Learning Languages to Have Fun

I'd have more fun if there wasn't a quarantine. I miss restaurants.

(This blog is the English translation of this week’s primary blog, which was originally written in Spanish.)

There are so many sources of advice for learning new languages ​​in the world. And, well, this blog might be one of them, although I’ve been very clear that I’m not an expert. I’m a student, trying and failing alongside everyone else, I’m not a guru with all the secrets. And, well, that may be because there is no guru with any real secrets, because the secret is hard work.

Okay, that’s not entirely fair, because some tips are very valuable, like ‘don’t focus on trying to speak too early, instead try to focus on comprehension,’ and it’s important to have a background of knowledge for how languages are learned, but after that, there is no magic bullet. To learn a new language, one must work. And that doesn’t sound like fun.

Wait, and why doesn’t it sound like fun? Nobody likes hard work, sure, but there are a lot of fun things that are also difficult, right? Ice skating isn’t easy and it takes effort, but isn’t it fun?

I think the most important thing in language learning is making sure you have fun. If you’ve spent hours and hours trying to read something boring and painful, you’re going to eventually give up, no matter how hard you try. If it’s not fun, it’s not engaging.

Some people advise that you ought to read more, and others that you ought to listen more, and they all have their favorite methods, but the most important factor is that you have fun while you work. Read books that are funny, or sad, or whatever, as long as you’re interested. Watch YouTube channels or Netflix shows that you would watch in your native language. Talk to people you like. If you work hard having fun, it doesn’t feel like work, you know? Which thing you do isn’t very important, just make sure they’re things you like.

With the quarantine right now, I see a lot complaints from people about boredom. Twitter is full of comments like “Hey, don’t tell me I need to see Tiger King again, I already watched it a month ago, I need new suggestions!” and I get it. The flow of time under quarantine is strange and uncomfortable, and nobody knows what to do. It feels like I’m trapped in a river of anxiety, boredom, fear, and sadness, and like everyone, I want to escape reality from time to time. My Spanish studies help me with that feeling, and if you feel exhausted by everything, maybe learning a new language can help you too.

Well, let’s see the numbers for the week.

Tuesday 5/12

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 7% of Estirpe de Reyes, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Wednesday 5/13

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 7% of Estirpe de Reyes, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Arte Divierte, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Thursday 5/14

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 2% of Estirpe de Reyes, ~30 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Andrea Ga, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, 1 episode of Plano de Juego, ~120 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Friday 5/15

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 9% of Estirpe de Reyes, ~120 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 1 episode of She-Ra, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Saturday 5/16

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 2% of Estirpe de Reyes, ~30 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 1 episode of She-Ra, ~30 minutes
  • Writing: ~900 words written, ~90 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Sunday 5/17

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 2% of Estirpe de Reyes, ~30 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Kiwillius, 1 episode of She-Ra, ~120 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Monday 5/18

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 7% of Estirpe de Reyes, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 3 episodes of She-Ra, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes
  • Total Duolingo: 140 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total reading: 1/3 books read, 480 minutes
  • Total watching/listening: 13 YouTube episodes and 6 television episodes watched, 510 minutes
  • Total writing: 900 words written, 90 minutes
  • Total speaking: reading out loud, 210 minutes
  • Total Time: 18 hours 0 minutes

A pretty good week. Thursday was weird because I had a short day at work because of a doctor’s appointment, so I treated it like the weekend. Next week will be strange too, because I’ll need to work that Saturday. That doesn’t excite me that much. Oh well, I’ll survive.

I’m nearing the end of Estirpe de Reyes, and I’ll probably finish it next week. There’s only one more book in the series after this one. That didn’t excite me that much, either, but there’ll be more book series to read in the future.

The last season of She-Ra came out this week, and my listen/watch numbers are going to include it very often for a little while. At the same time, there’re a ton of things on YouTube that I want to see, so my days are full. I can’t complain about that, no sir.

Well, I think that’s enough. This blog ended a little short, but I don’t have much to talk about currently. The world is so strange these days, and I am starting to feel like the weeks are repeating over and over again. I hope normality will return someday. Until then, TTFN.

4 thoughts on “Learning Languages to Have Fun

  1. that’s what i do. i don’t even have enough time to get through all the stuff i want to consume so obviously i’m not wasting time on stuff i don’t like. right now i am watching high school rapper 2 and plan on watching high school rapper 3, show me the money 8 and superbee rap academy. these are all korean stuff.

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  2. i’m dabbling in french and wasted time finishin the little prince. it’s a terrible childrens’ story. i am surprisd it’s famous. then i learnd my lesson and dumped the stranger a few paragraphs in. it’s clear that even if i was fluent in french, i would not get enjoyment out of it. right nwo i’m reading Size Zero: My Life as a Disappearing Model in french along with the english translation. it’s definitely more readable/interesting to me then the previous 2 things i read in french.

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