Archive for April, 2007


April 18, 2007

Wow, it’s been awhile.  My interest has not really waned much, but my motivation and attention span have been horrible the past few months, mostly due to personal issues I won’t get into.

Last week, Simon (over on the omniglot blog) mentioned something about the “six week challenge” over at how-to-learn-any-language(dot)com.  I often read over on that forum, although my time spent varies greatly, depending on what else is going on in life.

So, I went to check it out.  The idea, I believe, was to have a whole bunch of people working on new-to-them,  “simple” languages – a number of people doing the same language, for six weeks, with different methods, to see what methods are better than others.    [Of course, the fact that we all learn differently, at different speeds, and have different language backgrounds would interfere with that being a legitimate & accurate results.

However, it seems to have turned into a free-for-all, “how much can I learn of a new language in six weeks” challenge.   I think it’s a great idea, and I jumped right in.  Something fairly simple, I was thinking.  Something I don’t know much about.  Something Germanic (as English is my native language), other than German – which I took in high school a LONG time ago, and have played around with a little bit recently.  So I grabbed Danish, and ran with it.

My plan was to do the first ten lessons of Pimsleur, to get a decent handle on the pronunciation, then work my way through Colloquial Danish.  And perhaps using VocabuLearn as an additional tool, since I know that vocabulary is my weakest point (at least in Spanish).  I got through the first 2-3  lessons of Pimsleur, and poked my nose around the Teach Yourself Danish (which I had borrowed from the library, while waiting for my Colloquial Danish to show up in my mailbox).

Then I started looking at what I was doing.  I don’t want to start a new language.  I want to work on the ones I already know.  I want to get my ass back on track with Spanish, first of all.  As much as I talk about doing it, and think about it, I am not DOing it.  So how about let’s switch tracks, and get back on the RIGHT track.   So tonight, I am going to work out a plan to work on my Spanish vocabulary.

First of all, I have two books, plus the three sets of VocabuLearn.  Alot of them I know, or did know at one point.  I am going to work out a flash card system, and decide how many words I can realistically re/learn each day.  This is going to be MY six-week challenge.

So, thank you to Simon and Sprachprofi for getting me going again.  I’m guess I’m officially “out” of the challenge, but now I have my own.  Six weeks of nothing but vocabulary focus.  The rest of April, and May.

Perhaps, I will start doing a different “focus” each month.  I’d like to work on my German and Russian, and get my feet wet with French and Japanese.  Maybe I will pick one of those for my “June” focus.  Right now, it is Spanish vocabulary.