A Look Back on Two Years of Language Learning Progress

Been learning Spanish for 2 years, still don't code switch accidentalmente.

Well, year two of this blog has ended and this blog marks the start of year three.  A lot has happened over the course of this running time, and I’ve seen a huge amount of growth in my language skills. That growth hasn’t come easy, as I’ve devoted a huge amount of time and effort toward learning, and thanks to this logging project, it’s easy to look back and see just how much I’ve put into it.

First, as I’ve been keeping a running tally every six months, let’s take a look at the numbers from the previous capstone blog, showing where we got at the end of 18 months.  At the end of the time, my efforts looked like this:

  • Total Anki: 21,960 cards reviewed, 1,830 minutes (30 hours 30 minutes)
  • Total Duolingo: 103,423 XP, 9,480 minutes (158 hours)
  • Total Watching/Listening: 585 tv episodes, 56 2/3 podcasts, 13 movies, 3 OVAs, and 379 youtube videos watched, 26,105 minutes (435 hours 5 minutes)
  • Total reading: 877 chapters, 41 2/3rds whole books, 3 video games, and 94 pages read, 54,565 minutes (909 hours 25 minutes)
  • Total writing: 10,900 words written, 1,410 minutes (23 hours 30 minutes)
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 13,260 minutes (221 hours)
  • Total Time: 1,535 hours 20 minutes

I am still surprised looking over these numbers, because it’s just a lot, you know?  It really shows just how much everything adds up over time and snowballs to something huge.  At the end of the 18 month mark, I was going through a rocky period where I’d needed to scale back on my Spanish time thanks to real life things, and the raw total is still just huge.  For the details on that six month chunk, and on the other capstone blogs, refer back here, here, and here.

Meanwhile, I’m super curious how things ended up turning out from this six months of work.  It was a rocky six months, thanks to me changing careers at the start of it and the market crashing in the middle.  I wrote off a big chunk of time as “can’t be helped” time and saw a major dip in numbers for a while there, before managing to get things back to a sense or normalcy.  I wasn’t sure last blog if I’d hit 2k hours by the end of the two year mark, and I’m super curious if I ended up getting there.

December, 2019

  • Total Duolingo: 620 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total Watching/Listening: 17 tv episodes, 37 youtube videos, and 14 podcasts, 1,950 minutes
  • Total reading: 2(ish) whole books and 1.5 video game cases read, 2,020 minutes
  • Total writing: 1200 words written, 150 minutes
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 720 minutes
  • Total Time: 68 hours 40 minutes

January, 2020

  • Total Duolingo: 620 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total Watching/Listening: 11 tv episodes, 45 youtube videos, and 14 podcasts, 1,990 minutes
  • Total reading: 1 and 1/3 whole books and 2 video game cases read, 2,790 minutes
  • Total writing: 1100 words written, 150 minutes
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 720 minutes
  • Total Time: 79 hours 40 minutes

February, 2020

  • Total Duolingo: 580 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total Watching/Listening: 24 tv episodes, 37 youtube videos, and 3 podcasts, 1,810 minutes
  • Total reading: 1 and 1/5 whole books and 1.5 video game cases read, 1,920 minutes
  • Total writing: 1000 words written, 120 minutes
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 720 minutes
  • Total Time: 64 hours 10 minutes

March, 2020

  • Total Duolingo: 620 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total Watching/Listening: 21 tv episodes, 51 youtube videos, 1 movie, and 2 podcasts, 2,310 minutes
  • Total reading: 1 and 1/4 whole books read, 1,750 minutes
  • Total writing: 1000 words written, 120 minutes
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 930 minutes
  • Total Time: 69 hours 40 minutes

April, 2020

  • Total Duolingo: 600 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total Watching/Listening: 24 tv episodes, 58 youtube videos, 1 movie, and 2 podcasts, 2,190 minutes
  • Total reading: 1 and 3/4 whole books read, 2,320 minutes
  • Total writing: 1000 words written, 120 minutes
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 900 minutes
  • Total Time: 77 hours 10 minutes

May, 2020

  • Total Duolingo: 620 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total Watching/Listening: 32 tv episodes, 63 youtube videos, and 1 movie, 2,600 minutes
  • Total reading: 1 and 1/2 whole books read, 2,160 minutes
  • Total writing: 900 words written, 90 minutes
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 930 minutes
  • Total Time: 80 hours 50 minutes

Six Month Grand Total

  • Total Duolingo: 3,660 XP, 0 minutes (0 hours)
  • Total Watching/Listening: 129 tv episodes, 35 podcasts, 3 movies, and 291 youtube videos watched, 12,850 minutes (214 hours 10 minutes)
  • Total reading: 9 whole books and 5 video game cases read, 12,960 minutes (216 hours 0 minutes)
  • Total writing: 6,200 words written, 750 minutes (12 hours 30 minutes)
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 4,920 minutes (82 hours)
  • Total Time: 442 hours 40 minutes

And the running grand total for the blog:

  • Total Anki: 21,960 cards reviewed, 1,830 minutes (30 hours 30 minutes)
  • Total Duolingo: 107,083 XP, 9,480 minutes (158 hours)
  • Total Watching/Listening: 714 tv episodes, 91 2/3 podcasts, 16 movies, 3 OVAs, and 670 youtube videos watched, 38,955 minutes (649 hours 15 minutes)
  • Total reading: 877 chapters, 50 2/3rds whole books, 3 video games, 5 video game cases, and 94 pages read, 67,525 minutes (1,125 hours 25 minutes)
  • Total writing: 17,100 words written, 2,160 minutes (36 hours 0 minutes)
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 18,180 minutes (303 hours)
  • Total Time: 1,999 hours 10 minutes

Oh man, so freaking close!  I’m actually over the 2k hour mark as of this blog thanks to Monday’s numbers, but jeeze, it would have looked so much better if I’d managed to get it on this recap.  What a bummer!

Okay, aside from that final number being so tantalizingly close, there really is a lot to be proud of here.  Things took a dip these last six months, but I’ve kept going regardless.  I’m impressed by how even the numbers over just these six months got between watching/listening and reading, thanks in large part to the current plan of throwing lots of time into watching/listening over the weekend and leaving the reading for the work week.  Conversely, writing, the thing I spend the least amount of time on (that isn’t an abandoned tool), seems adorably quaint at just 36 hours.

Anyway, despite the ups and downs, I’m pleased with what I could accomplish this last six months in spite of everything.  It’s been a rough six months for everybody, I think, and it kind of feels silly to even be reflecting on it in this mostly abstracted manner, barely acknowledging the real world events that have shaped that time beyond how they indirectly impacted what I could get done.  Life goes on, though, and this blog project is a big part of mine, so it is what it is.  Where things get tricky is trying to figure out what this might look like over the next six months.  Honestly, I have no idea.  Things have been stable at work for me just recently, but that could always change again, and as things move into further unrest, it’s hard to make plans for anything.  I’ve already come to terms with abandoning making solid plans for the year, so I’m not going to worry about not having goals in mind for the next six months of this blog.

I mean, aside from the Secret Project I’ve hinted at that I’ll probably be getting started on within the next month, but that hardly counts, and also doesn’t exist, shh.

In truth, though, I’m going to take these last six months as a victory.  Things have been rough in the world, I’ve been frequently stressed out and sad, I started hormone replacement therapy and had to do through lots of new emotional changes, and I’ve still managed to stay on strong with this project.  Here’s to the next six months and whatever they bring.  I’m cautiously optimistic about it.

Now, let’s take a look at this week’s numbers, which got us so close to 2k, but yet didn’t go far enough.

Tuesday 5/26

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Ducktales, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, 1 episode of Arte Divierte, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Wednesday 5/27

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Ducktales, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Thursday 5/28

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Friday 5/29

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 3 episodes of Ducktales, ~70 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Saturday 5/30

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 1% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~30 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Kiwillius, 4 episodes of Ducktales, ~120 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Sunday 5/31

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 1% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~30 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 3 episodes of Ducktales, 2 episodes of Gravity Falls, ~120 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Monday 6/01

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 4% of El Bucanero del Rey, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Ducktales, 1 episode of Daniel San GMR, ~60 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes
  • Total Duolingo: 140 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total reading: 1/5 books read, 510 minutes
  • Total watching/listening: 6 YouTube episodes and 18 television episodes watched, 550 minutes
  • Total speaking: reading out loud, 210 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 hours 40 minutes

I really can’t tease this week, it was honestly rather solid.  Thanks to the long weekend last week, work overall was a little bit busier than normal, so I couldn’t do much Above and Beyond reading or anything.  I managed to keep things solid, though.

I’m about a third of the way through El Bucanero del Rey, and I gotta be honest, I’m not liking it all that much.  It’s okay, but it hasn’t been my favorite of the Riftwar series so far.  It seems to be picking up a little, so maybe I’ll end up eating my words, but currently I’m kinda over it.  I suppose that’s a little bit of a blessing, since it’s the last in the Riftwar series that’s available in Spanish, and I’m not going to be bemoaning that as loudly as I would if I was champing at the bit for the next one.  Still a little bemoanful, though, finding book series to take up my reading time can be a bit of a challenge.

I’m full steaming ahead on watching Ducktales, which has gotten more interesting as it’s gone on.  I finished off season 1 this week and am making my way through season 2.  I also gave Gravity Falls a try, a show I’ve never seen and know nothing about, though I’ve heard generally good things.  It seems up my alley, so I’m gonna keep up with it a bit, too.  I’d like to layer in some higher difficulty listening with those shows, too, but some of these shows are really grabby and I just want to keep going.  Not a bad problem to have.

I’ve already spoiled these numbers higher, but May is over now, so we can go through that wrap up with more focus now, too.

  • Total Duolingo: 620 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total Watching/Listening: 32 tv episodes, 63 youtube videos, and 1 movie, 2,600 minutes
  • Total reading: 1 and 1/2 whole books read, 2,160 minutes
  • Total writing: 900 words written, 90 minutes
  • Total Speaking: reading out loud, 930 minutes
  • Total Time: 80 hours 50 minutes

And here’s the breakdown for money spent.

  • Estirpe de Reyes, Fiction, Ebook, Amazon, $8.65
  • El Bucanero del Rey, Fiction, Ebook, Amazon, $8.65
  • Netflix Subscription Standard HD Plan, Television and Movie Streaming, $10.99 per month, $10.99
  • Disney+ Subscription, Television and Movie Streaming, $6.99 per month, $6.99
  • Amount Spent on Fiction Books: $17.30
  • Amount Spent on Services: $17.98
  • Total Spent: $35.28

A good and solid month that was a nice way to cap off the last six, but just a little too light to hit 2k hours, apparently.  No, but for real, as things have balanced out it’s gotten easier and easier to be consistent with Spanish time and not feel overwhelmed.  The progress feels good and I don’t feel like I’m spinning my wheels all that much, though I wish my listening comprehension was just a little sharper than it is.  It’s starting to feel like I’m very close to it being ‘good enough,’ as I’m confident listening in most situations.  I do still occasionally get overwhelmed and feel like I’m knocked back a couple squares.  It’s getting better, though, I really am nearly there.

As I get ready to report my writing numbers, I reaffirm that I’m cutting myself slack here, since I still haven’t gotten back into fiction writing.  I wrote 7,802 words for blogs over May, and I have nothing else to report.  That said, it feels like my slack is starting to run out, because I’m overall moving in a better direction emotionally and don’t feel too overwhelmed to write anymore.  I think I’ll try to work on that soon, provided things don’t continue to get worse over the coming weeks.  The world’s really going through a rough patch.

Moving into June, I’m not setting any major goals for what I’d like to accomplish, because, well, world on fire, but I have some vague ideas here, including that Not-So-Secret-Project I keep sprinkling in here, as much as a tease for you as it is a way to force myself to actually do it.  It may need to be delayed, though.  Who knows!

Anyway, I’ve gone on for long enough, so that’ll do for this one.  TTFN.

2 thoughts on “A Look Back on Two Years of Language Learning Progress

    1. It’s a rough guess, but I’d say my reading comprehension is C1 and edging into C2 territory, while my listening comprehension is closer to B2. My output abilities are under-developed because I haven’t put much time into practicing that, so they’re probably more in the A2/B1 range, though I think I could get both of them up to B2 if I devoted time to working on them.

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