This is a diary of my planned activity on April 4th, 2017, after having eaten lunch, before Mundo Lingo, which is an international language exchange event. (I actually carried through with the plan, it took me three hours, and was VERY intense!)
This also isn’t technically speaking a “free afternoon”, because I have one class in Biblical Hebrew to teach at 4 PM.
I’m doing this for the purpose of helping other people discover my routine and how it can help them. I vary it often and it isn’t perfect, but too many people have been asking for it and so here it is!
I’m going to aim for 12:30 in the afternoon as the part to begin budgeting my time. So now let’s ask some questions:
- What languages am I likely (or certain) to be speaking that evening?
- What languages need work?
Knowing Mundo Lingo and its Spanish name, Romance Languages are a must, so let’s draw up my collection thereof, sadly nothing out-of-the-ordinary:
Portuguese (with a focus on Brazil but practicing with European Portuguese would be cool,too)
I should study these earlier in the day, because I’ve noticed that after studying for a while I tend to burn out.
Sunday I was told (by a Catalan native speaker, no less) that I spoke Castellano “perfectly” (first time I’ve been told that EVER), so I’ll be budgeting less time for that.
Now for my weaknesses with French:
- Knowing nouns isn’t a problem thanks to me playing Nintendo 3DS games in French, the issue lies in verbs which have proven an issue.
- Comprehension of native speakers also proves a problem. Interestingly I seldom have problems understanding learners.
- I have significant weaknesses across the board, but verbs especially. However, I have a lot of passive understanding.
- Tried to improve active understanding by watching gaming videos (mostly of “Super Mario Maker”, my favorite video game to watch “Let’s Play”’s of) but I’m just not that good yet, so I think I’ll stick to cartoons instead. Pokémon seems like a good choice for me to see where I am and also to learn vocabulary through context
- Worried that I lapse into Portuñol at times.
- I can understand a lot, even from native speakers.
- I don’t know a lot about the culture of Brazil.
- I don’t know a lot of profanities (not that I intend to use them).
So let’s budget up the first hour, from 12:30 until 1:30.
- 1 short Spanish video.
- 1 Italian Pokemon Episode (watch all the way through!)
- Look at French verb tables
- Actively listen to Brazilian Music for the remainder of the hour.
Now I have two more hours until I have to prepare for my class to teach at 4:00 PM.
I should spend this time with my languages that I am likely to use and that need a lot of work. My energy is likely to peak at the time between 1:30 and 2:30.
Looking at my list, this would mean Polish, Ukrainian, Russian and Hungarian.
- Good grammar when it comes to verbs
- Just general vocabulary gaps
- Need to review cases.
15 minutes, one fun video (I’ll make sure that it’s one of somebody playing a video game with a lot of English and in which he or she translates a lot of it into Polish, ad-libbing), and then declension review, esp. with numbers.
- Good grammar.
- Need to improve idiomatic usage.
15 Minutes with Transparent Language and/or Phrasebooks, focusing on interacting with other people rather than individual words.
- The exact same situation, except for slightly better (because of its similarity to polish) and slightly worse (Because I haven’t practiced it as much.
Do the same thing as with Russian.
- I’m a beginner.
Do the same thing as with Russian and Ukrainian.
Okay, now for the final hour:
- 3 minutes of exposure to each of the Melanesian Creole Languages (on Radio)
- 3 minutes of exposure to Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish
- 10 Minutes of German
- 5 minutes of Dutch
- 5 Minutes of Danish
(I leave one minute free in the first two bits to account for opening and closing windows, etc.
- 3 minutes of exposure to Irish, Cornish and Breton apiece
- 5 minutes of Welsh
- 5 Minutes of Icelandic
- 5 Minutes of Tajiki
- 5 Minutes of Burmese
I’ll be using a combination of videos for the languages I know well (like Danish) and learning materials for those I don’t know well (like Tajiki or Burmese)
That leaves me at 3:40
- Prepare my Hebrew class for 4:00 PM
- Watch some silly YouTube video in English until my class begins.
- Take off to public transport.
- Use learning apps on the way there.
Okay, so putting the entire recipe together, a total of three hours:
– 1 short Spanish video. (12:30-12:40
– 1 Italian Pokemon Episode (watch all the way through!) (12:40-1:00)
– Look at French verb tables (1:00-1:15)
– Actively listen to Brazilian Music for the remainder of the hour. (1:15-1:30)
- Polish YouTubing (1:30-1:40)
- Polish Grammar Review (1:40-1:45)
- Russian Transparent Language Session (1:45-2:00)
- Hungarian Transparent Language Session (2:00-2:15)
- Ukrainian Transparent Language Session (2:15-2:30)
– 3 minutes of exposure to each of the Melanesian Creole Languages (on Radio) (2:30-2:40)
– 3 minutes of exposure to Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish (2:40 – 2:50)
– 10 Minutes of German (2:50 – 3:00)
– 5 minutes of Dutch (3:00 – 3:05)
– 5 Minutes of Danish (3:05 – 3:10)
– 3 minutes of exposure to Irish, Cornish and Breton apiece (3:10 – 3:20)
– 5 minutes of Welsh (3:20 – 3:25)
– 5 Minutes of Icelandic (3:25 – 3:30)
– 5 Minutes of Tajiki (3:30 – 3:35)
– 5 Minutes of Burmese (3:35 – 3:40)
Prepare for my Biblical Hebrew Class I’m teaching (review those words I don’t know, look at several translations of the text we’ll be going over just in case “funny” issues concerning rare words come up)
4:00 – 5:00 PM
On my way / early dinner at place next to event.
6:00 PM – I don’t know
How I deviated from it in practice:
I changed the French bit in going through the routine. I looked at the verb tables, went to French Duolingo to rehearse them (I felt that I could recognize all the basic forms afterwards), then I started watching…you guessed it…gaming videos in French until the 1:15 mark. Yes, it was Super Mario Maker.
I listened to the Brazilian music but there were some songs that made me wish that I had chosen a different path. Any recommendations for Brazilian Music are highly wanted, keep in mind that I really like music from the Nordic Countries in particular.
I used videos instead of radio for the Melanesian parts. (Hey! I know I’m asking for a lot of recommendations, but if you know of any good Creole / Pidgin radio stations from Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, or Papua New Guinea, let me know in the comments!)
Gave 8 Minutes to German and 7 to Danish (instead of 10 / 5) for no other reason than I liked a recommended video on the side.
Due to problems (Radio Kerne was playing English music instead of Breton programming, and loading issues), I actually got two minutes of Breton instead of three.
Due to similar problems I did Welsh on Duolingo instead of using assorted videos and radio.