Language Journey Day 8-14

The past week I focused on making a trial video as well as joining the Polyglot Gathering 2020.

I made and just uploaded this trial video to try out a few new languages and a green screen with self-made background using the multiscreen news channels page. It just has a low quality, 720 p and is just as a base to test out new possibilities to record a multilingual news report in a studio setting first almost dying using Panzoid, waiting for three days to render, download and upload and then finally back to good old DaVinciResolve 16!

Polyglot Gathering 2020

It was my first time that I joined this conference for multilinguals and I think it was amazing! Originally it would take place in Teresin, Poland. Due to the Corona-outbreak they all managed to moved it on time to a virtual platform with public rooms with live speakers (as planned) about interesting language and linguistic topics. As I’ll be watching back most of those this week, I threw myself into language practice rooms for about 3,5 days, almost non-stop! I joined about 20 languages, and as intended hardly spoke any English. It was so much fun to speak or at least listen to so many languages and to meet other people with such a crazy shared interest!

For learning purposes and mostly a lot of fun I decided to join almost 20 different language practice rooms various times! I really don’t speak all those languages, but I just wanted to hear the sounds and sentence structure of some new ones.

Of course I had to compare my perhaps most favourite language family with -from West to East- Portuguese, Galician, Spanish, Catalan, French, Italian, Romanian and even its mater Latin.

I did another comparison in rooms where only that one Germanic language was spoken. I helped others with Dutch (hardly used any English all four days), German, Swedish, to my surprise I could understand pretty much of the Danish spoken by some learners and I listened in with Norwegian. I wanted to compare Danish to Swedish hearing a conversation of fellow language learners, as I normally only hear them on Netflix or the news. Eventually I forgot to visit Yiddish and I don’t think there was an Icelandic, Frisian, Luxembourgisch room.

My Slavic studies currently only exist of around 10 hours of Polish, so that’s the only language I listened in to distinguish some words and sentence structure. The same goes for Chinese, modern Greek and my new favourite(s) Esperanto and follow-up? Ido! I’m absolutely a beginner on all of the above but I am really interested in those. Also in Arabic, Russian, Swahili, Japanese and many others that were there, but I decided it wouldn’t help me much listening in or it conflicted with other language practice at the same time. ☺ I ended up exchanging contact details and now want to continue practicing in the specific language groups on telegram and a Swedish one I made on whatsapp. The fun part is that we’re all having this weird hobby and specific interest and that we’re dealing with the same difficulty of not having enough time and people to practice all our target languages. So this first Polyglot Gathering for me really showed me that I’m not alone in this language journey!

Language Journey Day 7

Today I continued my work on my multilingual news broadcast. Yesterday I started making a format, some technical training and preparation and the first content based on news broadcasts from English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish and Dutch speaking news channels that I follow regularly. Today I continued that content building, to actually force myself to practice those languages actively. As soon as the rendering process of the edited video is complete, I’ll post my multilingual news broadcasting for polyglots (or wannabe’s like myself) on here asap! This evening I might do some more exercises from apps as well as watch an episode from a Swedish or Danish thriller. That will have to be with subtitles in English or Dutch, my native language. Especially Danish I can’t understand at all without subs. But who knows that I might one day. I won’t touch on Danish or Norwegian though before I’m a bit further with Swedish, not to confuse the Scandinavian languages. And I’m afraid that Icelandic and Faroese (føroyskt mál) will have to wait for when I’m retired.

Language Journey Day 6

Same phrase in multiple languages

This morning I got this fun idea: why not ask the world to translate one or two sentences into their language? Perhaps some words will show unrecognizable differences whereas others, when taking a closer look will show remarkable resemblances! On the one sentence multiple translation page you’ll find what Nelson Mandela would say if he spoke Globian or Worldisch.

Polyglot Gathering 2020

Yeah! I just got an email that the program is ready! Originally it would have taken place in Poland, but due to Corona it will now be a virtual event. I have already made a pre-selection of presentations I want to follow and which discussions and language practice I want to engage in. I can’t wait for it to start! Well, actually I can, cause I have enough plans for now.

Multilingual news bulletin

Every day I follow news channels in multiple languages in order to practice listening in 5-10 languages while hearing about the latest topics in society, politics and culture from all over the world. Last summer I enjoyed making a satyric multilingual news program. I’m now also reading the news in multiple languages at a daily base from that new page I made. And I made this website to practice my languages, including active skills. So today I’m thinking out that concept to make multilingual news bulletins with an educational component. I will subtitle the multilingual programs in both the interchanging spoken languages as well as English and avail the complete script for those polyglot viewers who want to do some serious language learning on the side. And that way I will not only practice reading and listening in my various target languages, but also improve my active speaking and writing skills! And I enjoy shooting and editing videos, as well as creating language learning curricula. So after a trial stage, I will also include some exercises that accompany the news items that came along.

My Language Journey Day 5

Learning Russian on Coursera

I just started one of the Russian language courses that universities offer through Coursera. The moment I checked, there were 47 beginner courses. I decided to start one from St. Petersburg University to get an idea. I wanted to do a few modules to try it out at least and compare it with language learning methods from books and apps for a later review. But in order to submit my first test, I need to upgrade:

Learning Chinese on Coursera

So I continued my Mandarin course from Beijing University on the same platform. text I learned below conversation. I added the characters below the corresponding pinyin sound to learn the connection better.

A: Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?

你 是 哪 国 人? = Where are you from?

B: Wǒ shì Zhōngguó rén. Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?

我 是 中 国 人。你 是 哪 国 人? I am Chinese. Where are you from?

A: Wǒ shì Měiguó rén. Tā shì nǎ guó rén?

我 是 美 国 人。她 是 哪 国 人?I am American. Where is she from?

B: shì Zhōngguó rén.

中 国

She is also (a) Chinese (person).

🇩🇪🇮🇹🇫🇷🇪🇸🇵🇹 Throughout the day I have followed the news in German, Portuguese, Italian, French and Spanish on the background switching languages and channels in my multilingual newsroom.

I repeated the same Japanese conversation from the chatbot on Mondly, cause I still found it very difficult.

Then I took a look at Arabic on that same app. As mentioned in one of my first posts on here I got to know Mondly a few days ago. I like the option to expand a menu to see an overview of the conjugation of a new verb:

clicking on the double underlined is opens the table of the conjugation of to be

But in this case it confused me, cause I couldn’t find back the word is in the translation. That happens in more languages, such as in Russian too. It does however seem like you need to be looking for a form from a form from that table as seen in the expansion window. Duolingo has a similar thing that can’t be avoided as all words show the translation when being hovered over.

Romanian on Mondly

I tried to start a Hindi course on Mondly but I realized soon I was overdoing it with yet another alphabet. As I just felt like trying one other language I did the two standard first exercises for Romanian. In case you didn’t know already, the name might tell you already that it’s a Romance language. Therefore it’s very easy to understand if you already know some brother/sister languages such as Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan or regional language or dialect, all being some kind of modern version of Latin in their region and beyond. So the only tricky thing with Romanian, like with all of them, for me at least, is not reading along with the audio, especially with the images, but the correct active reproduction in speaking or writing.

Greek on Duolingo

I just love it when you can recognize words in modern European languages from Greek.

In Greek: Το παιδί έχει ένα μικρό πορτοφόλι.
Romanized: To paidí échei éna mikró portofóli.
Recognize: ped- one micro port- -folio
meaning parts: child- a small wearable/portfolio
English: The child has a small wallet.

Awesome how strange they seem at first, languages are so related, right?

Swahili on Duolingo

OK, so I am not really up to learning Swahili at this moment, but I just want to get an idea of the language a bit more in the first few Swahili lessons on Duolingo than just Hakuna Matata as I’m working on a new language learning method.

Interesting! It appears that this sentence both means the question: How is your morning, grandmother? as well as the statement Good morning, grandmother!

Just when you’re about to call it a day, the little motivating owl tells you to go on:

I love the motivational owl
Barnen lämnar tallrikarna på bordet.
The barn lame? talrijke (many) on the plate.

Sometimes Swedish words look similar to words in English, German or Dutch. Sometimes that doesn’t help you translating it correctly at all. Especially here:

I knew that the this could never be the correct translation, especially not in Swedish, feeling quite sure about Sweden being one of the least sexist countries. Yet, false friends can be dangerous!

The little owl told me I met my daily goal. I finished watching Nyheter på lätt svenska the Swedish news for beginners with the optional subtitles in Swedish.

My Language Journey Day 4

🇨🇳 I watched a video on Chinese Character strokes from my new Coursera Chinese course for HSK from Beijing University. Originally, people studying Mandarin learn to write Chinese characters with the stroke order, but in the past year taking Duolingo Chinese lessons I’ve done without. I hate breaking a tradition that is perhaps more than 2,000 years old, but new technology and apps allow users to enter pinyin letters on your phone or laptop keyboard that then allow you to choose the right character from a set of 6-10. The video about basic stroke order was very helpful though and I’ll try to use it when writing with a pen on paper.

Then I studied 100 radicals that many Chinese characters are composed of. To test myself, I copied the table into a sheet to enter the meaning next to it. YOu can do the same using this list.

Then I learned about 30 basic words in both characters and pinyin writing, such as from the following table. Throughout the years I’ve seen various methods to learn Chinese, including some Chinese study books and famous language institutes that I worked for. Many of those Chinese courses teach their learners pinyin in the first modules to get them acquainted with the sound, vocabulary and grammar before moving onto understanding and writing the often strange and therefore difficult characters. But as the characters are an attractive element for me personally to learn Mandarin, I skipped some of the beginning chapters and jumped to character modules right away. Duolingo offers both characters and pinyin though:

So does this Coursera course from Beijing university:

1shìto be
3ɡuócountry or nation
4rénperson or people
6*美国MěiɡuóThe United States of America
and some words that I learned today

Enough Chinese for now! Tomorrow I’m going to continue with this lesson when I have my other laptop on which I can type Chinese characters better. Then I will also start my comparison between my Coursera HSK 4 course from Beijing University to Chinese lessons on Duolingo.

2. Japanese on Duolingo

The Duolingo Japanese course starts with some Hiragana lessons.
First you’re introduced to the Hiragana spelling and the sound of some known words, such as sushi, tofu or in this case Hiragana.
Later in the same lesson it’s reversed: you hear the same words in a different order. Then, you’re asked to type it or select the correct complete word or separate letters from the given wordbank.

Polish on Duolingo

I then took two Duolingo Polish adjective lessons. You can either take a few lessons covering the same grammatical topic in order to master new grammar completely, or you may decide to take a variety of different lesson types each day to practice a bit of various grammar and vocab groups each day.

Even when you don’t think there is no such thing as a free lunch. Duolingo can be used for free!

If possible, use the keyboard and try to actively type in your target and instruction language,
instead of using the wordbank with given possible translations. You can also do this a bit later.

To help yourself a bit with difficult words or cases, choose from the options hovering over the word.

That’s it for today. I shouldn’t overdo it. That way I’ll be better able to keep up with it.

My Language Journey Day 3

  1. 🇩🇪🇮🇹🇫🇷🇪🇸🇵🇹 This morning I started watching the news again from my newsroom.
  2. 🇨🇳 Then I started a Coursera Chinese course for HSK from Beijing University. I followed two lessons:
1你好nǐ hǎohello
2jiàoto call
5I, me
8认识rènshito know
New words to construct sentences for the next dialouge.

A: Nǐ hǎo!

你 好!Hello!

B: Nǐ hǎo!

你 好!Hello!

A: Nǐ jiào shénme mínɡzi?

你 叫 什 么 名 字?What is your name?

A: Wǒ jiào Xùdōnɡ. Hěn ɡāoxìnɡ rènshi nǐ.

我 叫 旭 东。很 高 兴 认 识 你! I am Xudong. Nice to meet you!

B: Hěn ɡāoxìnɡ rènshi nǐ.

很 高 兴 认 识 你。Nice to meet you!

After, completing those lessons, I did the 测验 Cèyàn Quiz that I passed with 90%!

☺ 我是很高兴!Wǒ shì hěn gāoxìng! I’m very happy!

3. 🇯🇵 And I used the chatbot on Mondly again to practice those very first basic Japanese sentences:

bot:こにちわ。Kon’nichiwa. 🇬🇧Hello.
me:こにちわ。Kon’nichiwa. 🇬🇧Hello.
bot:あなたの名前は何ですか?Anata no namae wa nandesu ka? 🇬🇧What’s your name?
me:キンテンです。Kinten desu. 🇬🇧Quinten.
bot:お会いできてうれしいで。Oaidekite ureshīdesu. 🇬🇧Nice to meet you.
me:お会いできてうれしいで。Oaidekite ureshīdesu. 🇬🇧Nice to meet you.
bot:お元気ですか?Ogenkidesuka? 🇬🇧How are you?
me:よかったです。ありがと。Yokatta desu. 🇬🇧Great. Thanks.

My Language Journey Day 2

  1. I started this morning with German news from my newsroom.
  2. Then I was listening to Italian podcasts.
  3. I’m about half way this 30 Day Record Yourself Challenge with a friend. We both missed out on a few days, but I can tell you that overall we do have some continuity on that language because of that challenge, not least because I know that someone is expecting my recording. So before continuing this site, I’m actually not going to procrastinate and do the one minute for today. ☺
Very useful to get yourself to practice your new language

OK, that was a challenge. I think Polish is the most difficult language I had to learn since a long time. I’m now at Day 19, so I tried to read a paragraph of a news article that I found on the multilingual page I made on here the other day with a news feed in multiple languages, that I thought was useful for myself and other wannabe polyglots. But I just can’t read it! So I made this sentence and read the Polish translation.


I can’t read Polish newspapers, books or Whatsapp messages yet. So I am writing this sentence on Google Translate myself now, like every day. Then I am reading the sentences to practice.

4. Now while writing more pages on here, I have my news room open, now listening to France24 for the news in French.

5. Later, I’ll put on Swedish radio to hear some news, studio talks and music.

My Language Journey Day 1

As I’m in the process of learning multiple languages, I want to record it on this website as of today. I had a whole language journey planned and then Corona came. So now I will continue everything online. And maybe one day, just maybe, I can get close to calling myself a polyglot, while still being able to look myself in the mirror.

So mostly to push myself and not waste your time either, let’s get started:

  1. Today I took some Hebrew lessons on Mondly. I compared it to other language learning apps such as Duolingo and Babbel in this review. I decided to repeat the same conversation again, as Hebrew is incredibly difficult for me. It was helpful, but I’ll need to go through this chat again several more times before I can actually have the conversation in real life, master the pronunciation and letters.
Hebrew conversation lessons on Mondly
Hebrew conversation lessons on Mondly

2. I liked the Mondly chat bot so much that I decided to use it for Japanese too. I recognized the word 時々from the new Dutch TV show with the same name Tokidoki about Japanese from language writer Paulien Cornelisse. The word sometimes translates to sometimes as in below tennis example.