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I was Interviewed!

I'm on the Actual Fluency podcast! Talking about

  • motivation
  • learning languages with view of different goals
  • using tutors
  • studying Latin, Esperanto, Chinese, Indonesian

and more! Chris Broholm and me had a really interesting conversation.

Listen to the Actual Fluency podcast!

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Practise Numbers Using a Fun Game

If you're learning Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Persian, Thai, Khmer or any of the Indian languages, you're probably annoyed that they don't use Western numerals (0123456789) but other symbols for their numbers. These will require a lot of practise until you can read them as effortlessly as you can read Western numerals. So here's a fun way to practice, an addictive game that I adapted in a spare hour:

Sample board for the Chinese 2048 game

Play it at 2048 on LearnLangs!

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Indonesian Video Materials

I'm getting quite good at reading Indonesian - I've read more than 350 pages of parallel texts - so now is a good time to improve my listening comprehension. I asked friends for recommendations of online Indonesian videos and received the following recommendations:

Children's stories being read (subtitles in Indonesian)
Jalan Jalan Men, a fun travel series - The authors also do other fun series. (subtitles in English)

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Increasing Productive Language Hours

I've tried many to-do lists, dont-break-the-chain, habit builders and so on, but
a) They were all boring
b) They didn't support all the things I need to track, only one or two types of tasks / habits.

Since I freelance and have a lot of time to waste every day, I want something that lists everything: things I need to do today, deadlines coming up next week, productivity goals I want to meet every day, non-daily habits I want to encourage... and it should be fun to strike things off the list (without preventing recurrence).

I FOUND IT!

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Progress since January 2012

5 / 30 Foreign books read, i. e. excl. German + English
160 / 700 Total hours of lang. study

(This is manually updated, so not always up to date)

Results of 2013

My original goal was to do 700+ hours of language study this year and read 50 books (30 in languages other than German/English). Instead, I only managed 643 hours of language study and 32 books (22 in languages other than German/English), so I am quite disappointed in myself.

My final list of books:

Book 1: "B.A.f.H. - Das Neueste vom Bastard Assistant" by Florian Schiel
Book 2: "Το ταξίδι στη χώρα που δε βλέπουν τα μάτια..." by Αντώνης Καλογήρου
Book 3: "Io Alessandro" by Steven Pressfield
Book 4: "L'Irak du silence" by Marie de Varney

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Review of "Japanese Kanji & Kana: A Complete Guide to the Japanese Writing System"

Lately I've been getting back into Japanese, which I had studied for a few months last year around this time. (Read about my challenge "Understand Your Favourite TV Series in 30 Days".)

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iTalki Fall Challenge

I decided to join the italki Fall Challenge: Take 20 lessons until the end of September and they will give you the equivalent of $30 to use for your next classes.

Considering that there are a lot of teachers on italki who charge $6 or so for a 60 minute lesson, that's quite a sweet discount, if you were planning to take language lessons anyway.

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