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Neil Kendall Languages

The language learning challenge

An update on my language learning journey

August 11, 2017

Hi all, it's been a while since I wrote a blog post here, so I just thought I would write about how my language learning journey is going! In addition to Spanish, Japanese and Scottish Gaelic, I started learning German in April this year too.

Since I completed the Linkword Spanish course, I have also gone through the Michel Thomas Spanish courses (foundation, advanced and the language builder) and Earwords Spanish (Volumes 1, 2 and 3) and I have been building up my vocabulary by learning the most popular everyday verbs for most life situations. I have a Spanish contact in Colombia who has been really helpful with this. In addition to this, I've been using a Spanish flashcard website to further increase my vocabulary of nouns and other everyday vocabulary.

I joined some language exchange websites too, to practice writing in Spanish with native speakers (in exchange for helping them with their English). I regularly read articles on the Spanish website marca.com too. I am delighted with my progress in Spanish, and am well on the way to a high level of fluency.

For Scottish Gaelic, I have mostly been learning with a BBC Alba programme called 'Speaking Our Language', which I watch on Youtube. There are 4 series, 72 episodes in total. I am currently about 2 thirds of the way through series 3, and am very happy with my progress. Although I have a lot of work to do, I feel I'm getting there with Scottish Gaelic. A lot of my family speaks Gaelic, as do some people I know around Inverness, and I sometimes get a bit of Gaelic conversation practice in with them. I look forward to completing all 4 series of 'Speaking Our Language' within the next few months, and then I will move on to learning in more detail the grammar of Gaelic.

For Japanese, I completed the Michel Thomas Method Advanced Japanese course and this has helped expand my knowledge of the verb structures of Japanese, and has given me more scope for expressing myself in a wide variety of situations. I have also gradually been going through the Earworms Japanese course (volumes 1 and 2), and from time to time I revise the vocabilary I learned in Linkword Japanese. I'm definitely improving my Japanese all the time, however I still have not learned the writing systems, and I still need to learn the verb structure for the plain/non-formal form of the language. These are my next steps in Japanese.

For German, I've been going through several courses. I have completed the Paul Noble German and Michel Thomas German (foundation and advanced) courses, as well as been going through Linkword German too. I have currently finished level 3 of Linkword German, and will start level 4 soon. Once I have completed the Linkword course, I will move on to Earworms German to further consolidate what I know, then boost up my verb vocabulary etc to get more fluent. I am really happy with how I'm doing with German - it is definitely a trickier language than Spanish and Japanese, mainly because of the genders of nouns and other grammar points. I will do a review of Linkword German once I complete it, and will discuss in more depth the complexities of German and how Linkword deals with them.

So my polyglot journey is still very much alive and I am really enjoying it! I still have plans to learn French, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and more, but my current priority is to reach fluency in the languages I've been studying this year and then I will move on to more languages.

I will write some more blog posts soon on different aspects of language learning, so stay tuned!

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