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  • Clear the List | Monthly Language Learning Strategies Update | October

    I recently wrapped up my Persian language project and recorded my Day 90 video where I had a 15-minute conversation in the language. Here it is:

    I’m now getting ready to work on my next language project, so read on to find out what it is!

    And… I updated my course Busy Language Learner. I’ve written more about it below, but you can sign up here. It’s a 7-day course that helps you find the time to learn a new language and it’s just $29. You get actionable steps you can take each day.

    Busy Language Learner

    The Language Hacking Podcast

    The Language Hacking Podcast over at Fluent in 3 Months where I’m co-hosting with Fi3M founder, Benny Lewis is still going strong! We release a new episode every week and we’re up to 20 episodes.

    Some of our more recent guests have been: Johan Tekfak of Français Authentique, Kerstin Cable of Fluent Language, and the footballer Will John.

    If you give the podcast a listen, or if you already have been listening, we’d love your reviews!

    And now, on to #clearthelist …

    Wondering what #clearthelist is? Let me clear it up for you (see what I did there?). #CleartheList is a linkup where we share our monthly goals, and by we, I mean myself, and Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages.

    We’d absolutely love for you to a part of our community. You can join us by adding a link to your own goal post below.

    So let’s get started, sharing our goals and motivating one another to #clearthelist!

    Please feel free to tag your posts or photos with either #clearthelist on your favorite social media channels!

    Last Month’s Highlights on Instagram

    Last Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // My tutor and I spent some time reading books I plan to read with the kids together so I could make sure I understood everything I was reading, could read confidently, and don’t misread any characters.

    Maintain my vocabulary learning streak. // Yes! I’ve missed days on some languages, but for the most part, I’m successful at this. Currently, my shortest streak is 24 days and my highest is 135 days.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // I got through at least 200 videos in the last month and I’m very excited about this!

    Fluent in 3 Months Challenge // I completed the challenge I was doing for Persian and recorded my Day 90 video. You can see it above.

    Keep reading Game of Thrones in Russian. // I still haven’t started this one, but this next month I have good reason to.

    Study Stranger Things in Hungarian. // As usual, same as above.

    Finish my Persian Script Hacking book. // Done!

    Get to lesson 15 of Pimsleur Persian II. // Not quite yet, but I’m still making forward progress with this course.

    Maintain my weekly lessons in each language. // Yes!

    Have an awesome birthday with family. // Another yes!

    Women in Language // It was amazing and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

    This Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // I’d like to continue to incorporate this more and more until we’re an OPOL household.

    Maintain my vocabulary learning streak. // This has been a great way to rebuild my language routine, so it’s staying on the list indefinitely! Plus, I’m really seeing the impact of this study.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // I’d like to continue to work on this. Currently, I’m at 1,732 videos in my queue (for accountability) and I add new videos weekly when channels I follow upload new videos.

    Fluent in 3 Months Challenge // I’m kicking off my new challenge. It’s a Polyglot challenge which means I’ll be doing maintenance on several languages. Five to be exact. For the next three months, I’m working on Hungarian, Persian, Russian, Croatian, and Japanese!

    Keep reading Game of Thrones in Russian. // Since I’m focusing on Russian again, I can pick this back up.

    Get through at least three chapters in each course book I’m working on. // These are: Teach Yourself Complete Persian, Genki I for Japanese, Colloquial Russian, Colloquial Croatian, and Colloquial Hungarian.

    Get to lesson 15 of Pimsleur Persian II. // Since I didn’t get to this last month, I really want to do it this month. I may also pick up Pimsleur again for some of the other languages I’m studying if I do.

    Maintain my weekly lessons in each language. // It makes sure I’m using all my languages each week and helps me a ton with accountability. Plus, now that I’m maintaining five languages, this is more important than ever.

    Resources I Used This Month

    A quick recap of the materials I am using.

    What I Am Using to Learn Chinese

    What I’m Using to Brush Up/Improve My French:

    • LingQ
    • Listening to French radio/podcasts/music

    What I am Using to Learn Russian:

    What I am Using to Learn Persian:

    What I am Using to Learn Hebrew:

    What I am Using to Learn Korean:

    What I am Using to Learn Spanish:

    What I am Using to Learn Italian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Japanese:

    What I’m Using to Learn Croatian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Hungarian:

    Not Currently doing any study for: German, Hindi

    What I’m Using for Little Linguist

    • Lots of books
    • Day-to-day interaction
    • italki Lessons
    • Duolingo ABC
    • Droplets
    • Movies in Chinese
    • Gus on the Go Chinese

    Resources That Aren’t Language Specific

    The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

    I’ll never not be busy.

    I can’t stop thinking that once I finish this task or that project, I’ll have some time. But lately, I’ve come to realize that each space in my calendar gets taken up by something new and each finished project is finished by the next.

    So rather than wait until I’m not busy any more, I’ve started reprioritizing — in work, in my personal life and with language learning.

    The only way I’m going to find time is if I make it.

    It’s also why I decided to update my course Busy Language Learner. It’s a 7-day course with actionable steps you can take to fit language learning into your busy schedule and it’s available for just $29.

    Busy Language Learner

    Don’t forget that I would love to hear all about your goals for this month! Please join us by adding your post to the linkup below! 

    Clear The List Linkup Rules:

    1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.

    2. Link back to this post. You can use our button if you wish.

    3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

    4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the linkup.

    5. Share on social media using #ClearTheList

    October 26, 2020 • Eurolinguiste • Views: 88

  • My 90 Day Persian Project: Having 15-Minute Conversation in a New Language

    Recently, I’ve been learning Persian.

    Here’s where I started:

    And here’s where I ended up:

    With the help of the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge, Drops, Pimsleur and my language tutor, I was able to have a 15-minute conversation in Persian after about 2.5 months (I started the 90-day challenge about 2 weeks late).

    How to Learn Persian: My Strategies

    Each week, I had a lesson with my tutor. Prior to each lesson, I would propose something we would work on. It started with introductions, the hobbies, then basic conversation, one week we spent on prepositions, and so on. My teacher was amazing and flexible, willing to go with whatever I wanted to work on and support me whatever way I needed to be supported.

    After each lesson, I would add the notes from our shared Google Doc to a Google Sheet, then copy and paste the new vocabulary and phrases into Memrise.

    Each day, I would study my Memrise flashcards, do 5-minutes in Drops, and listen to at least part of a Pimsleur lesson.

    Partway through the challenge, I picked up Script Hacking Persian by Judith Meyer and started to learn how to read and write in the language.

    Doing these things helped me get to the point where I could converse in the language on a basic level — and have a 15-minute conversation.

    How I Decided On What My Tutor and I studied

    My first lesson with a tutor is always a self-introduction. I learn to introduce myself, talk about the basics of who I am and what I do, and then ask the person I’m talking to the questions related to the answers I’m giving. For example here’s some of what I might say in a first lesson:

    • Hello, my name is Shannon. What’s your name?
    • It’s nice to meet you.
    • How are you?
    • I’m xx years old. How old are you?
    • I have two kids. Do you have children? Are you married?
    • I am American. I live in California. Where are you from? Where do you live?
    • I’m a musician. What do you do?
    • My hobbies are martial arts, reading, cooking, writing, playing video games and learning languages. What are your hobbies?

    My next lesson, I’ll choose something from my introduction to further expand on. It might be my work, my family, or my hobbies. Essentially, I keep a mind map in my head and I continue down it until I feel I’ve fully explored a topic, then I take a step or two back and go down a new path.

    Here’s what it might look like:

    What I Would Do Differently If I Learned Persian Again

    My tutor was an amazing resource for me during the challenge, but I didn’t feel as though I truly understood the grammar I was trying to use. If I were to learn Persian again, I would absolutely dive into a course book sooner rather than later.

    I did end up studying Teach Yourself Complete Persian, but that wasn’t until after this particular challenge was over and I had started my next language project (which I’ll share more about later). I think understanding Persian grammar a little more than I did during this project would have boosted my confidence.

    I usually wait to learn grammar, but I definitely felt I could have started on it sooner this time around.

    How I Feel About My Progress in Learning Persian

    I’ll start out by saying, I made mistakes in my Day 90 video. But I’m okay with it. We were able to keep the conversation in the language and I understood most of what was said to me. I was also able to say what I needed to say.

    My favorite mistake was when I told my tutor I was sixty-one (shish-o yek) rather than my correct age. At first, I didn’t realize the error. But then I saw her expression, reflected back on what I had said and corrected myself. It was definitely a facepalm moment but I was even able to laugh about it as it was happening. Plus, I thought it was already a big step from where I started because I was able to identify the mistake I made.

    I also incorrectly conjugate a few verbs and don’t conjugate others. But again, I’m alright with this. Making mistakes is a part of the process.

    What’s Next?

    I’m announcing my next language lea b rning project soon, but in the meantime I’ll share this — I’m going to keep on with Persian.

    I’m happy with the level that it got to and I’m not ready to move onto something new or different quite yet.

    What about you? What are you working on? Let me know in the comments!

    By the way, I’m going to announce some pretty exciting things very soon to my email list. Want to find out more? Sign up here.

    October 23, 2020 • Language Project • Views: 177

  • Language Learning Reading Challenge 2021

    The votes are in! The Language Learning Reading Challenge community submitted their votes and here are the themes for the 2021 Language Reading Challenge (plus the last two months of this year).

    What is the Language Learning Reading Challenge?

    Each month in the LLRC, we’ll tackle one book covering a topic related to language and share our experiences as a group. Please feel free to join us. You can participate by commenting on the posts here at Eurolinguiste or by joining the group on Facebook (we have a Goodreads community, too).

    As part of the challenge, we will be read books that cover everything from culture, language learning, general learning techniques, history, and more. Plus, we’ll be reading both in our native languages and target languages.

    If you’re at a more advanced level in your target language, feel free to read any or all of the books (not just the ones indicated as target language only) in the language that you’re learning.

    If you’re still just getting started, that’s okay, too! You can read along in your native language, discovering more about the cultures and histories tied to the language(s) that you’re learning, opting for lower level or graded readers for books in your target language.

    Please note that you don’t have to pick just one language for this challenge. If you’re learning multiple languages, feel free to mix and match. The challenge is pretty flexible. I’ve planned it this way so you can get the most learning possible out of it over this next year.

    How is It Related to the Women in Language Book Club?

    The Language Learning Reading Challenge is hosted in partnership with the Women in Language Book Club. The only difference?

    We encourage Women in Language participants to read and share books written by women or non-binary authors where possible.

    The 2020 Language Learning Reading Challenge Prompts

    We have two months left this year. Here are the last two prompts for 2020:

    Nov: History of the region, culture, or language that you are studying

    Dec: A book/magazine/etc about your personal interests in your target language

    The 2021 Language Learning Reading Challenge Prompts

    Jan: A memoir by someone who lives in a country that speaks your target language

    Feb: A book set in the country of your target language (fiction or non-fiction)

    Mar: A book about a language, a family of languages, a writing system, or something related to linguistics

    Apr: A children’s book in your target language

    May: Read a book written by an author from a country that speaks your target language (this time can be something other than a memoir)

    Jun: A comic book in your target language

    Jul: A tutorial lesson, or recipe in your target language

    Aug: A book about someone who learns a language (fiction or non-fiction)

    Sep: A book in your target language (originally written in that language, not a translation)

    Oct: Read something about a language you’re not learning

    Nov: A book written by a language blogger (like Benny’s books, Olly’s books, Kerstin’s book, Lindsay’s book, or even shameless plug: my book)

    Dec: A book about your native language

    A Few Notes Regarding the Challenge:

    The challenge doesn’t have to focus on one language, if you are studying multiple languages (or have an interest in languages you’re not studying), feel free to go for books in or about those languages.

    You are absolutely welcome to read books of any level. Graded readers, children’s books, academic books or any other genre are acceptable for the challenges that require you to read in your target language(s). And for topics that indicate you read a children’s book, you can also explore YA (young adult).

    You do not need to participate every month to be a part of this challenge. You can choose the months that align with your interests.

    If you do not complete the book you take up in any one month of the challenge, that’s okay! You can still join in the conversation and share some of what you’ve learnt from the sections of the book you were able to get through.

    Language Reading Challenge Rules:

    1. Share your post discussing the book that you’ve read this month. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted. You can share in the comments or use the link below to join us on Facebook or Goodreads.
    2. Follow the host: Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

    3. OPTIONAL: Join us on Facebook or Goodreads.

    Language Learning Reading Challenge

    October 5, 2020 • Language Resources • Views: 1647

  • 100+ Useful Conversational Words & Phrases in Russian

    Do you want to learn Russian? You’re in the right place.

    Perhaps, if you were like me when I first started learning the language, you’re finding yourself struggling to find resources that help you start speaking.

    Many of the tools that I found when I started learning Russian were grammar-heavy textbook style resources and they didn’t offer me a lot in terms of day-to-day conversation. Rather than learning how to say “what did you do last weekend?” I had memorized a bunch of rules involving cases or sentence structure. I spent loads of time studying but I was nowhere near conversing with my fellow Russian speakers.

    So I decided to put something together on my own so that I could feel more confident engaging in language exchanges.

    And today, I’d like to share it with you.

    In this post you’ll find a short selection of the 100+ conversational phrases and words in Russian I have available as part of a downloadable PDF that you can get by entering your email in the box below.

    Happy Russian language learning!

    Get your free PDF with 100+ Conversational Russian Words and Phrases

    Greetings in Russian

    RussianEnglish
     ЗдравствуйтеHello
     ПриветHi 
     как дела?How are you?
     Как вас зовут?What’s your name?
     очень хорошоvery good/well 

    Basic & Polite Phrases in Russian

    RussianEnglish
     нзвините excuse me
     пожалуйста please, you’re welcome
     спасибо thanks
     да yes
     нет no

    Get the Russian Conversation Rolling

    RussianEnglish
     Каковы ваши планы в эти выходные? What are your weekend plans?
     Как это? How is it?
     Как погода? How’s the weather?
     Как ваша семья? How is your family?
     Что Вы думаете об этом? What do you think about this?

    Getting a Bit of Clarification in Russian

    RussianEnglish
     Я не понимаю! I don’t understand!
     Что это на русском? What is this in Russian?
     Пожалуйста дайте мне… Please give me…
     например for example
     Скажите, пожалуйста…? Tell me please…

    Words About Time in Russian

    RussianEnglish
     Cегодня Today
     Завтра Tomorrow
     Вчера Yesterday
     Каждый день Every day
     Позже Later

    Exclamations & Transition Words to Take Your Russian Speaking to the Next Level

    RussianEnglish
     Отлично. Great
     Нет проблем. No problem
     Это хороший вопросThat’s a good question 
    Удачи  Good luck
     Конечно. Of course

    Conversation Closers

    RussianEnglish
     До скорого! See you later
     Доброй ночи Good evening
     Увидимся See you
     пока, пока Bye

    *Please note that most of the above examples use formal language, assuming that you’re getting to know the person that you’re speaking with. 

    Get your free PDF with 100+ Conversational Russian Words and Phrases

    Are you learning Russian? What are some phrases that you’ve found useful in your target language? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

    October 4, 2020 • Language Resources • Views: 4707

  • 100+ Useful Conversational Words & Phrases in Japanese

    Are you thinking about learning Japanese but find yourself struggling to find resources that help you start speaking?

    When I started out, I certainly did.

    Many of the tools that I found when I started learning Japanese were grammar-heavy textbook style resources and they didn’t offer me a lot in terms of day-to-day conversation. Rather than learning how to say “what did you do last weekend?” I memorized a bunch of rules involving particles or sentence structure and I was nowhere near conversing with my fellow Japanese speakers.

    So I decided to put something together on my own so that I could feel more confident engaging in language exchanges.

    And today, I’d like to share it with you.

    In this post you’ll find a short selection of the 100+ conversational phrases and words in Japanese I have available as part of a downloadable PDF that you can get by entering your email in the box below.

    They’re the phrases I get the most mileage with when I converse in Japanese. I hope you find them useful, too.

    Happy Japanese language learning!

    Get your free PDF with 100+ Conversational Japanese Words and Phrases

    Greetings

    English Japanese Transliteration
    Hello/Good dayこんにちはkonnichiwa
    Hello (on the phone/Skype)もしもしmoshi moshi
    How are you?おげんきですか?ogenki desu ka?>
    I’m good.げんきですgenki desu
    Long time no see.おしゃしぶりですoshashiburidesu

    Basic & Polite Phrases

    English Japanese Transliteration
    Pleaseおねがいしますonegaishimasu
    Thank you so muchどうもありがとうございまdoumo arigatou gozaimasu
    Excuse meすみませんsumimasen
    I’m sorryごめんなさいgomennasai
    You’re welcomeどういたしましてdouitashimashite

    Get the Conversation Rolling

    English Japanese Transliteration
    Are you busy now?いまいそがしいですか?ima isogashii desu ka?
    What are you plans this weekend?こんしゅうまつよていがありますか?konshuumatsu yotei ga arimasu ka?
    How is your family?かぞくのみなさんわいかがですか?kazoku no minasan wa ikaga desu ka?
    Tell me about yourselfじこしょうかいをおねがいしますjiko shoukai o onegaishimasu
    What do you think?どうおもいますか?dou omoimasu ka?

    Getting a Bit of Clarification

    English Japanese Transliteration
    How do you say that in English?それわえいごでなんといいますか?sore wa eigo de nanto iimasu ka?
    I don’t understand.わかりませんwakarimasen
    I forgotわすれましたwasuremashita
    I don’t know.しりませんshirimasen
    Can you please say it slowly?もとゆっくりはんして?moto yukkuri hanshite?

    Words About Time

    English Japanese Transliteration
    Every dayまいにちmai nichi
    Sometimesじじjiji
    Nowいまima
    Laterあとでatode
    Maybeたぶんtabun

    Exclamations & Transition Words to Take Your Speaking to the Next Level

    English Japanese Transliteration
    That’s a good questionそれはよいしつもんですねSore wa yoishitsu mondesu ne
    Alrightだいじょうぶdaijoubu
    Wait a momentちょっとまってくださいchotto matte kudasai
    Don’t worryくよくよするなkuyokuyo suru na
    Oopsおっとっとottotto

    Conversation Closers

    English Japanese Transliteration
    Thank you for your timeおいそがしいところありがとうございましたo isogashii tokoro arigatou gozaimashita
    see you laterじゃあまたjaa mata
    see youまたねmatane
    Goodbyeさようならsayounara

    *Please note that most of the above examples use formal language, assuming that you’re getting to know the person that you’re speaking with. 

    Get your free PDF with 100+ Conversational Japanese Words and Phrases

    Are you learning Japanese? What are some phrases that you’ve found useful in your target language? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

    100+ Conversational Japanese Words and Phrases

    October 4, 2020 • Language Resources • Views: 15963

  • Clear the List | Monthly Language Learning Strategies Update | October

    The fall season is upon us. We’re digging into Halloween movies and are all decorated. There’s nothing like a little Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown or The Nightmare Before Christmas. And let’s not forget about Young Frankenstein!

    I’m still immersed in my Persian language project. I lost my Memrise streak (gah!) but I am spending time with the language every day. Let’s dive in!

    The Language Hacking Podcast

    The Language Hacking Podcast over at Fluent in 3 Months where I’m co-hosting with Fi3M founder, Benny Lewis is still going strong! We release a new episode every week and we’re up to 13 episodes.

    Some of our guests have been: Idahosa Ness, Olly Richards, and Scott Young.

    If you give the podcast a listen, or if you already have been listening, we’d love your reviews!

    Last Month’s Highlights on Instagram

    Last Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // Still working on this. We watch movies every day in Chinese, read a book each night, and have other contact with the language. You can read more about my strategies for sharing the language with my kids here.

    Maintain my vocabulary learning streak. // I kept my streak for about half my languages. But I lost it for Persian, Hungarian, and Japanese.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // I got through more than 100 videos this month. Maybe more than that. I had nearly 2,000 and am down to about 1,800. So even with the videos I’ve added each week, I have still watched quite a few.

    Fluent in 3 Months Challenge // I completed my daily study commitment for Persian every day this month!

    Keep reading Game of Thrones in Russian. // I wasn’t able to get to this one. This month, I didn’t particularly have a lot of time to read.

    Study Stranger Things in Hungarian. // Same as above.

    Finish my Persian Script Hacking book. // Almost done, but I’m starting my Teach Yourself Complete Persian anyway.

    Get to lesson 15 of Pimsleur Persian II. // Almost there!

    Maintain my weekly lessons in each language. // Yes! I was even able to resume lessons with my Japanese teacher who I hadn’t been able to connect with because our schedules didn’t align.

    Have an awesome birthday with family. // I did! We enjoyed dinner together.

    Women in Language // The event was amazing. We had attendees join us from all over the world and the talks were so inspiring.

    This Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // I’d like to continue to incorporate this more and more until we’re an OPOL household. It’s close with Little Linguist, but we still have some time before we’re there with my oldest.

    Maintain my vocabulary learning streak. // I have a trip this month which means functioning in another time zone. In the past, this has thrown me off, but hopefully I’ll make it through this time around.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // I’d like to continue to whittle this down since I have more than 1,000 videos in my queue. Getting there slowly but surely.

    Fluent in 3 Months Challenge // This month my Persian challenge ends and I will hopefully have a 15-minute conversation in Persian. *Fingers crossed.*

    Keep reading Game of Thrones in Russian. // Again, more like resume reading Game of Thrones in Russian.

    Study Stranger Things in Hungarian. // Same as above.

    Complete the first four chapters in Teach Yourself Complete Persian. // One chapter per week!

    Finish Pimsleur Persian II. // I want to finish this one up.

    Maintain my weekly lessons in each language. // It’s been great getting to keep all my languages active.

    Have an awesome Halloween with the kids. // We’ll be celebrating my nephews birthday and the kids are excited to don their costumes.

    Resources I Used This Month

    A quick recap of the materials I am using.

    What I Am Using to Learn Chinese

    What I’m Using to Brush Up/Improve My French:

    What I am Using to Learn Russian:

    What I am Using to Learn Persian:

    What I am Using to Learn Hebrew:

    What I am Using to Learn Korean:

    What I am Using to Learn Spanish:

    What I am Using to Learn Italian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Japanese:

    What I’m Using to Learn Croatian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Hungarian:

    Not Currently doing any study for: German, Hindi

    What I’m Using for Little Linguist

    • Lots of books
    • Day-to-day interaction
    • italki Lessons
    • Duolingo ABC
    • Droplets
    • Movies in Chinese
    • Gus on the Go Chinese

    Resources That Aren’t Language Specific

    The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

    This month, I’ve really realized how important knowing what motivates me is. In the past, I had a vague awareness of it mattering, but now I have more certainty. But my realization of its importance came from somewhere other than language…

    You see, I don’t like working out. But recently, I started doing some private training with my Fluent in 3 Months fellow team member, Caitlin. Before she started coaching me, we did an introduction call. I filled out a survey before the call and one of the questions was about what motivated me.

    I wrote my answer. I needed someone who would give me a hard time, even tease me, when they suspected I wasn’t giving my best. And I needed stats, even points.

    And when she and I chatted about it, I realized just how much having those two things mattered to me.

    It was the reason I’ve been showing up to karate for a year and a half now. My Master gives me a hard time and we have stats on our workouts from our heart rate monitors that show on the board during class. It was the reason I’ve been studying more consistently–because I want to maintain my streaks. It’s also the reason I’m in the best, healthiest shape of my life–because I log all my workouts, body measurements, and calories.

    Having these things keeps me motivated and helps me succeed. If I have these things in the areas of my life I need them, I can get where I want to go.

    Don’t forget that I would love to hear all about your goals for this month! Please join us by adding your post to the linkup below! 

    Clear The List Linkup Rules:

    1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted. Leave them in the comments below!

    2. Link back to this post.

    3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

    4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the linkup.

    5. Share on social media using #ClearTheList

    October 4, 2020 • Eurolinguiste • Views: 373

  • Persian Language Learning Strategies: My 60 Day Update

    I started learning Persian just over two months ago. Where am I at today?

    If you’re wondering just how much of a language you can learn in two months, here’s my update video (be sure to watch with the subtitles on):

    My Persian Language Learning Routine

    I posted about my language learning routine in this post, and to be honest, it hasn’t changed much.

    I still study with Memrise and Drops for vocabulary and Pimsleur for listening and speaking practice on a daily basis. And I take a lesson with my tutor through Preply once or twice a week.

    There’s only one thing that’s different…

    I’m learning the writing system.

    How I’m Learning to Read and Write in Persian

    At the moment, I’m working through Judith Meyer’s Persian Script Hacking. I’m also reading it as a part of the Language Learning Reading Challenge / Women in Language Book Club since our prompt this month is to read a book by a female author!

    I will post a more thorough review of Persian Script Hacking once I finish it, but for now, here are my initial thoughts:

    It’s an enjoyable, low pressure way to learn a new writing system. It’s introduced each letter one at a time with plenty of exercises to practice recognizing, reading, and writing what you know.

    Once I am done with the book, I’m hoping I will be comfortable enough to start reading basic passages on LingQ.

    My messing Persian writing practice

    My Persian Language Plans for October

    In addition to Persian Script Hacking, I am also starting to work through Teach Yourself Complete Persian and Farsi for Beginners from Tuttle Publishing. I will report on my progress with these two course books in my next update as well as share my reviews of these course books once I complete them. I am also working on Pimsleur’s Persian 2.

    So to recap all of the current resources I am using to learn Persian:

    A Summary of My Persian Learning

    Overall, I’m really enjoying learning the Persian language. I’ve gathered a lot of information but there a couple of things that I still really need to do to contextualize everything I’ve learned in Persian.

    The first is that I need to have more conversation practice. For now, I go over basic structures and phrases in my lessons, and learn on my own, but I’m not having casual conversations often enough. When I do chat with my friends, it’s still very English based, though I do try to throw in and use Persian phrases when I can.

    The second is that I need to work on grammar. I know quite a bit of vocabulary, but I still struggle to put it together to express my thoughts.

    These are both things that I plan to work on this next month. Especially since my Day 90 video is coming up for the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge where I will need to have a 15-minute conversation in Persian!

    If you have any questions about how I’m learning Persian, please let me know! I’m happy to add more detail on any part of my learning process. Just leave me a comment below.

    September 29, 2020 • Language Project • Views: 370

  • Language Learning Reading Challenge (in Partnership with Women in Language)

    The last several years, I’ve run the Language Learning Reading Challenge. Each month, we’ve read books that followed different themes or prompts, while chatting about them in the comments and Facebook group.

    This year, during Women in Language 2020, there was a lively, inspiring discussion about reading, research, and an incredible list of book recommendations came out of the conversation. And as one of the co-founders and co-organizers of Women in Language, I realized the need to adapt the Language Learning Reading Challenge into something more.

    It’s now both the WIL Book Club and the Language Learning Reading Challenge. This year, in addition to offering monthly prompts, I’ll share regular book recommendations, further reading, and so much more.

    Join the Facebook group here.

    What does the new Language Learning Reading Challenge Look Like?

    In partnership with Women in Language, the Language Learning Reading Challenge is going to have a few new features as well as carry over some of the legacy features.

    Here’s what’s happening:

    • Every month will have a theme and you can select any book you like that fits the theme to read as a part of the Language Learning Reading Challenge.
    • We’ll have a collection of recommended reading material and discussions going as a part of the Women in Language Book Club.
    • Regular read togethers hosted by community members where you can jump on a call and read with other language book lovers.
    • You’ll get to hang out and chat with a cool community on either Facebook or Goodreads (or both!).
    • And more to come!

    October 2020 Book Theme for the Language Learning Reading Challenge

    Read a book written by a female (or non-binary) author.

    Since September is just ten days away from being done, we’ll start WIL Book Club off in October (besides, I know many of you are busy catching up on and enjoying the talks at Women in Language!).

    For October, we’ll read a book by a female author. It can be in your native language, but you’ll get bonus points for reading a book in one of your target languages or for reading a book about your language written by a woman!

    Current Book Recommendations for the Women in Language Book Club

    Here is the current list of book recommendations to come out of Women in Language 2020. These will also be shared on Goodreads.

    Other Things You Should Know About the Language Learning Reading Challenge and Women in Language Book Club

    Each month, we’ll tackle one book covering a topic related to language and share our experiences as a group. Please feel free to join us. You can participate by commenting on the posts here at Eurolinguiste or by joining the group on Facebook.

    As part of the challenge, we will be read books that cover everything from culture, language learning, general learning techniques, history, and more. Plus, we’ll be reading both in our native languages and target languages.

    If you’re at a more advanced level in your target language, feel free to read any or all of the books (not just the ones indicated as target language only) in the language that you’re learning. If you’re still just getting started, that’s okay, too! You can read along in your native language, discovering more about the cultures and histories tied to the language(s) that you’re learning, opting for lower level or graded readers for books in your target language.

    Please note that you don’t have to pick just one language for this challenge. If you’re learning multiple languages, feel free to mix and match. The challenge is pretty flexible. I’ve planned it this way so you can get the most learning possible out of it.

    A Few Notes Regarding the Challenge:

    The challenge doesn’t have to focus on one language, if you are studying multiple languages (or have an interest in languages you’re not studying), feel free to go for books in or about those languages.

    You are absolutely welcome to read books of any level. Graded readers, children’s books, academic books or any other genre are acceptable for the challenges that require you to read in your target language(s).

    You do not need to participate every month to be a part of this challenge. You can choose the months that align with your interests.

    If you do not complete the book you take up in any one month of the challenge, that’s okay! You can still join in the conversation and share some of what you’ve learnt from the sections of the book you were able to get through.

    And that’s it! Looking forward to hearing all about what you’re reading.

    September 26, 2020 • Eurolinguiste, Language Resources • Views: 511

  • All Documented Language Learning Projects on Eurolinguiste

    Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to complete a variety of language learning projects. I aimed to sit the HSK 4 exam after a year of studying Chinese. I’ve sought to see how much Icelandic I could learn en route to the country without learning a word of the language prior. I’ve also completed several Fluent in 3 Month Challenges and have studied languages as a part of 90 Days with Drops.

    I’ve documented many of these, but before now, they weren’t easy to locate or follow. With this collection, I hope to change that.

    Now, you can find all of my documented language learning projects in one place.

    My Language Maintenance Project

    Learning Persian with Drops

    Raising My Kids In My Second Language

    My Hebrew Project

    My Hindi Language Project

    My Icelandic Project

    Learning Hungarian with Drops

    Korean for the Fi3M Challenge

    Japanese for the Fi3M Challenge

    Bonus: 100+ Conversational Words & Phrases in Japanese

    Korean Language Project with Lindsay Does Languages

    Bonus: 100+ Conversational Words & Phrases in Korean and Video

    Learning Russian

    Bonus: 100+ Conversation Words & Phrases in Russian

    Learning Mandarin Chinese to Pass the HSK 4 Exam

    Bonus: 100+ Conversational Words & Phrases in Chinese

    Italian Language Refresh

    Learning Spanish

    Croatian for the Fi3M Challenge

    Bonus: 100+ Conversational Words & Phrases in Croatian

    What about you?

    I’d love to hear about your language projects in the comments below. 

    September 26, 2020 • Language Project, Language Resources • Views: 704

  • How I’m Teaching My Kids Mandarin Chinese: 7 Techniques for Raising Your Children in Your Non-Native Language

    For the first two years of my son’s life, I spoke to him almost exclusively in Chinese.

    We read, we played, we watched movies, and I gave instructions… all in Mandarin Chinese.

    But as he got older and things started to change, I began to slip. English crept in until, fast forward to about two months ago, it was the only language he and I really spoke together.

    Whenever I tried to bring Chinese back in, it seemed like he didn’t understand and that discouraged me from using it with him even further.

    But then I got some encouragement and a bit of a push to bring Chinese back. And I realized I worried for nothing.

    Playing board games in Chinese

    My Fears Raising My Children in My Non-Native Language

    When I made the decision to speak to my son in Chinese, I had very little support. I had done all the research and knew it would work, but little comments from friends and family slowly pecked away at my confidence in what I was doing. I heard:

    • You’ll confuse him!
    • He won’t be able to talk to me because I won’t understand him.
    • He’ll have speech delays.
    • He’ll have trouble talking and will need to see a speech therapist.

    The opinions went on and were endless.

    Then he hit age two and he still wasn’t really speaking. He said a few words in his three languages—French, Mandarin, and English—but not many. He seemed to understand everything just fine. In fact, if I gave him instructions in English he’d ignore me. When I switched to Chinese and gave them again, he listened right away.

    Me: Little Linguist, please sit down.

    Little Linguist continues standing on the chair

    Me: 请坐下!

    LL sits down immediately

    Nonetheless, I grew less certain I wasn’t doing all the things everyone warned me against. I let my fears everyone else was right in and English made its move and took over.

    The Challenges Raising My Children in My Non-Native Language

    I speak Chinese quite well. It’s a language I’m fairly comfortable in and I have a pretty big vocabulary. But kids are curious and my son constantly stumped me.

    “What’s that?” he asked pointing to the fire sprinkler in the ceiling. The cement truck. The spinning top. The cupcake.

    Suddenly, I was swamped with words I never realized I’d need to know.

    At first, I’d tell him I didn’t know and I started to keep a running list to share with my tutor. I’d be prepared the next time.

    But as I said, my son was curious. And soon, I was spending my entire hour-long lesson looking up words with my tutor. Words I still needed to study and learn after the lessons were over.

    Then more comments came in…

    What if you teach him your mistakes? I had an answer for that one. I knew that if I made sure he had enough exposure to native speakers, he’d one day correct me.

    What if he learns your accent? Again, I knew he’d speak Chinese accent-less if he had enough exposure.

    But because there were gaps in my knowledge, things I didn’t know I’d need to know to say, English again stepped through the door because it was tough to leave so many questions open for my son because I didn’t know how to answer him in Chinese.

    Having a Chinese lesson

    How I Made Efforts to Compensate My Knowledge and Raise My Son as a Native Chinese Speaker Even Though I’m Not One

    Knowing I needed support raising my son to speak Chinese, I did my best to get all my bases covered.

    When he was a year old, we attended Mommy and Me Chinese immersion classes. I’d ask the teacher questions and make mental notes of how she spoke to the children in the class.

    We read together in Chinese every night. I’d buy books and study them on my own in advance, learning the new vocabulary before I’d add them to our nightly rotation. I’d put in sticky notes with the pinyin for characters I didn’t know.

    We’d watch movies in Chinese. I made sure to buy a copy of the Chinese versions of movies I knew he loved. Finding Dory. Kung Fu Panda. Cars. For his first Christmas, my brother bought him an all region dvd player and some movies.

    We had flashcards I used to teach him new words. Little Pim was a big help.

    But most importantly, I used it with him as much as I could until I didn’t…

    How I’m Bringing Chinese Back and Raising My Kids to Speak It

    About two years have passed since Chinese’s presence in our lives slowly started to diminish. My kids are now 4 and 6. This past summer, we moved into a new neighborhood and were surprised to find that a good number of the kids who live here and hang out with our kids are… bilingual.

    There are kids who speak German, kids who speak Spanish, kids who speak Belarusian, and kids who speak Persian.

    My kids would brag to their friends that I knew lots of languages, but I could tell they felt a little jealous and left out. And even share that they spoke Chinese, even though that wasn’t really the case any more.

    Their dad, one day while listening to one of these conversations with their friends looked at me and said, “you really need to speak to the kids in Chinese.”

    I tensed. The kids are older. How would I suddenly switch to another language with them? How would I keep from letting English take over again? I didn’t know where to restart.

    But then I remembered, I don’t need to restart by doing all the things I was doing before. I just need to start with something. And besides, if I suddenly switched back to Chinese, the kids wouldn’t always understand me. It would be frustrating for them and for me and it’d quickly become a thing they’d reject.

    So we decided to take things slow.

    Here’s what I did, step-by-step to add Chinese back into our lives at home and raise my kids to speak my non-native language.

    Playing UNO in Chinese

    1 We read in Chinese every night

    Each night the kids got to pick one book, but I got to pick one too. My pick would always be a Chinese book to make sure that at least one of the books we read together was in Chinese. And sometimes, the kids would pick a Chinese book as well.

    I went back to basics and at first, picked the simplest books we owned. I’d read in Chinese, translate in English and ask them to repeat words after me.

    When they’d point at something in the book and say “rabbit!” I’d nod and reply “对. 兔子.”

    2 We changed the rules about tablet time

    Before, we’d let the kids use their tablets on long car rides or as a reward for a particularly good day. But that didn’t mean they didn’t ask for them more than that. So when we started to reintroduce Chinese, we created a new rule. We told them they could have their tablets if they either 1) watched something in Chinese (usually Little Pim or Sesame Street in Chinese, but their tablets also have Chinese movies on them) or 2) played a Chinese game (currently: Gus on the Go).

    3 We changed the rules about tv time

    If the kids wanted to watch Power Rangers or a movie, they first had to watch 20 minutes of a movie in Chinese. We stocked up on movies they love—Trollz, Frozen, Wreck It Ralph, Minions—so they’d still have options they’d want to watch.

    My son took to this immediately. Nearly every time we start a Chinese movie, he doesn’t ask to switch when the timer goes off. Instead, he watches it in its entirety and then moves on, not asking for whatever English language program he originally requested.

    My daughter (the 6-year-old) is a little more entrenched in English, so she does the bare minimum.

    4 Games and snacks became okay

    Usually, we try to avoid too many snacks and it can be tough to arrange the time to sit down and play board games or card games with the kids regularly. But we made an agreement. If they asked for a snack in Chinese, they’d get one (as long as it wasn’t too close to mealtime). And if they played a game in Chinese, we’d sit down with them.

    Candyland is great for learning colors. And UNO is amazing for both colors and numbers.

    5 We keep a list of new Chinese words we review

    Each week, I introduce them to a new set of words. I keep a journal so that I can keep track of what they should already know. I write them out using our alphabet fridge magnets, but I also add them to our chore board (along with our “rules”) just in case the magnets get played with.

    6 I share what they work on in Chinese at home with their tutor

    And in doing so, their tutor is able to reinforce what they learn with me. Their tutor is my tutor, so when I have my lessons, we spend part of our time discussing what I worked on with the kids so that when they have their lesson, she can work on it with them. She’s an amazing tutor and she knows just how to interact with each of my kids to keep them engaged.

    With my daughter, it’s telling her she can’t be the real Loulou because she heard that the real Loulou learned three new colors this week. And she’d only believe it’s Loulou if she could prove she knew those things in Chinese.

    With my son, it’s letting him show off his toys and asking questions about them, introducing the Chinese words for things as those conversations happen.

    7 I try to incorporate Chinese into other parts of our day

    In the car with the kids? I ask them to find me something that’s 紫色 (purple) or 红色 (red). We count together. I wrote the names of our cooking spices in Chinese, English, and French. I tell them I don’t understand them unless they say “please”, “thank you”, and “excuse me” in Chinese.

    To Sum Up

    As the kids get older, they’ll likely start to resist some of my requests. But I’m hoping to normalize as many of the Chinese activities as possible so they don’t feel like it’s this extra thing they have to do.

    They have moments where they don’t want to do their Chinese lesson, or they don’t want to watch something in Chinese on their tablet to get tablet time. But thankfully, they still do it even if they’re a bit resigned about it.

    I keep stocking up on Chinese language items for them when the opportunity arises. I recently purchased a few new movies and a set of fairy tales (stories they already know) in Chinese.

    For now, I’m enjoying the hours of Chinese UNO and hearing their progress as they get more and more exposure to the language.

    What about you? Are you raising your children to speak another language? Let me know what you’re doing to share a language with them in the comments below! And if you have any questions about our techniques, ask away!

    September 14, 2020 • Multilingual Parenting • Views: 707