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.