January 2022 Monthly Recap

I can't say I'm hating the year as of yet, but it IS on thin ice, hear me?

Holy crow, it’s already February somehow, let’s look back on the week’s numbers.

Tuesday 1/25

  • Duolingo: 10 lessons, ~60 minutes

Wednesday 1/26

  • Duolingo: 10 lessons, ~60 minutes

Thursday 1/27

Friday 1/28

  • Duolingo: 10 lessons, ~60 minutes

Saturday 1/29

  • Duolingo: 10 lessons, ~60 minutes

Sunday 1/30

  • Duolingo: 10 lessons, ~60 minutes

Monday 1/31

  • Duolingo: 10 lessons, ~60 minutes

Total Time: 7 hours 0 minutes

Things are looking pretty samey on this, and probably will for a while.  I’m starting to feel pretty good that I can actually handle this project and that Japanese isn’t too much for me.  I tend to be an optimistic person and approached the start of this leg of my language learning journey with an open mind, though a nervous one, too, as I wasn’t positive I could actually manage to pull it off.  Learning Spanish had been a difficult journey for me to get where I wanted to get with it, but I went in with all the advantages laid out for me.  I had no other languages besides my native English to start out, but I grew up in a part of the US where I have been surrounded by Spanish, and it was what I took in school, even if I didn’t retain much, so it was the language other than my native tongue I’d had the most exposure to.  Additionally, Spanish and English have some common ancestry, so I have the leg-up on it with lots of cognates and related words to draw on.  There was a ton and a half of Spanish to learn, but I wasn’t going in empty-handed.

Japanese, on the other hand, is something I have very little background knowledge of.  Not none, mind you, as any self-respecting trans lesbian furry in her thirties I also grew up a weeb, so I have some exposure through anime, but not enough to really learn anything, maybe a handful of words that stuck in my brain.  And though there was the faintest hint of exposure there, Japanese is not related to English or Spanish at all, so there is zero foundational knowledge I can draw upon when learning it, the only words that are going to be familiar to me are those that are loanwords from languages I speak.  Not even the way it’s written is familiar to me, and I’ve been spending most of the last few months working on this shoving Japanese characters into my brain, and despite my nervousness, I was feeling good because it seemed to be working.

That feeling of optimism is holding strong, and as I said, I’m feeling more confident this can be something I can focus on for the long-term.  Picking up characters and beginning to recognize them was a good feeling, but it isn’t exactly a huge confidence builder, really, because it’s just that, some sounds and shapes, with maybe the occasional word I was picking up.  It has, however, progressed from there into more complex things, and I’m being given full sentences and learning how to parse them out, and being asked to take a series of characters and assemble them into a sentence with meaning and being able to do that.  It’s complex and hard compared to learning Spanish, but simpler in some other ways, too, as I’ve found that wrapping my head around the difference in sentence structure—which for Japanese is very different than English—was easier than it was for Spanish, which is frankly much closer to English.  The experience of learning the second language has made it easier to adapt my thinking in that way for the third, and that’s a pretty great feeling.

I still feel like I have an absolute mountain to scale in just Duolingo before I’m ready to start in on stories and shows, but it’s a mountain that I’m at least starting to perceive at this point, rather than being a vague shape in the mist.  I’m glad I’ve gotten to that point and am ready to start climbing.

As this week also capped off the end of the month, let’s look at the month’s numbers as a whole, too.

Total Japanese:

  • Total Duolingo: 250 lessons completed, 1,500 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 hours 0 minutes

And here’s the breakdown for money spent.

  • 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 Services: $17.98
  • Total Spent: $17.98

A very different month, obviously, as this is the first full one just working on Japanese, and it’s a pretty light one for even that, too, thanks to my vacation.  Progress starts slow and modestly, but building this type of knowledge isn’t something that can be rushed, regardless of what any gurus say, and I’m happy to build this one up bit by bit as ever long as it takes.

After a long stretch of not being able to report any numbers for writing, I actually did get to some writing again.  During my vacation, one of the things I got up to with the wonderful person I was visiting was writing together.  Not, like, in a collaborative way, but rather in parallel, sharing a space and working on our own things at the same time.  It was a pretty great experience, and it got me to really start in on a new project and get it to somewhere that I was feeling good about.  Of course, then I went home and have barely touched it since (we’ve written in parallel long distance since then, but she and I both agree it’s not the same as it was in person, qué maldita pena), but the words I got down still count.  For the month, I wrote 5,002 words of fiction.  I’m trying to get back into the overall swing of that, but work has proven very busy with the new year and has sapped my energy on top of everything else.  Hopefully I’ll find some good momentum there soon and won’t have to resort to only writing on visits with her, that’d not prove feasible in the long-run.

Anyway, that ought to do for this one, hopefully February brings with it some chilled out work time and more life positives for me, and also for you and yours.  TTFN.

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