Thirty Days. Two Presentations. One fantastic conference. Lots of crises in my recent life in the past year but hoping I’m going to manage well.
So for this one I’m going to only rate languages that (1) I will almost certain encounter speakers of during the conference and (2) are not ones that I regularly encounter at language exchange events by different people (so no Spanish, German or English).
And exactly what I need to do for each.
Yiddish: above all good in terms of vocabulary, pronunciation is very good, flow is mostly good, I just wish I had more vocabulary, that’s all. But I know plenty of people who would be happy with the vocabulary I currently have in Yiddish. After all, I have more than a decade of experience.
Yiddish plan: my 7,000+ word Anki deck. Use during commutes.
My Yiddish plan is also identical to my Scandinavian plan, but my knowledge of Norwegian is slightly weaker than Yiddish or of Swedish or Danish.
Finnish: Overall quite strong, I think I just need to solidify knowledge of some idiomatic expressions.
Finnish Plan: Cloze Deletions during my commute. Which I’m already doing.
Hebrew: Understanding is EXCELLENT. My vocabulary needs more depth but I don’t know if I’ll have the time to do it, especially with my presentations.
Hebrew plan: use Lingq or Clozemaster more often.
Hungarian: I can manage conversations about some topics well, others not so well. I need consistent practice.
Hungarian plan: watch YouTube / Hungarian TV during workouts or chores.
My Hungarian plan is also valid for Slovak but my flow is a lot better. For obvious reasons I’m more likely to focus on Slovak until after the conference.
Tok Pisin: Haven’t maintained it in a while but when asked to speak it I manage very well. My Bislama and Pijin have somewhat fallen down the wayside but I think I could manage them with a native speaker if I had to. I probably won’t encounter Ni-Vanuatu, etc. at that conference. I know because the guest list is mostly open.
Tok Pisin Plan: Listen to audio in the subway. I can literally understand everything said to almost everything said.
Hawaiian: Probably the dark horse rising star of my group, I don’t know if I’ll have the opportunity to use it but I won’t be surprised if I do. My accent is good, my basic vocabulary is good, my cultural knowledge is a bit on the weak side, I don’t know Hawaiian songs too well.
Hawaiian Plan: Oiwi TV needs myself a-watching.
Lao: Ha. Probably the one language I’m gonna be the most disappointed in (as was the case in the 2017 Polyglot Conference). I’m going to need to do more than just my Memrise course for this one (I only have Lao, Palauan and Hiva Oa / South Marquesan active on Memrise right now).
Lao Plan: multilingual posting in closed groups, uTalk speaking exercises, possibly customizing Lingq.
Fiji Hindi: I can understand a significant amount, but given that I’ll mostly be hearing Standard Hindi, this will need work. This is a language I retired for a while but then I decided to revive it this month because there will be many people who will have learned Esperanto and Hindi for the Gathering Challenge. (I did not, however).
Fiji Hindi Plan: Put an entire textbook into Lingq (I use the Gujarati slot) during one weekend when I feel very passionate. By “entire textbook” I mean “only the simple sentences”. Then go through the vocabulary during the week.
But as for what I will focus on during May, it will likely be Niuean and Fiji Hindi, actually. These are two languages I think that I’ll need the most for the gathering (with the exception of Slovak which I’ll likely soak up very well once I’m there). So I need to work on those. If I am very, VERY satisfied with Niuean, I’ll pivot to Slovak instead.
For what it’s worth, I’ll be focusing more on fewer languages once this conference is over. And I’ll write in more detail about my plan then.
My list remains the same for my post-Gathering language lineup, and I’ll redesign my website to suit it: Scandinavian, Yiddish, Hungarian, Tahitian, Hawaiian, Greenlandic and Finnish.
(If I add another language it will likely something required for a trip, business or a relationship but only if I deem it ABSOLUTELY necessary and fulfilling)