Monthly Archives: March 2016

So what’s with this talk of Italian, anyway?

When I started learning Spanish, I didn’t really have any intention of learning multiple languages. After all, I’d gotten along quite fine with two languages for the first 35 years of my life!

But then I fell in love with Spanish, and – even more surprisingly – with the process of learning Spanish.

I started this blog which, in hindsight, was rather poorly named. If I’d bothered reading any language blogs before actually starting my own, I would have known better than to use the tired word “fluent” in the title. Regardless, I started blogging. I also started participating in language forums, first at How to Learn Any Language, and now at my new favourite place, A Language Learners’ Forum.

It turns out that I really enjoy belonging to this open, welcoming club of language learners!

Spanish still is, and I suspect always will be, my true language love. But I’ve also started dabbling in other languages. My Spanish is strong enough that I can relax with native media, and use focused learning time to play with other languages. I have an on-again-off-again relationship with Tagalog. I played around a bit with Esperanto when Duolingo released its new course. And now, Italian has caught my eye.

We’re planning a whirlwind two-week Italian road trip in July with my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and my teenaged niece and nephew. So, why not learn some Italian? Right?

When I started learning Spanish, I jumped all over the place. I had fun. I learned quickly. I enjoyed every step of the way. I was anything but organized, but it was ok because I was having a great time!

Now, although learning Italian is a less serious goal, my approach to learning is much more purposeful. I know how I learn best, I know about many more resources, and I know that I can do this. (Oh yeah, and I also know Spanish, which apparently makes this whole Italian thing a lot easier!)

How I’m learning Italian

* please note: step one should probably be “learn Spanish”. Ha!

How I'm learning Italian

It turns out that making these is pretty fun!

Over the next few weeks, as I fan away the clouds of dust from my poorly neglected blog, I hope to share a variety of different things:

  • Spanish book, TV show and podcast recommendations – I’ve done a lot of reading, watching and listening since I last posted!
  • some great new Tagalog resources that I’m creating with my extraordinary Tagalog teachers
  • reviews of resources for Spanish, Italian and Esperanto learners
  • general language-learning reflections, including how I’m learning to balance multiple languages
  • books, books, beautiful books
  • travel and languages – 2016 is shaping up to be a big travel year for us!

Happy language learning, everyone!

Hello Again

I spent the better part of the afternoon responding to comments from a year ago and deleting 16 948 junk emails from my inbox. That’s what happens when you forget to install a spam filter and then stop checking your email for months.

What’s happened in the past 16 months?

Well, my Spanish has improved – slowly, slowly, but ever onward.

I quit Tagalog.

I started Tagalog again.

I quit Tagalog.

I started Tagalog again.

I learned a bit of Esperanto, just for fun.

I quit Tagalog.

Six days ago I started learning Italian.

And I think I’m about to start Tagalog again.

While other languages have come and go, my one constant has been Spanish. I’ve now been learning Spanish for 2 years and 11 months. Some days I’ll binge watch Spanish TV for hours, and other days I’ll spend five minutes skimming over an article or two, but every day I do something.

Next year will be a big year for language learning. We’re planning on spending several months of immersion in Guatemala, with some travel around Central America. Before Guatemala, we’re going to rent a car and drive around Italy for 10 days, which is why I borrowed a half-dozen library books with some variation of “Learn to Speak Italian in Minutes a Day” in the title.

My head is full of ideas, and I miss spilling those ideas out on this blog. It’s been a long time since I’ve written. I’ve thought about reviving this space on several occasions, but I just never knew where to start.

Well, here I am…starting.

It’s time to open the drapes and blow away the clouds of dust in here!