Monday, December 22, 2014

Failing & Succeeding at the Same Time (Say What?!)

When in Rome!
Hey all,

We're at the end of the challenge! YAAAAAYY!

Good news and bad news. First of all, Swedish has been successfully chugging along. Irish not so much. I had a bump in the road about a week ago when my 17 year-old Cockatiel, Holly, passed away, which stripped my motivation to learn for a couple of days. But, now, I am full speed ahead and haven't felt better!

My Swedish, I believe, has really improved, although listening can still be challenging. Creating sentences on the top of my head is fairly easy, and so is speaking and reading. I'll just have to practice listening for the next couple of weeks and see how that improves ;)

There's a lot I have to say about Irish, but most of it are excuses. I really do enjoy Irish, and this journey has been extremely difficult--but I love challenges. So, what's the problem here?

I've had finals, a couple days of mourning, and those are pretty much all the roadblocks I hit. So, why did Swedish continue to improve while Irish had stagnated success?

I'm guessing it was all about the timing. So, to try and redeem my Irish, I'm going to extend it until January 14th. I'll be on break that whole time, so there's no excuses regarding schoolwork.

Here are my goals for the next three weeks of intensive Irish:

1) Study Irish around 30 mins to an hour everyday. If it is MWF (which are currently my Portuguese, Italian, and Irish days), I'll focus on writing and listening more. This way, I have a strong foundation where I have to partly immerse myself in the language everyday for three weeks. Now that sounds fun to me!

2) Try speaking Irish during everyday activities; this'll make it easier for me (over time) to think off the top of my head when speaking in Irish.

3) Find a friend? ;)

4) Write sentences in Irish and put them on Lang-8 for correction. Also continue using Memrise for vocabulary.

This is going to be a fun next 3 weeks!

So, what about Swedish? What's next?
Well, I'm currently looking for Swedish buddies to talk to. This way I can continue to improve it while I continue to learn new vocabulary. I'll still be practicing MWF and working on it!

I know that it sounds like these challenges will make you fluent towards the end. That's not how it really works out. I use challenges for motivation to learn more and more. And boy, do I learn a lot during that time period! I usually learn the most during that period in the shortest amount of time, because I focus mainly on that language (or those languages). I'm still going to focus on building off the strong foundation I have built for Swedish, but my focus will be shifted more towards Irish from now on.

I'm hoping to start Romanian (again) during January, but I really want my Irish to get flying first, so it'll most likely start around mid January. Who knows, though? It might start earlier ;)

Happy holidays!