Language Journey Day 22

Why was I blogging again? Ah, yeah, right: language learning!

I sometimes forget to post on here. I started to use my google sheet again and pieces of paper that are floating around the house, until I realized why I started these blog posts: to help me learn languages and keep track of them, while reaching out to other learners online! Those go hand in hand: when I keep track of my language learning efforts somewhere visible and in a structured way, I’m more inclined to continue the learning process every day so I can reach my goals. And blogging on here helps me because it is visible for others too. Of course I know it’s tricking myself, but if I share my commitment with others, I sort of feel a stronger driving force to follow-up on it.

The past years I’ve been using Google sheets to keep a structured log track of my daily practice in various languages. It served its purpose for many days throughout a long period of time. And I enjoyed adding new entries each time after listening to French radio, Spanish news on the background or when actively reading an article in Italian or doing a Duolingo Swedish exercise. I kept track of all my language learning and practicing. I tried many methods, from apps to books, teachers, following media, (video) chatting, meetups. Really, anything!

Google Sheet that I’m using to keep track of my language learning, including media and learning sources.
I also use it to practice writing, learn new words, check my writing by translating it back to English, correct it and to list new words.
One day I’ll share a default version for other learners to download and edit for their own language learning purposes.
practicing swedish reading and listening to personal phrases I wrote yesterday
practicing swedish reading and listening to personal phrases I wrote yesterday

But I’m going to share with you the biggest secret in successful language learning. Topping the purpose-of-life-question in my mind is the question ‘What is the best way to learn a language?’ And after trying every possible way for over 10 languages for over 30 years I can only say: the one that works for you, that best connects your heart and mind.

What is the best way to learn a language?

answer to trick(y) question: the one that you maintain.

The sheet helps me, but I always need a new challenge and some external force, so I started to blog on here since 3 weeks and started with this app last weekend. While testing the first phrases in 24 of the app languages, I am learning more about the structure of those languages. I already played back the pronunciation in 13 of those languages, ranging from once or twice for new languages, like Indonesian or Polish, in which it’s too difficult at this point to understand much, until six times for Swedish or Portuguese, that I’ve already listened to a lot. On the app screenshot on the left you can see how I added the voice clip on top of the Swedish phrase page. This way I can listen to the correct pronunciation, read along with the text while practicing my personal introduction.

Next, I’m going to repeat the same introductory phrases from yesterday to move things into long-term memory. After, I’m going to write a second personal phrase text about languages. Then I’ll have it translated to all languages and integrate them into the app, so when they’re ready, I’ll be able to listen to those too in all my target languages. While I’m finishing today’s post, I’m accompanied by a flying visitor who thinks this is a bee hotel and I’m thinking why are those things actually called a bee hotel and not an AirBeeAndBee?

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