This is my personal blog about my language learning experiences. Sometimes I put up links to resources that I find useful, but I also detail my day to day activities and my progress.
I really got interested in learning languages in 2000, when I worked for a dot-com startup here in Vancouver. We had 8 Japanese co-workers, but they always seemed to hang out separately from the rest of us. Some of them spoke excellent English, others not so much, so I decided I should try to learn some Japanese. I got lots of encouragement from them, and then we all started to hang out together. Some of the other English speakers also started to learn Japanese, and everyone grew closer together. It was a great personal experience, and I eventually got to go on a business trip to Tokyo for 2 weeks too.
Since then, I started learning whatever languages I heard around me. I’ve dabbled in quite a few, but never really figured out how to get good at any. In 2006 I decided it was time for me to focus more, so I signed up for an intensive Chinese program at a local university, and then I went on a 7 month exchange to China. Nowadays I can figure out Chinese novels somewhat and get by in conversation, although it still needs more work.
(Update: I’m currently living in Berlin, working on my German. I’ll be back in Vancouver in 2011)
My long-term goals are to fluently speak Mandarin, German, Spanish, and Punjabi. German is the language my grandparents speak, and was my mom’s first language, and the other 3 languages are very commonly spoken here in Vancouver, Canada. Beyond that, I’d like to learn more if I can. Italian might be pretty easy after already learning Spanish, and given the wealth of video and literary materials available. Cantonese would be a challenging one, but there are many native speakers here too and there are tons of TV series and videos available to watch, so it’s doable. We’ll see how things go in a few years 🙂