Hi all, I’m back from a busy holiday season, and I’m ready to start the new year. Corresponding with some of my travel plans and my enthusiasm, my projects for 2010 will be German, Esperanto, and Swedish.

Currently I can happily read most German items I stumble upon, and enjoy reading novels. My spoken abilities definitely leave something to be desired, though. My Swedish is currently at “basic” level, wherein I have some beginner understanding of everyday phrases and of the general features of the language. My Esperanto is a fast-moving train, since it’s so easy to learn. After 43 hours of study, I can figure out a lot of stuff on wikipedia already, and I’m getting a lot more of the podcasts I’m listening to.

Since starting both Swedish and Esperanto from scratch about a month ago, my methods have mostly involved randomly picking through several different “instructional” materials to pick up the basic ideas and concepts, and then moving quickly to real native content in the form of books. For Swedish I’m working my way through the Swedish translation of The Hobbit (“Hobbiten”), with the accompanying Swedish audiobook. For Esperanto, I’m reading some wikipedia, and some of Le Monde Diplomatique. I just ordered a copy of The Hobbit in Esperanto too, so when that arrives I’ll be able to compare all three language versions.

Because of the speed at which I seem to be learning Esperanto, I’m going to mostly concentrate on that this month in order to really jump-start it. My goal is to break the 100-hour mark by January 31. The hope is that this will leave me at a place that makes further learning very easy, because I’ll be able to understand quite a bit and read easily. Then I can just put it on cruise-control by occasionally reading and listening over the next several months. After that, I’m considering going to the SES (Summer Esperanto Study / Somera Esperanto-Studado) in Slovakia in the first week of July. This sounds like it may be a fun opportunity to practice speaking with a bunch of other people at the same level.

For Swedish, I plan to do little bits of practice during January, and then move back into it full time for February / March / April. I’ll be adding sentences as flashcards in Anki (which I’m still doing for German and Esperanto too), and I’ll also be watching some of the Swedish films I’ve been slowly acquiring and listening to some audiobooks.

All of this is subject to change, so I’ll probably add some more details as I go along, but for now I’ve got my short-term goal of about 60 more hours of Esperanto study in January to reach that 100 hour mark. Until that’s reached, everything else is for later.


5 Responses to 2010

  1. WC says:

    I’m quite a bit lazier about it than you, but I’m learning Esperanto as well. I’ve got an Anki SRS deck that I’m using for ‘study’, and I’m reading Gerda Malaperis while looking up the words I don’t understand.

    I’ve also ordered La Hobito (The Hobbit in Esperanto, obviously) and I’m looking forward to working through that as well… Probably a few times. Alicio En Mirlando is on my list of reads as well.

  2. doviende says:

    here’s a copy of Alicio en Mirlando online, with dictionary lookups if you click on any word in the text.

    • WC says:

      Oh wow. Thank you so much! I’ll likely still buy it, so I can read it on the go, but that’s -much- better than the other online version I found.

  3. Just thought I’d drop a quick line to mention how I’ve been enjoying these posts where you’re breaking down what you’re doing by how much time you spend. Very interesting to see how you’ve been progressing.

    And you’re making me want to read Harry Potter, The Hobbit, etc., in a bunch of different languages too…

  4. Bernardo Verda says:

    My experience has been that original Esperanto literature is generally easier and more pleasant to read than translations from some national/ethnic language.

    I assume that this is because most translators either unconsciously or even deliberately retain the word-ordering and other linguistic structure of the original work, rather than following the more natural flow of “native” Esperanto composition.

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