Language Log #3: Looking back and ahead

Last year (summer 2016) I started learning Korean. It wasn’t exactly a bucket list language, but I joined an evening class with a friend. I had a really fun year learning it, but unfortunately this summer classes ended (not enough people interested, sadly). I continued studying on my own, with the goal of passing TOPIK I in November this year. I was quite ambitious about what level I wanted to reach with Korean. I found it a relatively ‘easy’ language to learn thanks to my background in Japanese (and a little Mandarin). In my case, it’s a perfect language for self-study.

Well… to be honest, my motivation went down right around the time I started learning Russian. It’s a small miracle, but despite focusing on Russian more, I actually passed the TOPIK I exam! The very lowest level, and by the tiniest margin (1 point, haha), but I did it. But these past few months I also realised… and I’m embarrassed to say this… I’m not that interested in Korean. I wish I could say I’m eager to watch movies or drama series, read books, and otherwise immerse myself in the language, but… I’m not. I think I will casually continue studying it whenever I do feel like it, probably using Talk To Me In Korean, but otherwise..? I’m not sure.

As for Russian… The last language log I wrote was back in August. That was right after I started learning Russian and right before my Russian course began. I had fallen head over heels in love with Russian. And I am still head over heels in love with Russian. It was only natural that the past few months Russian has become my priority (not in the least because Russian class was a lot harder than Korean had ever been). Russian classes are fun (no, hilarious), and I can’t believe I’m actually interested in a language that uses grammatical gender and cases (I’ve been avoiding both like the plague). Who would’ve thought.

What will 2018 bring? I am definitely continuing my Russian course. That really is my only focus for next year. I hope to get to CEFR level A1.2 by summer, and after that we’ll see.

A little status update on my languages..:

I’m not actively studying Japanese at the moment. My Japanese is pretty stable, so my main aim right now is maintaining. I’m occasionally reviewing old courses on Memrise, and I’m still watching a lot of movies and the occasional drama series. And it’d be nice to finally finish Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 😉
Level: Between JLPT N2 and N1
Goal: Maintaining

I haven’t really studied German since high school (and I’m not going to tell you how long ago that has been). My passive German is still excellent though. I can read almost anything I want (some things more quickly than others) and hope to read some more novels over time. I still listen to a lot of German musicals and visit our German neighbours every now and then. German is definitely not a priority, but I do enjoy some occasional Duolingo.
Level: B2? Passively fluent? Or what I’d like to describe as ‘chaotic intermediate’
Goal: Maintaining

I’ve taken Korean classes for a year. I am surprised how smoothly the whole learning experience has been so far, for which I have both my teacher and my Japanese knowledge to thank. I will not be continuing classes, but might do the occasional self-studying.
Level: CEFR A1.2 / TOPIK I level 1
Goal: No idea…

I haven’t taken classes in years. I’ve given up on Mandarin for the most part because, for me, pronunciation/tones is hopeless. However, there are some travel plans so I’d like to practice the basics.
Level: Technically A2.2, but honestly, who knows?
Goal: Get back to touristy-conversational level

Only started taking classes this year, but am hopelessly in love and plan to continue! There are some travel opportunities coming up in 2018 so…
Level: CEFR A 1.1
Goal: World domination


  1. Wow, that’s nice to hear about Russian! How come your class is hilarious lol? Also let me know if you want to do a group read for something in Japanese (or in German for that matter!) For 2018 I pledged to read more in Japanese and thus less of the GR books of the month, sadly. Oh and I’ve started Indonesian which I want to get up to a “touristy-conversational” level, to borrow your expression!

    Congrats on TOPIK!

    • Indonesian! That’s so cool 😀

      Our class is hilarious mostly thanks to our teacher (she’s the best), classmates and the necessary Russia-jokes 😉

      I’d love to join in on a Japanese group read! Although I’m not sure how active/motivated I’ll be, so probably not something too long… Maybe we can do another story from that one collection?
      Carola recently posted… Language Log #3: Looking back and aheadMy Profile

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