Tracking my language progress
Lindie Botes

Lindie Botes

I'm a South African designer and language YouTuber with a passion for foreign languages. I aim to inspire, motivate and guide you in your journey to learn new languages!

Language goals: 2020 Q1 progress check

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At the end of 2019, I set some (pretty lofty) language learning goals for myself. I documented them in a pinned tweet on Twitter so I can keep myself accountable. It’s been a tough year so far (understatement), but it’s good to check in with myself as we’re almost a quarter of the way through 2020.

Here are my original goals for my 12 focus languages:

But first, a change in study schedules

I was planning on taking the TOPIK exam in April, but it got postponed twice, and now it’ll be in June. This throws off my study plan quite a bit. The aim was to focus on Korean until the TOPIK is over and then deep dive into other languages. I even created a solid grammar study schedule for Korean to allow me time to go through a textbook and still have enough time left to review stuff before the exam, but now I feel like laziness has kicked in because the deadline has been extended. I’m also mentally exhausted from Korean, so I’ve taken a slight pause and started playing around more with Vietnamese, Tagalog, Hungarian and Cantonese (?!).

A good thing: lots of audio immersion

Netflix has been super fun for me. I watched a French series and watched two Filipino movies. Not that this counts as active studying, but it’s always good to get a lot of immersion in via audio when learning.

So how is it tracking?

Korean

Goal: Reach level 4 in the TOPIK II exam
Progress: The exam got postponed by 2 months, so we’ll see. I did set up a pretty robust study plan, so it’s looking OK so far. You can see how I study vocabulary for the test here

Japanese

Goal: Take JLPT N2 in December
Progress: It’s not December yet, but I don’t think I’ll take the exam this year. Realistically speaking there’s no way I can reach N2 without having started studying much earlier. The jump between N3 is and N2 is quite large. I don’t need a Japanese certification for work, and generally I only use language exams as study motivation, so I feel OK to change/remove this goal for now.

French

Goal: My goal was to get comfy speaking again & read more.
Progress: Definitely feeling comfy and I have been speaking more French to a French friend who lives in Singapore. I have, however, been watching more shows than reading articles though. I made one video in French to refresh my speaking muscles a bit, though. 

Spanish

Goal: Be able to help myself get around in Mexico, reach B2. 
Progress: Hmm, I don’t know if I am still going to go to Mexico this year anymore, but I’m more comfortable speaking slowly, and listening to podcasts in Spanish. My vocabulary and grammar sucks though but fear of speaking is not a problem. I made a video with Pablo from Dreaming Spanish recently and it was great practice as I was forced to use only Spanish! 

Vietnamese

Goal: Have a 30min convo in Vietnamese. 
Progress: I can probably do this if I talk about extremely basic stuff, but still working towards this goal! Does chatting to a Vietnamese architect on Tinder count? I managed to keep the convo going in Vietnamese for a while but once it got to technical design terms I got stuck. I am really lacking in vocabulary. I have a friend who’s been helping me with grammar, so now I just need to put effort into remembering the structures. Slow progress.

Hungarian

Goal: Set a really lofty goal of reaching B1 in Hungarian.
Progress: No progress yet apart from refreshing old notes and working a bit in my Hungarian textbook. Very disappointed with myself to be honest!

Burmese

Goal: Learn to read and write, reach A1.
Progress: Absolutely did not do ANYTHING towards this goal at all. Oof. waiting for TOPIK to be over until I start tackling Burmese writing system.

Indonesian

Goal: 30min convo in Bahasa without English.
Progress: Uh, I spoke to someone for like 5 minutes. There is still time until the year is over, so I’m hopeful. 

Arabic

Goal: Refresh reading & writing, reach A2.
Progress: Played around with some resources, refreshed my reading and writing, but nothing solid yet. It’s difficult finding resources for Emirati Arabic. I don’t want to get confused with MSA pronunciation and sound like a robot or a textbook, and I want to make sure I leverage the base I have in Arabic when I learnt it at school living in the UAE. 

Tagalog

Goal: Learn to A1 level, be comfortable speaking with colleague. 
Progress: I am quite surprised that I actually did start learning! Watched a movie and learnt a lot of new phrases, but can’t speak yet. Absolutely in love with the handsome Filipino actor Marco Gumabao, so watching his interviews online has given me good listening practice. 

Hindi

Goal: Read/write devanagari, reach A1. 
Progress: this did not happen. Will it happen? Stay tuned. Lindie is doubtful.

 

Thanks for reading! I’ll make another update in the middle of the year. How is it going with your language goals? Leave a comment!

9 Responses

  1. I don’t know but I feel like I’m not progressing. I’m willing to learn other many foreign languages at the same time which it’s sounds crazy knowing that I’m still a beginner in my korean ( the language I’m currently learning) and I also still have to improve my english.
    일본어 공부하려고 합니다.
    린디 씨의 유튜브 비디오 보는 것 정말 좋아합니다~

  2. I think it’s good to have “lofty” goals when it comes ot language learning. Then if you reach even 50% of them you’re still doing really well. I’m also learning mulitple lanuages at the same time which can be a real challenge (especially when you still have a job!) but I enjoy switching from one to the other. Keeps the head fresh!

  3. Hi Lindie, thanks for sharing your language learning journey and goals for 2020! Last October I started something similar by trying to focus on 12 languages for the coming 15 months. I can relate on how challenging and frustrating but also rewarding and joyful it can be. You got some pretty impressive languages on your list! Keep it up and all the best, γλώσσαμου

  4. This is so cool, Lindie! I am Filipino, and I had to Google Marco Gumabao 😛 I am living in Hungary, and also studying Hungarian actively, refreshing Japanese on the side. Love your blog!

  5. I was meant to finish some books for Italian and Portuguese this year, and only made progress in January or February. Now I’ve decided to completely focus on something completely new, Polish! I want to see how far I can progress during lock-down. Thank you for helping to motivate me :).

  6. 12 languages?! Is it possible? You must be a genius. I only know five and am still at B2 for two of them, started Italian last year, but classes got canceled due to corona. But you are studying languages from a lot of different language families. Looking forward to hearing how you progress.

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