helpful to keep a log for a week and let you know what I do to incorporate languages into my daily life – with all ups and down, changed and dropped plans ... Life as it is, basically. This is just a random week, all depends on how much work I have – that determines how much time I have for language learning. The languages I study, are also determined by the italki classes I have the upcoming week. The day before the class, I focus on that particular language. This week I had only 2 classes. As you may know, I am a translator. I work (in theory) with French, English, German, Danish, Spanish, Italian, Afrikaans and Luxembourgish, but in reality it is mainly French and some English. During working hours, I am already exposed to languages on a daily basis. You will see that although I plan certain things, life doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes another language pops up and I change plans, sometimes other things come up a

#40h7dLC December – part 2

As I said in last week’s blog, I have decided to repeat the challenge this week and try and put in another 40 or more hours of language learning. Might as well profit from the quiet days at work! I would like to start this blog with a quote: Comparison is the thief of joy (by T. Roosevelt). I know many people compare themselves to others, to the progress others make (which is sometimes more than what they do themselves). But there is no need to! Everyone has his or her own journey, personal situation, interests and let’s not forget, life sometimes gets in the way as well! So follow your own path. Every stap you take, however small, is a step forward, a step towards the fluency you want to reach. And last but not least, don’t forget to have fun. Language learning is so rewarding, enjoy the process and don’t focus too much on the destination. Last week I was able to put in an enormous amount of hours, but since I am self-employed, I can basically decide how to fill my weekdays. I t

#40h7dLC December - part 1

I have decided to do another immersion week, the fourth this year, and maybe stretch it to the end of the year and thus make it 2 weeks (80 hours …). After my first three attempts, I came to 2 conclusions. The first being that I really like the focus on one particular language for a definite amount of time. It helps to dive into the language, to fully immerse yourself and to actually up your level. That happened to me after my first challenge back in July with Spanish. I could only do this though because I have a lot of resources for Spanish and my level was already a very good B1 – almost B2. This meant that I could watch a lot of movies, listen to podcasts, really make use of my italki classes and thus get the most out of the challenge. The second realisation however was that focusing on 1 language only was a bit ‘boring’. I am someone who needs variety (I moved 10 times in 10 years, I had 5 jobs in 7 years …). That keeps me focused and enthusiastic. During the Spanish challe

Language learning burn-out: 3 ways of turning things around

It’s a thing, language learning burn-out. I was suffering … very hard … My own fault, I admit, because I always dive in 200%. When I crushed in the spring of 2019, the reason was that I had planned my months ahead, on a daily basis, mapped out exactly what chapters in what books I had to study per day. Monday-Friday 1 language per day, in the weekend 2 per day. And just like that, something broke. I stopped. I literally didn’t have the energy to pick up a book, let alone have a look at the vocabulary lists or the dialogues. I just couldn’t. The weirdest feeling I had ever had, because I had always loved learning languages. The problem was that gradually I had started focussing more on the end result than on the journey itself. I stressed out whenever I didn’t manage to do everything I had planned for myself. I started to hate the weekends, because that meant more and more studying to keep up with my self-imposed schedule. So I quit. This time things are a bit different. I have ha

Mis 8 frases hechas favoritas sobre el día de los muertos

Es casi el 1 de noviembre y sabes que es un día especial, ¡sobre todo en México! Celebran el día de los muertos , en que recuerdan personas cercanas que han fallecido. Es casi una fiesta, no como aquí in Bélgica – donde es un día depresivo, de pena y con tanto llanto. Unos días antes de la celebración, acuden a los camposantos para limpiar las tumbas y para poner flores y altares. Todo se tiñe con el color naranja de las flores de los muertos. Segun se dice, esta flor captura el sol en sus pétalos y así guía los fallecidos hacia la tierra y sus seres queridos. Muy agradable como pensamiento, ¿no? ¡Como en la película Coco ! ¿La has vista? Yo sí ... y tengo en mente hacerlo otra vez este fin de semana. Como anticipo, mis 8 frases hechas favoritas sobre el día de los muertos (que tienen nada que ver con el día de todos los santos ... ¡vas a ver!) Muchas gracias a mi tutor su @italki, Susi Riquelme , para su ayuda y para las clases siempre tan divertidas. Qué disfrutes! Quedarse

Ikh lern zikh Yiddish איך לערן זיך ייִדיש

One of the language-related life goals I have is to learn the major Germanic languages. The complete family: English, German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Yiddish, Icelandic, Faroese, Luxembourgish, Frysian and Limburgish. There are of course more regional variations, such as Swiss German for example. I am focussing only on the bigger ones, being Dutch (my native language), English, German, Afrikaans, Danish, Luxembourgish, Icelandic (all fluent or in the learning stages). I will (at the moment) not study Swedish and Norwegian, because I already speak Danish and I don’t want to ‘contaminate’ that. Frysian and Limburgish are also not on the list. Which leaves me with Yiddish and Faroese. I have dabbled in Faroese for half a year, but then decided to switch to Icelandic, because of the many resources (which Faroese doesn’t have).   The moment I master that to a good extent, I will pick up Faroese again. So. Yiddish. I don’t know what triggered it, probably someon

Update summer goals #clearthelist

Summer’s gone, way too fast. We are preparing for autumn (and maybe making some new language learning goals for the rest of the year). But before we look ahead, let’s take a look back and see what the summer was like as far as my language learning goals are concerned. What didn’t go well: the blog in my TL’s. I don’t know why I keep making these goals, even though I know I will not write a blog. It just isn’t my thing really. I did write 3 blogs though, but then stopped. I guess I don’t really know what to write about … So let’s not do that anymore next time! The language that got a bit neglected is definitely Danish. I didn’t do anything, except for an italki class in July and one in August and I watched an episode of Rain, but I won’t continue. I liked the first season, watched the second one but it was a bit mèh and now the third one, I won’t watch it anymore. But … I think I finally found a teacher that I would love to work with, Tatiana. Let’s see how that develops in the f