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Foreign Language Challenge

It’s been about a year since I said I was going to learn French, largely inspired by this post on the joys of learning a language.   I spent that year pecking away at it. I’m not fluent, but I’m a year better. Reading is coming much easier than speaking.

In September I’m going to ratchet it up a bit and enroll in some French classes so I can practice speaking more.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn a foreign language, I’d invite you to jump in with me.  There are four months left in the year.  I’m going to spend them studying.

I’ve got Spanish behind me.  I think I’ll be pretty confident with French in another year.  Not sure what’ll come next…

I’m only able to free up 15-30 minutes a day to study, and it’s been enough to make good progress, so it doesn’t necessarily take lots of time.

If you’re in, let me know what language you’re going to tackle.  And of course, for you pros, study tips are welcome.

Good luck!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Misty August 22, 2012, 1:03 pm

    I’ve had a lot of success with Finnish by following the techniques talked about at these sites:

    This is where I started:

    In general the idea is that classes aren’t really going to do much for you, though they may make a good supplement if class-based learning turns you on. Instead you can create an almost pseudo-immersion environment for yourself, and do sentence repetition daily. Definitely within the 15-30 minutes you have to spare.

    Good luck!

    • Josh Hanagarne August 22, 2012, 1:12 pm

      Thanks Misty. I’ve heard that Finnish is one of the hardest languages to learn. Would you agree?

  • Misty August 22, 2012, 1:15 pm

    Yes, it is definitely a challenge, since it requires positional thinking for just about every sentence. But it is very enjoyable nonetheless, and rewarding!

  • Matthias August 22, 2012, 4:48 pm

    The trickiest thing about French is the pronunciation (“en”, “an”, “on” all sound very similar, but are subtly different). Sentence structure is pretty straightforward (unlike, say, German). Your knowledge of Spanish will probably help a great deal.

    Bon chance!

  • Alisha August 23, 2012, 5:44 am

    If you ever want to practice, my husband knows French! I wish I did….

  • Heather August 23, 2012, 6:29 am

    I used to know some French, but the German I have learned is slowly shoving it out of my head. I’m not terribly fluent in Spanish, but I can understand some of it when I hear it. The reading, for me, has always been the easiest, especially for things written in Spanish or French–I can usually just translate the root words from the Latin, and after that I’m almost ok. Good luck with this Josh! Tres bien!

  • Tonja Steiner August 23, 2012, 7:37 am

    Thank you Josh, for reminding me of my goal to learn Spanish! I learned French as a child, going through an immersion program in school. I actually teach French immersion now. My husband and I are toying with the idea of someday retiring somewhere in South or Central America, so learning some Spanish would be pretty important. I find learning as an adult so different from learning as a child. What do you do with your 15-30 minutes a day of language training? Do you have a program?

  • Tonja Steiner August 23, 2012, 7:40 am

    Sorry, I was oblivious to the big image of your Plimsleur cover. I guess this is the program you are using. Is that how you learned Spanish too?

    • Josh Hanagarne August 23, 2012, 11:35 am

      I learned Spanish way back when as a missionary, but that was long ago…