Language Project

  • New Language Project: Learn Persian

    I’m learning a new language.

    Yes, this means I’m up to my 14th language I either am in the process of maintaining, learning, or using on a somewhat regular basis.

    What’s the motivation for doing this? Let’s get into the reason behind it.

    My New Language Project: Learn Persian

    Since Drops released Persian, I’ve toyed with the idea of learning the Persian language (also known as Farsi). Where I live, we have a large community of Persian speakers, many of whom I count as friends and I’d love to share the language with them.

    Given that my last language project didn’t pan out as planned (I intended to learn Hebrew for a trip to Tel Aviv that didn’t happen due to COVID-19), and the fact that travel guidelines are still restrictive, I decided to learn a local language. Something that I could use while still at home.

    My Goal Learning Persian

    At the end of about 90 days, my goal is to surprise some friends with my ability to speak Persian. They’ve occasionally taught me a word here or there in the language, but I haven’t yet seriously studied the language and I know they’ll be thrilled to find out I started learning it on my own.

    I plan to practice the language in other settings leading up to the “big reveal”, but I’m hoping to surprise them like I did my co-workers at Drops with Hungarian a while back.

    How I’m Going to Learn Persian

    My Farsi Language Learning Tools


    I plan on taking weekly lessons (perhaps more) during the duration of my Persian learning project. I’m currently trying out several different tutors on Preply, and will hopefully have one selected by the end of the week!

    PS. Have you seen Preply’s learning goal dashboard? It’s amazing! You can select a study goal and it’ll break down how much you’ll have to study to reach it. I set the ultimate goal of B1 in the language and it estimated how many weeks and hours of study I needed.


    To start building my vocabulary and foundation in the Persian language, I’ll study new words each day with Drops.

    Fluent in 3 Months Challenge

    I’m joining a challenge a bit late (just over a week), but I plan on taking part in an Fi3M challenge for the extra accountability and community while learning a language.


    In my first week, I like to dig through all the Pod101 videos available to quickly learn basic phrases.


    One of my favorite resources when starting to learn a new language is Pimsleur because it’s been a great way to get in both listening and speaking practice.

    My Language Learning Routine

    My routine for learning Persian will look like this at the start of this project:

    Every day:

    • 5-15 minutes of vocabulary study with Drops
    • 15-30 minutes of video lessons with the PersianPod101 Youtube channel
    • 30 minute Pimsleur lesson

    Every week:

    • 1 lesson with my Farsi tutor
    • Additional research and study as needed

    My Initial Plans for My First Week of Learning Persian

    In the first week of learning Persian, I’d like to accomplish the following:

    • Learn the Persian writing system
    • Get my self introduction down in Persian
    • Learn around 100 words

    My Updates

    I’ll update you on my progress about once every two weeks either by blog post or by video. To keep everything in one place, I’ve put this page together so you can find all my Persian updates in chronological order.

    Have any questions about this project? Let me know in the comments below! I’m putting together an “Ask the Polyglot” video and post answering many of the questions you’ve sent me about my Persian language project—whether it’s about starting a new language or about my learning strategies in general.

    I also plan to make regular videos on Instagram and Youtube – so be sure to follow me there.

    In the meantime, do you have any advice for me as a new Persian learner? Have any resource recommendations you couldn’t live without while learning the language? Let me know in the comments below! I look forward to hearing from you.

    July 29, 2020 • Language Project, Language Resources • Views: 366


    Over the last couple months, I’ve been learning a language in secret. I recently revealed that language was Hungarian and now, I’m excited to share more details about this language project – the how, the what, and they why.

    But first, if you’re interested in following this project along, be sure to subscribe to the Drops blog! It’s where I’m sharing all my updates.

    Getting Started with the Hungarian Language

    Just over two months ago, I decided that I wanted to learn Hungarian.


    Because I wanted to surprise my colleagues at Drops on our team trip. In November, we all met up in Budapest, Hungary and it seemed like the perfect occasion. Not only would I be in the country that speaks the language, but I’d also get to surprise the founders of Drops with their native language.

    I signed up for the Fi3M Challenge for motivation, keeping the details of my language a secret, saving my videos and updates for after the big reveal.

    In many ways, this project was different from anything I’ve done before. To start, it was a secret, so I was limited to how many people I could reach out to for help. Luckily, Benny Lewis over at Fluent in 3 Months completed a similar project – Hungarian in 3 Months. He and I chatted about language projects and learning Hungarian, and he offered me tips for filming the reveal in Budapest.

    Limitations Offer a Creative Environment

    One of the other things I really wanted to do with this project was change my approach. Lately, I’ve found a lot of success in the conversational approach and because of this, I’ve stuck to it for my last several projects. Getting too comfortable with a system or routine can cause learning plateaus and with a short-term project, that can be dangerous. 

    Rather than use all the resources, processes and methods I typically use when I start a new language (or refresh an old one), I did something different. 

    First, I limited myself to two resources – Drops and italki. I had originally planned to use three (a coursebook being the third), but ended up not using it. Doing this meant that I really needed to maximize my experience with the two resources I was using.

    I had to get creative.

    And that creativity not only led to several breakthroughs, but helped keep me from burning out during the time I spent studying.

    Second, I cut grammar out almost completely. During that time, I did not learn a single grammar rule. Instead, I studied tons of vocabulary and practiced the language with my tutor. In doing these two things, I learned some grammar through context without ever having to sit down and learn how to conjugate or use cases.

    Third, I took an almost month-long break in the middle of a two-month project. A few weeks before our trip to Budapest, I also had a trip to Shanghai, China for music. As a part of that trip, I needed to focus on preparing presentations in Mandarin and Japanese, so I had to step away from Hungarian until after I got back.

    Despite this break, I still successfully completed this project.

    Finally, I decided on every milestone I wanted to reach as a part of this project. There were eight in total. You can read about them more in-depth here, but here’s a quick summary:

    1. Learn 50 words in the first 3 days // This would get me access to the Drops Tough Words Dojo so that I could review challenging new material.
    2. Find a conversation partner // Having a date on the calendar would help keep me focused and on-track.
    3. Write my first script // This would help me navigate that first conversation. It included phrases and questions that I might need.
    4. Have a Hungarian lesson // I found a fantastic tutor on italki and ended up taking several lessons the week before the trip.
    5. Have an unscripted chat in Hungarian // Before I went to Hungary, I wanted to try to make my way through a conversation in Hungarian without the help of my script.
    6. Learn all the words in Drops // There were about 2,500 words in Drops while I worked on this project.
    7. Use Hungarian around Budapest // To get some practice in before the big surprise.
    8. Surprise the founders of Drops // The project conclusion!

    You can watch my project introduction video for more context:

    To Sum Up

    I plan on sharing updates for each of the milestones over on the Drops blog so you can follow along with my progress. Each post will include videos of where I’m at with the language as well as the exact steps I took to achieve each milestone.

    In the meantime, if you have any tips for me as a new Hungarian language learner or if you have any resource recommendations that you couldn’t have lived without, please let me know in the comments below.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    November 27, 2019 • Language Project, Language Resources • Views: 684

  • All Documented Language Learning Projects on Eurolinguiste

    Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to complete a variety of language learning projects. I’ve documented many of these, but before now, they weren’t easy to locate of follow.

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

    Learning Mandarin Chinese to Pass the HSK 4 Exam

    Bonus: 100+ Conversational Words & Phrases in Chinese

    Learning Russian

    Korean Language Project with Lindsay Does Languages

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

    Italian Language Refresh

    Learning Spanish

    Croatian for the Fi3M Challenge

    Bonus: 100+ Conversational Words & Phrases in Croatian

    Japanese for the Fi3M Challenge

    Bonus: 100+ Conversational Words & Phrases in Japanese

    Korean for the Fi3M Challenge

    What about you?

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

    March 12, 2018 • Language Project, Language Resources • Views: 251

  • New Language Project: Learning Japanese

    We’re getting ready to start a new year, so I’m excited to share my new language learning project with you! In 2018 I plan to learn Japanese. Today I want to detail my plan on how I am going to go about this.

    Getting Started with the Japanese Language

    Earlier this year, I decided that I wanted to learn Japanese. I started learning the alphabets and put together a quick introduction, but didn’t get much further.


    Because when I started the Fi3M Challenge back in September, I had to commit to just one language and for me, at that time, that was Croatian.

    But the Fi3M Challenge is now over, so I’m ready to get back to Japanese. Since I didn’t get far enough into my studies to remember anything beyond konnichiwa and genki deska, this means I need to start over completely. 

    Tackling the Japanese Writing Systems

    My first step will be to resume studying Hiragana and Katakana. Before my break, I had only studied Hiragana and was far from mastering it. I could recognize the letters/characters in the context of my flashcard app, but this wasn’t so much the case in other contexts. A review is certainly in order, followed by a thorough study of Katakana.

    Kanji I’ll study on an as-needs basis. I already know many characters (thanks to Chinese), so it really comes down to associated a new sound with them (and perhaps, even sometimes, meaning).

    The Conversational Approach

    Compared to my past projects, I’m going to learn Japanese differently. And differently for me means conversationally. My primary goal is to chat with native speakers, so my usual methods won’t really make sense in this context. I’m notoriously a book learner. And I also want to know everything… Why this? Why that? Where can I find an extremely detailed breakdown of this aspect of the language’s grammar? It’s going to be hard work for me to turn that desire off and focus on just what I need.

    Of course, learning a lot of vocabulary will be important to me, but I’m going to try to ignore the technical stuff until it gets in my way. But I will try not to get buried in grammar I don’t yet need like I did with Russian.

    The Resources I Plan to Use

    To start, I plan on using Memrise to work on the writing systems and to pick up new vocabulary. It’s my go-to resource for every language because I can customize my own decks (I add new words to my private deck after lessons) and study pre-made flashcards. I always have it with me since it’s loaded on my phone, so I can study anytime, anyplace.

    From there, I plan on using Lingualift as my first course book and Pimsleur as my first audio program.

    Eventually, I’ll add Assimil into the mix for both its book and its audio as well as JapanesePod101. And once I’m ready for it, I’ll begin lessons on iTalki.

    To Sum Up

    I have a few different resources I’m interested in trying out, but as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like to work with more than 3-5 language learning resources at any given time. It gets overwhelming and I find I’m not able to make as much progress when I study this why. I plan to make regular videos on Instagram and Youtube – so be sure to follow me there.

    In the meantime, if you have any tips for me as a new Japanese language learner or if you have any resource recommendations that you couldn’t have lived without, please let me know in the comments below.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    December 26, 2017 • Language Project, Language Resources • Views: 514