This month is ten months of me learning Spanish/Blogging. Much has happened. Ten months ago I was in New Zealand, I started learning spanish, and I started a blog to keep an online public journal about what it was like. Fast forward and I now have a lower intermediate Spanish level, I am Back in The USA and I not just have started a Thai blog, but I joined my Spanish Blog into my Thai Blog. Along the way I have had opportunities to write about my experiences in learning languages. This has been a crazy adventure so far.
What is so special about 10 months?
When I started this blog I set a goal that I would be fluent in Spanish in 10 months. Well that didn’t happen. Am I disappointed? Maybe a little, but not really. Yes I had learned another language before, but my circumstances around learning Thai was different. I had no idea how long it was going to take as a full-time working father of 4 kids to learn a language, especially since my original plan was to learn it in New Zealand and not near any Spanish Speaking cultures. I shot for the stars, hoping I would at least make the moon.
Before I talk about my new goals I thought I would just mention a few things that helped me to get to where I am today:
You can’t get anywhere if you don’t move your feet
When I got started learning Spanish, I had no idea where to start. Same with when I decided to resurrect my Thai. Now I could have researched this and that. I could have read this blog and that blog till I was blue in the face. Despite all that, I would not be any closer to my goal. If you want to get anywhere, just start walking. If where you are walking isn’t going to get you there, then start going somewhere else.
I have a system. I like it and it works for me. I post it here on my blog in case it helps others. Do I think it is god’s gift to language learning? No. What it is, is ten months of me living life as a language learner and what has helped me become more efficient in how I tackle the problem of what to learn and how. When I started I was horribly in efficient and would do stuff haphazardly. The inefficiency and haphazardness allowed me to get to where I am. If I didn’t start I would never have gotten here.
There is no such thing as silver bullet
There is no magic method, shortcut, hack, or course. There isn’t. There are some really good programs, advice, and resources. There are some not so good ones as well. When you read or start anything, don’t expect it to be the end all. Use the good ones and stop using the bad ones. Also some things are good at one level, but will no longer be good at another level. Don’t be surprised if you have to adapt what you do and how you do it as you go along.
My new goals
Short and sweet, I want to be fluent by the end of the year. By fluent, I mean that Spanish grammar will be natural and I will use it without much pausing. I will also have a strong enough vocabulary that I can speak about most things generally or at the very least, be able to speak around a subject using the vocabulary I know.
In Thai, my goal is still the same. I want to be at a professional level of Thai. I want to be able to read faster and speak and understand more subjects in more detail. Not much more than that to say.
Now for your enjoyment here is one of my oldest Spanish videos so you can see how far I have come: