A Great Start to a New Decade: #CleartheList February 2020

#clearthelist language learning goals - february 2020

Who knows how long January really lasts; for some people, it takes forever and for others, it seems to fly by. For me, it was the latter this year—I’m surprised to be evaluating last month’s progress already! But, here we are, so let’s go.

Hi, everyone! How was your January of this year? Aside from the studying I did, mine was pretty low-key: I was trying to save money after the Christmas/New Year/birthday influx that always happens and so didn’t really go out. Plus, the weather was not great (not that cold, just kind of rainy and blah all the time).

It really did make it a good month for language learning for me, however. It’s probably one of the most successful months I’ve had in a long time, even though I’ve been juggling more languages than I have any right to!

What did I do in January?

First things first, I obviously kicked off my 20 Endangered Languages in 2020 challenge and began learning Scottish Gaelic. Scottish Gaelic is a language I’d been thinking about learning for a while but had no real ‘reason’ to—so the challenge gave me the perfect time to kick off my studying and I’ve kept it up since! This took my number of core languages up to five, but I wasn’t too worried about that.

Overall, I enjoyed learning Scottish Gaelic for the challenge and even recorded a video of myself speaking it after 18 days. Then I moved onto my second challenge language, Ainu, which has proven to be a completely different (slightly more complicated) experience so far.

I also had some surprising (and incredible!) news last month. So, last August I changed jobs and started working for a company in London that makes a language learning app. I do marketing, which has been a bit of a learning curve but I think I’m doing okay and I’m doing my best to learn as much as possible still (around my language studying, of course!). Well, this week my boss asked if I wanted to go on the Polyglot Cruise this April; we’re a sponsor so he wants someone to go to represent us (and to have fun)!

Um, WHAT?!

Obviously, I instantly said yes—so I’m going to be on the cruise! 😀 I’m very excited but it does mean I’ve also made the decision to add four more languages to my roster that I might need for the cruise: Italian, Catalan, Sicilian, and Maltese.

Yeah, the sharp-eyed among you might notice that that means I’m currently learning ten languages. Yikes, right?! Well, I think Italian and Spanish are the two languages I’ll need most for the cruise, so I’m going to put a bit more of a focus on them until April; either way, I’ve allotted my cruise languages fifteen minutes per day, so with any luck that won’t be too much pressure!

But anyway, back to January. I’ve got some stats for last month (you all like those, right?).

The first image shows my time spent on my main languages last month; I managed to hit my time goals for German, Scottish Gaelic, and Ainu. I’m not surprised about the last two, as my challenge languages are the ones I’m targeting for the 366-Day Language Challenge, so if I don’t do my thirty minutes per day, then I start to lose points.

German was an outlier and it’s down to the fact that I’ve started playing games in the language. I played Watchdogs 2 one week and Stardew Valley another (and I will be playing that today ty; it’s so cute!). I counted these hours for listening and reading, respectively.

The second chart is a breakdown of which languages I spent the most time on and the final one shows that breakdown of numbers again, but in handy chart form. I’ve spent a fair bit of time on apps and studying in every language; I’d like to stretch that out for Mandarin and Spanish this month and introduce some more listening and reading as well.

Overall, I spent 44.8 hours last month on my various languages, just missing my target of 49.75 hours (but I think if I include the time I spent on the cruise languages, I actually surpassed this). That’s equal to 87 minutes of language time per day, so just under an hour and a half. Not bad, but I can definitely improve on that.

Some other numbers: I read 130 pages in German and 3 pages in Spanish, watched 161 minutes in German, wrote 421 words and recorded 20 minutes of speech. These are all for the Output Challenge/my own non-Super Challenge Super Challenge. (The SC doesn’t start again until May!)

What do I plan to do in February?

February is the start of the Six-week Challenge (6WC) so it’s not a month where I want to slack off. I also want to start a shift of how I spend my leisure time: there’s no excuse anymore for German to not be one of my main languages of use here. I can’t really use it that much at work (no one else speaks it) but I can start habitually watching TV, listening to podcasts etc., in the language. I’m going to make an exception for a few new series (Picard, Brooklyn 99) and watch those in English, but otherwise, almost everything this month should be in German or another language.

I’m going to keep a more detailed tracking of my language time over on my log on the Language Learners’ Forum, but I’ll post here every two weeks to evaluate my progress too. I’ve also set myself some goals for this month, one for each of my main languages (my other goals are just to keep on track with study time):

  • Clear up all my reviews on Memrise—I have about 2,500 of them, so this is a long-term job.
  • Be in the top five participants of the 6WC for total language time.
  • German: finish reading Das Licht der Phantasie and complete another book in February.
  • Mandarin: complete up to lesson 42 of NPCR 4.
  • Spanish: complete up to (and including!) lesson 15 of Living Language Ultimate Spanish.
  • Korean: complete up to lesson 4 of Living Language Ultimate Korean.
  • Scottish Gaelic: complete up to lesson 6 of Teach Yourself Complete Gaelic.

Aaaaand, finally, that’s it! Let me know how you all go on in January and, if you have them, what your plans for February are!

And don’t forget, you too can:


1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.

2. Link back to this post.

3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the linkup.

5. Share on social media using #ClearTheList.

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