my study log: 2024 – week one

This blog’s been dead for a pretty long time, and I’ve not really known what to do with it, even though I’ve not given up on language learning at all. Still, last year was a pretty quiet year – I logged around 200 hours total spent on language learning. I did something every day, even if it was only posting my writing streaks and a little bit of Anki, but still, that’s not a lot, especially considering what I’m focusing on.

So, new year, new goals, yadda yadda. I want the shift this year to be more about doing things in the language; i.e. input. I barely read anything in German last year, and I listened to so many podcasts in English, so I know there’s time there to use.

It’s working out pretty well so far!

I’ve spent 32.65 hours learning languages so far, with the most time spent on Spanish. German comes in a pretty close second, then Mandarin (thanks to some actual studying!) and Polish.

Most of the time for Spanish and German has been spent on listening. I’ve been listening to the El Dollop podcast in Spanish, which is based on the English podcast The Dollop. I’m almost certainly understanding less of it than I hoped to, but it helps that a lot of the episodes I’ve listened to so far have been covered on the English version. Plus, I can go back and re-listen.

In German, I’ve been listening to the podcast Zwei Freundinnen & Ein Buch, where two friends are re-reading the Twilight books, chapter-by-chapter, and talking about them. I do get most of this (and listen to it at 1.2x because regular speed is fine but a little slow), but I’ve been listening while working, so I know I’m missing things from that. I’ve also been watching What We Do in the Shadows dubbed in German with German subtitles. I watched the whole show in English in December, but I don’t think it’s super hard to follow anyway.

For reading, I’ve been using Lute; the only issue is that I’ve got it on my PC and I don’t want to mess with backups etc., to use it on other devices. Still, that’s not a big problem, especially because reading in German or Spanish on my Kindle is super easy. I’m reading a bunch of stuff: for German, Angelo by Silvia Violet (a translation) and Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen, as well as some fanfiction. For Spanish, I’m making my way through Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal again. Lute does force me to slow down and actually acknowledge the words I don’t know, which is great for Spanish, because the knowledge I have of the story plus the high number of cognates definitely fools me into thinking I know more than I do.

I’ve finally worked through my Anki backlog, so I’m trying to keep that down every day. I’m neglecting the Ultimate Geography deck, but oh well. I’ll get back to that. I’m also posting on a few of the WriteStreak subreddits every day – in German, Spanish, and Polish. I was going to start with Mandarin at the beginning of the year, but even though it’s not a ton of work, it’s enough that I’ll wait a while. I still have lots of corrections to catch up on!

Mandarin, too… I really want this to be my focus language this year. I went to Malaysia in December for The Language Event and I forgot how much I enjoy visiting Asia, as well as how much I like the languages there. I learnt the tiniest amount of Malay, but there were a few chances to speak Mandarin too – but my Mandarin has gone so downhill that I need to get to work! I’m going to work through the NPCR books again (I’ve picked up where I left off the last time I decided to do this, on lesson seven) and just try and get a bunch of input. The good thing is that I definitely remember more than I thought I did. The bad news is that there’s still a long way to go.

Maybe that’s not bad news. I don’t know.

Here’s a quick overview of what I spent time on this week:

German105m (1h45m)427m (7h07m)42m94m (1h34m)
Spanish64m (1h04m)905m (15h05m)41m26m
Mandarin13m68m (1h08m)84m (1h24m)

And that’s it. Until next week!

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