Wednesday is ‘Language Update Day’

I figure a good way to make my studying more accountable is to write a little more about it. I often get a lot of people emailing to ask how I juggle multiple languages and to provide tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the years. While I don’t profess to have a magic solution to make you fluent in minutes, hopefully by sharing my learning process more frequently not only will I be able to keep track of my learning better but you’ll be able to see the work that goes in behind the scenes!

At the moment because I’m currently preparing for the highest level of TOPIK (the Korean proficiency exam), every other language I have on the go has been forced to take a bit of a back seat while I get my Korea-game on. I’m currently aiming for 1 hour+ per day of Korean studying which is normally working out at about 90 minutes. Of this about an hour is spent inputting vocab on Anki and the remaining 30 minutes is spent on grammar review. The two books I’m currently using are Link Korean’s ‘TOPIK VOCA 2500’ Vocabulary prep book and Darakwon’s ‘Advanced Korean Grammar in Use’. I’ve worked through a lot of Korean textbooks now and while neither of these two are my favourite, they still rank fairly highly. There are a lot of translation mistakes (Kor->Eng) in the TOPK Voca 2500 but these don’t really pose an issue as I rarely read the translations. My thinking is that at this level, if you’re having to rely on the translations then you should be using an easier textbook.

As my time in the Philippines draws to a close (I can’t believe I’ve been here a month!), I’m saddened and somewhat slightly peeved with myself about the fact that I still haven’t read beyond the first chapter of my ‘Tagalog for Beginners’ book. I started combatting this yesterday by completing Lesson 1 – Introductions and today will be finishing off Lesson 2.

My Tagalog currently amounts to the following: “Kumusta po kayo? Ako si Anna. Negosyante ako. Nagtatrabaho aka sa Accenture. Ako and uminom ng tubig. Gusto mo ba ng isa pang puto?

Which all translates to: “How are you? I’m Anna. I’m a businesswoman. I work for Accenture. I drank water. Would you like another ricecake?”

I know – super useful, right?

Given the amount of time I’m spending on the road/in the air these days, I’m looking to move a lot more of my language online. This is quite a transition for me because I’m a pretty old school learner. I like having textbooks to hold and annotate and I love writing things out – I used to firmly believe that was how I learn things. While I have no idea that that’s still how I learn things, it’s a horribly inefficient way of learning. It’s uber time-consuming, it means I go through a pen a week (which, given my penchant for MUJI and other more expensive Asian stationary brands, adds up fast!) and it’s inconvenient – textbooks are heavy.

I’ve recently installed a number of language learning apps to complement my faithful friend Anki including DuoLingo, Busuu, Memrise and StickyStudy. As I use them more frequently, I’ll be writing reviews to let you know how I’m getting on!

Leave a Reply