Goals · Korean · Studies

My Language Goals: June

It’s a brand new month which means brand new beginnings! This year I want to start keeping track of my language goals, what I set out to do and what I am actually accomplishing. I figured what better way than by joining in on Clear The List which is hosted by Kris BroholmAngel PretotShannon of Eurolinguiste, and Lindsay Does Languages! This is where I’ll be discussing what I want to accomplish in a given month and then looking back to see how much of it I actually got done.

Hey everyone! Okay, so I know I disappeared for several months but SO much happened in that time. Between an immense level of stress at work and some personal things that I won’t bore you with, I was simply overwhelmed by it all. I know it happens to all of us and so I am not going to beat myself up for not posting in awhile. On the bright side, even though I was not posting, I was still studying when ever I got the chance, although I have made a few alterations to my initial plans at the start of the year. After January I quickly realized that I was taking on too much given the other things going on in my life at the time.

I’ve decided for the time being until things ease up a bit more that I am going to focus primarily on my one true love: Korean. Some days I have more time to study and others I only have 20 minutes but one thing I do know is that I always want to spend it studying Korean, one way or another. I mentioned to my boyfriend the other day that Korean was the language of my heart…and he laughed…but I was 100% serious. Having studied several languages in my life, I feel connected to them all in some way and obviously I love them but there is this undeniable pull to Korean that I felt the moment I heard it 10 or so years ago. If I were to sum it up…Korean is my language soulmate. That is incredibly cheesy isn’t it???! Am I the only one that feels this way or are others so attached to a particular language?

That being said…Korean is HARD. Studying Korean on my own is HARD. Not having anyone to share this journey with is HARD. I’m still at such a beginner level and the knowledge I do have is all over the place sometimes. Like the fact that I can name a plethora of animals but have difficulty recalling how to say bathroom! I guess “Where is the zebra” will have to do in that situation…I sometimes feel so stagnant in my language growth even though when I step back I can see that even in these past few months I have picked up a lot more than I knew before. Whether it be understanding a line in a song or a text that my friend sends me, I get super giddy just knowing that at one point I didn’t know those words at all. I don’t want to dwell on the negative or how slow the process seems to be going, rather I want to celebrate all those small victories.

Goals for June

Listening:

  • This is the one goal I never have an issue with because I tend to always have a show, a youtube video, or music playing. But I am hoping to include more Glossika and KoreanClass101 and Talk to me in Korean podcasts.

Reading: 

  • One thing I am doing to improve the speed of my reading is listening to some Korean songs with the lyrics on Youtube and trying to read along. This also has been helping my pronunciation which is always a bonus.
  • I will also be using some written dialogues as well as a very short children’s book I will be working my way through.

Writting: 

  • I started a small daily journal where I write down 3 or 4 sentences, no matter how small or simple they are. I hope to make it a set routine.
  • I’ve been going through the first 50 Glossika sentences and doing dictations with them. I’ve been taking about 10 sentences at a time, I listen to the sentence and write it down without looking at the written version and then correct myself after and note the mistakes I’m making and then repeat the process until I spell all the 10 sentences correctly before moving on. I’m finding this is a great way for me personally to utilize Glossika.
  • Another goal is to write more in Korean to my friends, I’ll interject words or small phrases into our conversations but I want to start sending more complete sentences.

Speaking:

  • This one is the hardest for me to keep up with since I don’t get as many opportunities to speak to other speakers. I do have to admit that I speak to myself a lot of in Korean, especially when practicing pronunciation. My main goal is to find more situations where I can speak Korean. A new Korean restaurant opened near by and I managed to say a few phrases to the owner, so I hope I can go back and speak some more even if it just small phrases.

 

Okay, that is all of the upcoming month! I will sprinkle in more study materials in between such as Memrise and a couple textbook lessons but I want to make sure to keep in open for whatever calls to me during the month. I hope you all have a successful month of language learning ahead!

 

Resources

Medical Spanish Memrise

As I mentioned before, I am currently reviewing medical terms in Spanish to prepare for a class I will take later on this year towards my medical interpreting certification. I was going through the textbook and figured that I would create a Memrise course for myself with the few words I wasn’t very familiar with, but then I decided to just go ahead and include all the vocab from the first chapter. The majority of the vocabulary pertains to body parts and other items you might find in a doctor’s office or hospital. I tried to include la/el before every word so that any non-native speakers who might come across it won’t have to guess the gender of the word. There are currently 88 words in the course and so I figured I would put a link to it here in case anyone wanted to pick up a couple new Spanish words. Depending on your level, you might already be familiar with all of these but hey, even I didn’t know 3 of them. 🙂 I’ve never created a deck like this before so if you take a look at it and notice anything that might make it more accessible please let me know. ^^

Goals

Not All Days Are Created Equal…

One thing I am understanding more and more as I get older is that not all days are created equal, and that’s okay! To be honest I have always been super hard on myself, and I know that in part it’s a defense mechanism. If I was hard on myself, then the judgement from others would pale in comparison, or so I told myself. I thought I was protecting myself but in reality the failures multiplied times 1000 because I couldn’t move past them. Slowly I have been working to overcome this in the past few years. Key word being SLOWLY…

One big aspect where this comes into play is my language learning. I often set out to do XYZ and am disappointed when I don’t quite accomplish it, even if I do ABC instead. I’ve had to remind myself that language learning comes in many forms and that just because I don’t meet every single goal I set out to, it doesn’t mean I am failing. If I am doing SOMETHING in that language then I am learning, whether it be one word or 5 chapters in a textbook. I wrote about some of my goals for the month here, but then I went even further and broke it down by days. I detailed what I thought I needed to get accomplished each day in order to meet those goals and even started keeping track of how long I was studying each thing everyday. To be honest, we are 6 days into the month and this feels like a chore.

Each day this month has looked  SO vastly different in terms of my studying. On Sunday, I studied for 8 hours straight! Guess what? I had a blast that day, I not only felt accomplished but enjoyed every bit. Monday, I posted a 10 second recording of myself speaking Korean for my pronunciation to be judged. On Tuesday, I got 2 hours of physical studying in and watched 4 hours of Korean television shows. Wednesday, I listened to a good number of audio lessons while at work. Yesterday, I only did 20 minutes of Duolingo French BUT spent about 2 hours chatting with my French language partner and even managed to write several sentences in French and learned a couple new fun expressions. I also read Boucles d’or et les Trois Ours (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) and understood about 80% of it without looking stuff up for clarification.

Did I meet all those daily goals I had set for myself? Nope, not on most days, but I can’t see this as a failure. Every single bit of the aforementioned and the rest of the studying I did, is a WIN! I can end this week knowing more than I did when I started. Heck, I even learned the names of three more obscure body parts in Spanish! What this shows me is that I am better off not trying to regulate what everyday looks like for me when it comes to studying. I love the monthly goals but I am done with daily ones. The only daily goal I want is to do something, anything, in one of my target languages, be it for 15 minutes or 8 hours.

I LOVE language learning and I want the freedom to enjoy it without constraints, goal setting and consistency are both very important but so is loving every minute of it, or at least it is for me. This week I even let myself throw in a little tiny bit of Norwegian and Indonesian which I am super excited about! I can’t wait to see what I learn the next week with no daily constraints.

How was your first week of the month? 🙂

Challenges

#365daysoflanglearning: Day 1

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Hey everyone! Today I am bringing you the #365daysoflanglearning challenge hosted by Charlotte over at Xuexisprachen. As the name implies, this is meant to be a daily challenge but knowing myself there may be days I miss or group together depending on how crazy the day gets but I will TRY to do as many as I can. As I type this it is 2:40 AM and I have studied/done language related stuff for 8 hours total today…I figured I’d kick the year off right. Because I studied a combination of French, Korean, Medical Spanish, and randomly a teeny bit of Norwegian (we will talk about this later), I thought I would do 5 new phrases I learned overall and not just in one language. Note: there wont be any Medical Spanish phrases because I didn’t go over anything new to me today. By the way if I make any errors in my phrases or translations please feel free to let me know so I can have them corrected.

  1. Norwegian: Takk!/Tusen Takk! – Thanks!/Thank you very much! (Fun note: Tusen Takk literally means a thousand thanks, which reminds me of the English phrase thanks a million!)
  2. French: Tout ça ñ’est qu’un début. – This is only the beginning.
  3. French: Ce ñ’est pas si simple que ça. – It’s not that simple.
  4. Korean: 오늘 날씨가 추워요. – It’s cold today/The weather is cold today.
  5. Korean: 한국어 공부가 어려워요. – It is difficult to study Korean.

That’s all for today! Let me know if you learned any new phrases or words this week! 🙂

Spanish

Grateful and Proud

This is a bit of an impromptu post but I felt like I had to get it off my chest. I got teary eyed today…okay maybe I shed a couple of tears but who’s counting. I swear this is language related! Okay, so there are so many times that we take the languages we know for granted, especially those we grew up speaking. I wrote about Growing up Bilingual earlier this month and in that post I mentioned how at one point when I was younger I wanted to stop speaking Spanish. I hated only being able to speak Spanish at home, I hated having to translate everywhere we went, and I hated being interrupted while playing to have to read the mail. Luckily this didn’t last very long once I realized there were plenty of other kids like me who were bilingual. Over the years I see more and more how blessed I am to have been able to grow up bilingual and to full capacity, meaning reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Today I had two moments where it really hit me how grateful I am that my mom taught me the language and continues to push me to be even better. Yeah, as a native speaker I still make mistakes. Most stem from me throwing a little bit of English in the mix, but even to this day my mom will correct me and teach me any new words that come up, even fun obscure ones like Ornitorrinco which is one of my favorite words, and means platypus! The first moment is the one that got me teary eyed. I was unpacking when I got a message from my mom on Facebook. She had sent me a 3 minute video in English and had asked me if I could please watch it and summarize it for her. I figured since it was just 3 minutes long I would just translate the whole thing for her. As I was sitting there watching the video and typing the translation in Spanish it hit me how incredible it was that I even had the ability to do this. The fact that I could so easily sit there and have the words come to me in Spanish that I had heard only seconds prior in English, made me so proud to be bilingual and so grateful to my mother.

It’s moments like these that I want to be able to experience in all the languages I study, those moments of pride that make you love and appreciate the language even more. If you are a parent trying to raise your children bilingual, I know it can be a struggle and a fight sometimes. They may not see it or appreciate it now but one day, one day they will be so eternally grateful to you for the gift you have given them. Don’t give up!

Goals

My Language Goals: January 2017

It’s almost a brand new year which means brand new beginnings! This year I want to start keeping track of my language goals, what I set out to do and what I am actually accomplishing. I figured what better way than by joining in on Clear The List which is hosted by Kris BroholmAngel PretotShannon of Eurolinguiste, and Lindsay Does Languages!

This is where I’ll be discussing what I want to accomplish in a given month and then looking back to see how much of it I actually got done. The month of January is a little jammed pack for a couple of reasons:

  1. I want to start off the month with a bang and take advantage of all that new year motivation!
  2. A lot of the material I want to cover is for absolute beginners and as I am past that to some degree it should go by faster than lessons will further down the road.
  3. I want to actually see what is feasible for me and make changes as needed for the coming months.

I’m still SUPER excited to see what this new month will bring! Let’s get on to the goals!

Korean: 

  • KoreanClass101: I got a good deal on a monthly Premium subscription a couple of weeks ago but haven’t been able to really get started on it. I am hoping to get through the 25 lessons in Newbie Season 1.
  • Talk to me in Korean: I have been a huge fan of the TTMIK website for a couple of years now and have done several of the lessons but I want to start from the beginning again since I have since forgotten a lot. There are 25 lessons in level 1 and I want to get to at least 10-15 of them. This includes the audio podcast, the textbook and the workbook for each lesson.
  • Coursera: I am currently enrolled in two classes on here: First Step Korean & Learn to Speak Korean 1. Due to the moving I am WAY behind on both of these and ideally I would love to catch up and complete them but I am not sure how realistic that is. I can always roll them over to another session so we will see what happens.
  • Textbooks: I currently have a decent amount of textbook resources that I haven’t used yet and I am going to take some time in January to do a lesson or two from each and get a feel for them. I’ll make sure to report back what I do end up using next month.
  • Music & Lyrics: I have been a huge fan of all kinds of Korean music for about 10 years now so I have no problem incorporating music into my everyday life. I’ve been working on learning Eric Nam’s 못참겠어 (Can’t Help Myself)! It is so upbeat and adorable and it has a good bit of English so I feel like it is more feasible.
  • TV: This is the same as with music, I’ve been watching Korean programming for years now and do it regularly but this month I will try to write down even more of the vocabulary I pick up while watching.
  • Reading: Unlike with French, I can’t really pick up anything very extensive yet so I am hoping to get through 아기 다람쥐 다람이 which is a short kids book about a baby squirrel.
  • Chatting: My goal is to use more of the Korean I know while chatting with friends. Even if I can’t make a complete sentence I can at least use the Korean words I know. I tend to get so fixated on not making mistakes that I second guess myself even when I know how to say something. I need to get over this!

French: 

  • FrenchPod101: I recently got three months of Premium through their holiday sale and am hoping to get through at least the 25 lessons in Newbie Season 1. I am hoping to use these as a refresher on stuff I learnt years ago that may be a little fuzzy now.
  • Duolingo: I’ve been using this for a couple of weeks on and off due to the moving and have only made it to Present 1. I’m aiming to make it to at least Pronouns but most importantly I want to keep up a 31 day streak. That’s right, I’m aiming for everyday! I know there will be days where I don’t get much language studying done so I want this to at least be a constant and it only takes a couple of minutes a day.
  • Living Language Essential: I bought a set with three books and some audio CD’s and want to get through at least the first 4 lessons in the first book, Essential.
  • Reading: I really want to take advantage of the fact that my reading comprehension is still higher than a lot of my other skills in the language. I’ve been looking at some shorter stories I can work through in a short amount of time and I also made a very exciting purchase: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in French! This is one I love and have read many times and am hoping that will help make it enjoyable even when I am frustrated. I forget how long the chapters are but if I can make it through 1 or 2 chapters in January I will be happy.
  • Dictionary Fun: I got this idea from Bakari over at Home Grown Spanish. Basically it involves picking a word from each letter of the alphabet within the dictionary and writing its definition along with the sample sentences it provides. I haven’t tried this yet so I am not sure how it will work out for me but I am aiming to try to do this at least once a week.
  • Music & Lyrics: One thing I enjoy in all languages is music. I never feel exhausted when it comes to music so I like to take advantage of this. I am not very familiar with French music but this month I discovered Kendji Girac and am currently a little obsessed with his song Andalouse! My goal is to study the lyrics and learn the song, not just how to say it but understanding it as well.

Spanish:

  • Complete Medical Spanish: I want to get through 2 or 3 chapters of this book and I also want to create a Memrise deck for any of the terminology that I am not familiar with.
  • Reading: I mentioned this in a blog post earlier this week but even though I am a native Spanish speaker, I rarely ever read in Spanish. This year I am wanting to change this and read at least one novel in Spanish a month. For the month of January I have chosen El Alquimista (The Alchemist) by Paulo Coelho. I am super excited for this one because it is so loved by many!

Braille*:

  • Braille Material: In January I want to revisit the Braille alphabet and make sure I am still familiar with it. I also want to go through lesson 1 and do the drills provided. With so much on my plate with the other languages I’ll have to see how much more time I can dedicate to Braille next month.

Language in General: 

  • Reading: One thing I love almost as much as languages is reading about languages or things that can relate to language learning. In January I want to read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It is not exactly language related but seeing as one of my language goals this year is to make studying habitual, I figured this would be a good book to bring in the new year with.
  • Listening: I need to find some really fun and interesting Language related podcasts! If you have any recommendations please leave them below.

*I know technically Braille is not a language but rather a tactile writing system but for the purposes of this blog I will be including any Braille goals along with my other language goals.

Spanish

Medical Interpreting

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I think I mentioned this in a prior post but one of my language goals for 2017 is to start working towards my Medical Interpreting Certification. As of right now the only languages I am proficient/fluent in are English and Spanish so those are the ones I will be focusing on. I actually have a fairly decent knowledge of medical terminology in both languages due to years of having to translate for my family but there is still a lot I’m not comfortable with, especially in Spanish. I ended up picking this book off of Amazon earlier this month and am hoping to work through it before I start classes sometime next year.

I’m actually a little disappointed to be honest  because I didn’t realize until after purchasing this book that it is mainly targeted at non-native speakers of the language. Just from my initial flip through, I noticed that there are a lot of sections dedicated to basic greetings and phrases one might use as a medical professional. This is great of course for someone new to Spanish, but I was hoping for something a little more focused on just the terminology. I’m still going to work through this and soak up all that I can but I will be looking for another book to add to the rotation that is more geared towards native speakers.

I still haven’t decided how much time I will be allocating to this per week but am leaning towards at least once or twice a week. Because I am familiar with a big portion of the material, I’ll be able to cut back on some of the study time, which I can then apply to one of my other languages. Or at least this is what I am hoping will happen, but then again my other goal involves learning how to better manage my time…