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 🙂

9 Responses to About

  1. namsskogan says:

    Hello. I like your blog and your attitude to language learning. Although I don’t agree with you on everything related to language learning, have I found much that is inspirational. Keep up the good work.

  2. Felipe says:

    Hi from HTLAL,

    I enjoyed reading through your blog, very important and great information on here. Is there a way I can sign up for updates by email? Thanks

  3. doviende says:

    Hmm, I’m not exactly sure how to set up email updates, but I have an RSS feed available, which you can use in things like Google Reader to keep track of this and other blogs.

  4. Philip says:


    You have an interesting blog on language learning! You can write to me in German if you wish, since German is my mothertongue. Or we can use Chinese 😉

    I’ve been studying Chinese and currently I’m also learning Korean. I have a big interesting in languages and so I recently started my own blog “Thoughts on Language Learning” http://www.learnclick.com/blog

    In this blog I write about my quest on seeking for ways to improve my language learning, especially with the use of modern technology.

    Would you be interested doing a link exchange?


  5. Creativityjapanese says:

    I really love your blog! I learned a lot about learning techniques. I learned how I can apply these techniques and learn more effectively! Your entries are a great help! I’ll be putting your site on my blogroll!

    Looking forward to your entries!

  6. Also check out:

    It has some nice features like your own word lists, mouseover explanations, a loop flashcard feature, a text analyzer and a new text every week.


  7. stupid says:

    Hello! Thanks so much for this post, but I have a problem. I don’t know anything about using python, and I wondered if you could tell me how to do it? I have python installed, but I don’t know how to use the script on the hunalign output. I would really appreciate it if you could help!

  8. Jake says:

    I want to learn Spanish and just wandered into your website as I was browsing the web. I love the idea of reading science fiction and fantasy stuff since I am hooked on science fiction. I also live in Vancouver so I instantly got curious about your website. Anyway, if you have any more hints shot them my way. Thanks.

  9. yitayew says:

    how can get the source code. for hunalign?

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