I should actually mention at first that due to various issues that came up in my life (ones that I’m going to detail in an off-topic post net month), I had to stop at around 70 days, but it is upon me to evaluate what I did right and what I did wrong.
For one, I don’t know if I’ll be doing the final 90-day video because of the interruption, but the prize for My Language Challenge is iTalki vouchers which I might not really want to use anyhow (not right now, at least). And there is just too much going on.
So what did I do wrong?
Three things I did wrong, three things I did right:
- I didn’t really find a meaningful way to make vocabulary stick. I expected Anki to do a lot of the work for me but often I kept on forgetting the words and eventually a lot of the cards were marked as leeches. There was some vocabulary that I acquired but above all I think that it is minimal in comparison to what I could have done had I focused more on word-pieces than on individual words (which I thought I was more prepared for but there are only so many 15-letter words you can swallow).
- I often listened to a lot of music to the point of diminishing returns. I already know a lot of the lyrics of these songs by heart and a lot of that vocabulary doesn’t always translate to conversational tools (although some definitely can).
- I often listened to a lot of radio even though my ability to comprehend it was sometimes good nad sometimes questionable.
Perhaps what I should have done: read more stories, memes and blogposts, and tried to learn Greenlandic with them the same way that I teach Yiddish to my students with stories, memes and blogposts as well.
What I did right:
- At around the halfway point I started using Anki clozes inspired by Bartosz Czekala’s Vocabulary Labs course. I added audio with them. It felt like surgery to go through the flashcards but despite that I felt that I did learn a lot of natural speech patterns and it corrected a lot of the mistakes I was making.
- I think that the videos I made were good despite the fact that the 60-day video had a bit too many hesitations and mistakes. I also made a point of reading a lot of the Greenlandic-language comments and feedback. Thanks to this project I now have dozens of new Greenlandic friends who will help me, not only with languages but my upcoming video game projects!
- I was fantastically persistent for the first 70 days, only having missed my father’s birthday in July in terms of 30 minutes of study. That itself is a victory.
So what will I need to do going forward?
- Drastically alter my flashcards if I found out that they are not working. This is hugely necessary because sometimes I found out that it was WAY WAY WAY too hard and I just was flashcarding other languages on the subway instead (with even highly advanced Swedish being the path of least resistance over intermediate Greenlandic).
- Take a break from immersion for a while. I already seem to have done everything in that respect but it isn’t translating into fluency.
- Use my connections that I have and the new pages that I have liked in order to get tiny pieces of vocabulary, one by one.
For the next 90-day challenge I’ll be doing Tahitian in honor of the year of indigenous languages. It begins tomorrow!