#40h7dLC Review (April 2021)

¡Hola amigos! How’ve you all been doing? I’ve taken a semi-break from language learning since just after the last #40h7dLC – nothing to do with the challenge, of course! But I thought I’d come back and give you all a quick rundown of how I did, as updating throughout the challenge proved to be, uh, pretty difficult.

First things first, how did I do?

I did it! I spent a grand total of 2,401 minutes (40 hours and one minute – and no, that wasn’t on purpose) on all of my languages over the course of the week.

As I said in my original post about the #40h7dLC, I wanted to focus most of my efforts on Spanish, and I managed that.

These were my final times:

languageminuteshours
Spanish1,18219h42m
German4136h53m
Mandarin2634h23m
Korean2143h34m
Scottish Gaelic2043h24m
Arabic1252h5m

I also kept track of my passive and active learning time. I was still working all week, so I allowed up to 50% of my language exposure to be passive (listening to audiobooks, watching TV without looking up vocabulary, etc.) so that I could hit the goal without entirely burning out.

Overall, 41.48% of my time (16h36m) was spent on passive activities, and 58.52% of my time (23h25m) was spent on active activities.

The aftermath

So, the week after the language challenge ended, I got an offer to translate a novel – which is what I’ve been working on since. (Well, I also moved house; it’s been a busy few months!) This has meant that a lot of my overall language time has gone down, though I have managed to stick to these habits every day:

  • Writing a post on the subreddit r/WriteStreakGerman (up to 161!)
  • Writing a post on the subreddit r/WriteStreakES (started this later, but I’m at 76)
  • Anki streak (have lost it a few times, but I’m plugging away)
  • Reading for 30m (mostly in German/Spanish)

The challenge itself – I did notice a massive pickup in my Spanish. A lot of it came from binge-watching, I think; there’s something to be said for gradually watching a lot of content, but doing that all in one go really does give you a boost.

I also found, throughout the week, that because of the variety of activities I was doing for each language (but particularly Spanish), I was being exposed to the new vocabulary and grammar I was learning over and over again. This is the basic principle of the multi-track approach, which I knew, but it’s great to see it actually happening!

What’s next?

The next #40h7dLC is starting next Monday 16 August. However, I’m finding myself in a bit of a pickle, as it’s my mum’s birthday at the beginning of the week, and I (finally!!) have friends coming to visit at the end of it. Literally, I’ve spent so much time on my own – so what are the odds it would be that week?

Doesn’t mean I’m not going to give it a try! I’m still plugging away at the translation (it’s like a 200k long book), so I think I’m going to nominate German as my main language this time around. I also want to keep doing all the activities I’ve been doing daily – but that’s a bit of a given.

Basically, my goals are:

  • Hit 40 hours (gold tier, amazing)
  • Spend at least 50% of whatever time I end up with on German
  • Hit at least two-three hours on all other languages

What do I plan to do?

Here’s a screenshot of my (very, very, very) rough plan of attack:

My #40h7dLC plan - what I'm going to do to learn each language during the week.

I’ve tried to weight my hours towards the middle of the week (when I’m uh working), but we’ll see how it goes. No doubt I’ll be trying to cram some stuff in come Sunday!

Let me know if you’re taking part in this round of the #40h7dLC – or if you’ve done so before, let me know how you found it!

And for everyone who is taking part, no matter your goal: good luck!


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