Friday, December 26, 2008

2008 recap

Last year, at about this time I opened this blog. The plan was to learn a new language, perhaps Spanish or Japanese. After some meandering by March I settled on Russian. This did not prevent me from daydreaming but by December I managed to finish:

Pimsleur Russian I 1-20 (sad)
Vocabulearn I (woohoo!)
A handful of movies (watched repeatedly, ad nauseam)
Russian pictionary (600 words)
several children's stories
1 whole book
several audiobooks

I am not terribly satisfied but my comprehension of Russian has improved substantially.

On July 14, 2007 during a brief Russian exploratory stint I wrote:

"I also listened to the Russian audiobook channel. I actually understood a thing or two. In reality my comprehension was rather disappointing. Anyway, hopefully next week I will get out of my Russian dilemma (more of a gridlock) and finally settle on my future language lineup. I do not intend to drop anything I "officially" adopt."

I was trying to decide on my next language. I was also trying to figure out a long term list. I distinctly remember that spoken Russian was little more than gibberish. After "sampling" Russian I spent a couple of months on Japanese, learned 200 kanji, lost steam, zoomed through Pimsleur Spanish I in a couple of days, spent hundreds of dollars on learning materials, meandered and daydreamed until December when I made this New Year's Resolution to "learn" a new language. As it turned out that resolution was not broken. I was secretly hoping to really shine - it turned out that I barely managed to keep with my resolution. However, Russian is firmly in the list of languages I intend to keep studying and I managed to achieve a visible breakthrough. I managed to learn Russian to a weak but useable passive level.
I also spent some time on German ad Italian watching movies and TV programs. I neglected French which will need resuscitating in 2009.

Time to make a new resolution. This time I hope to be able to report more substantial results.

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