Stabilizing 10 Languages

level
31
Posts964Likes611Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai

(Warning - I'm pretty busy these days, so I won't be able to post very often, or edit more than once in a while. That being said, welcome, and enjoy!)


I've managed to collect quite a few languages in my life - 10 to be exact. And over the past few years, I've decided I didn't want to be one of those guys who used to know how to speak a language, but can no longer do it. Here is an example of that:


I don't want that to happen, although no TV shows are hunting me down to my knowledge. I want to be able to use a language on demand; I don't want to require days, hours or even more than a few seconds to be able to hold a decent conversation. What is a decent conversation to me? I'm pretty happy with conversation at the B2 level of the CEFR. I've found out that in order to converse comfortably at the B2 level on demand, I need to be right in the middle of the level, and I'll call this B2+.


Now I believe I hear this level mentioned the most when talking about fluency. Others say one needs to be advanced (C1/C2), and that I'm not a polyglot because I only speak 2 languages at advanced levels. To be honest, I don't really care. I consider myself a polyglot, and I'm happy with B2+. But here are my current levels, and you'll see my problem:


English - native

Spanish - C1

Thai - B2+

Mandarin - B2+

Russian - B2+

Japanese - B2

French - B2

Korean - B2

Tagalog - B2

Swahili - B1


I love increasing the number of languages I can speak, and I've added 2 in the past 2 years - Korean and Tagalog. But some of my languages have deteriorated over the years, and I've finally decided it's time to shore them all up and push them to B2+. I expect this to take some time. But when I'm finished, I believe I'll be able to use them instantly when I want, as long as I maintain them once every 3 weeks. That maintenance schedule works out nicely, because that just means I'll need to study one language for a couple hours every other day. The rest of the time I'll be playing with them.  


I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Posted 
5
#1
level
31
Posts964Likes611Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai

Here is my plan of attack.


Tagalog - 2 months. It's my newest language, and I'm on a roll, so it makes sense to stay on it 'til I'm finished. I'm actually writing a Tagalog textbook along the way, which I hope to share eventually, and that motivates me not to switch yet.


Korean - 3 months. My second newest language, it's definitely deteriorated since my extreme year long spurt in the language ending in September of last year. But I feel it come back really quickly when I converse. A hard 3 month pull should put me permanently in the B2+ range.


Swahili - 6 months. There are only traces of this language left in my brain. The last time I spoke it was in 2002, and I thought I'd never use it again. But fate had different plans. I was a volunteer teacher in the US Peace Corps, and one of my former students has asked me for support a few times over the years for her women's group. Then about a year ago, she told me she her group wanted to build a school, and that was what all the small projects I helped her with were leading up to. So I decided to help, and she has made great progress. The school opens next summer, and I want to go to the opening ceremony. So I've got a clear goal in mind, and I'm going to revive my Swahili and keep it alive for the rest of my days!


French - 3 months. This the language I've been the laziest about. I learned it for about a year, reached a strong B1 level, then just maintained it occasionally. It dipped back down to A2 for a while, but since I put it on a regular review schedule, it's creeped up by itself. This is the only language I've studied that behaves like so many of those "learn 30 languages at a time" people claim. Anyway, I clearly need to re-learn and keep my grammar this time, which will be a pleasure.


Japanese - 3 months. In the beginning, I put a huge spurt in to learn Japanese. I put in about 3000 hours in 3 years, and reached a high B1. After several additional 1-3 month spurts over a few years, I finally reached B2+. But inconsistent maintenance has made it deteriorate, so a tune-up is due. Japanese is the hardest language for me, so I expect it to take a full 3 months.


Russian & Mandarin - 2 months each. These are both B2+ right now, but I feel the way I neglected them over the past couple years will eventually have a detrimental effect on them. Better to be proactive. 



I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Posted 
4
#2
level
1
Posts220Likes119Joined9/7/2018LocationUS
Native
English
Learning Spanish
Other French

Awesome!!! Best of luck! :)


Posted 
2
#3
level
31
Posts964Likes611Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai

Khadijah.Davis wrote:
Awesome!!! Best of luck! :)

Thanks!

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Posted 
2
#4
level
31
Posts964Likes611Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai

Well, I've finally admitted to myself that my Russian, which I badly neglected while learning Korean, has deteriorated more than I thought. I kept thinking it was going to spring back after I put it on a regular maintenance schedule, but that's not happening. It makes sense really - it was the youngest of my languages that I neglected. So I'm changing the order of my resuscitation plan:


Tagalog (in work) - 1 month

Korean - 3 months

Swahili - 6 months

Russian - 3 months

French - 3 months

Japanese - 2 months

Mandarin - 2 months


The wake-up call I got was another poor (B1) Russian conversation yesterday, and a really good (B2) Japanese conversation today. Japanese survived the period of neglect quite well, which pleases me, especially since I consider it to be my hardest language. 


I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Posted 
2
#5
level
1
Posts220Likes119Joined9/7/2018LocationUS
Native
English
Learning Spanish
Other French

Wow! Do you study all of these languages at once? How? :D


Posted 
1
#6
level
31
Posts964Likes611Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai

Khadijah.Davis wrote:
Wow! Do you study all of these languages at once? How? :D

By my definition, I only study one language at a time, and I maintain the others. For example, I study Tagalog 3-4 hrs/day, 5 days a week. I maintain my other languages by studying them for 2 hrs once every 2 weeks.


I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Posted 
3
#7
level
31
Posts964Likes611Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai

I've decided that it's time to finish up Tagalog. Tomorrow will be the last day of my 10 month "spurt". After that, I will study it for only 2 hrs, once a week. I'm going to do it once a week instead of my usual once every 2 weeks because I'm a low B2; I'm quitting before I'd like to. Why? Because for the last 3 weeks in a row, despite the fact that I accelerated my learning pace to once a week from about 2 months ago, I had poor B1-like conversations in Korean. So due to my paranoia about Korean, I'm going to do a spurt in it immediately.


The chart above says I want to do it for 3 months; we'll see how it goes. I won't be able to study it as hard as I did last spurt (7-8 hrs/day) because I'm so busy with the site now. I'd love to travel there right now, but I dare not leave the country now with all this responsibility. I need to work on and check things daily, and I fear poor internet, poor ergonomics, and possibly needing to do things in my home town for the company, though I can't imagine what that would entail.


So beginning Sunday, it's hello again Korean. Wish me luck!

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Posted 
3
#8
level
4
Posts41Likes28Joined3/9/2018LocationCebu City / PH
Native
Cebuano, English, Tagalog
Other Arabic - Standard, Chinese - Mandarin, Korean, Malay

leosmith wrote:
I've decided that it's time to finish up Tagalog. Tomorrow will be the last day of my 10 month "spurt". After that, I will study it for only 2 hrs, once a week. I'm going to do it once a week instead of my usual once every 2 weeks because I'm a low B2; I'm quitting before I'd like to. Why? Because for the last 3 weeks in a row, despite the fact that I accelerated my learning pace to once a week from about 2 months ago, I had poor B1-like conversations in Korean. So due to my paranoia about Korean, I'm going to do a spurt in it immediately.
The chart above says I want to do it for 3 months; we'll see how it goes. I won't be able to study it as hard as I did last spurt (7-8 hrs/day) because I'm so busy with the site now. I'd love to travel there right now, but I dare not leave the country now with all this responsibility. I need to work on and check things daily, and I fear poor internet, poor ergonomics, and possibly needing to do things in my home town for the company, though I can't imagine what that would entail.
So beginning Sunday, it's hello again Korean. Wish me luck!


Jalboseo!



Edited 
1
#9
level
31
Posts964Likes611Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai

jfarrah wrote:
Jalboseo!

고마와요!

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Posted 
0
#10
level
31
Posts964Likes611Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai

I got embarrassed in French on Friday. My teacher, even though she was just a community tutor, and even though she agreed not to correct me, just couldn't let errors pass. She stopped the conversation several times for trivial reasons, and that killed my confidence. I spent most of the lesson worried about making mistakes, which sucks. I may decide to move French up on my to-do list; we'll see how the next few lessons go.

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Posted 
2
#11
level
9
Posts204Likes76Joined5/6/2018LocationLapu-lapu / PH
Native
Cebuano, Tagalog
Other English

The teacher was cooperating with the student. :)

Charlyn Amoin

Posted 
0
#12
level
31
Posts964Likes611Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai

Charlyn wrote:
The teacher was cooperating with the student. :)

Lol, really? By doing what I asked her not to do?

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Posted 
0
#13
level
9
Posts204Likes76Joined5/6/2018LocationLapu-lapu / PH
Native
Cebuano, Tagalog
Other English

Sorry, I forgot to add, " not cooperating." lol. That was what I meant to say. hahahah

Charlyn Amoin

Posted 
1
#14
level
1
Posts105Likes22Joined5/9/2018Locationlahore / PK

Great best of luck :)

Posted 
2
#15
level
7
Posts171Likes90Joined11/7/2018Location
Native
Tagalog
Other English, German, Spanish

Amazing! I hope I have the same energy to learn all that.

Posted 
2
#16
level
1
Posts36Likes22Joined9/10/2018LocationNairobi / KE
Native
English, Swahili
Learning Spanish

Wow, how do you manage to balance all those language? My languages are only Swahili and English (and a local one too). Am hoping to learn a new language here, probably Spanish or French just unsure how the experience will be lol

I love my pets.
Posted 
1
#17
level
31
Posts964Likes611Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai

Ok, I have a bit of free time tonight so I'll do an update. Due to complicated personal issues, I decided to travel as follows:

Nov - Korea

Dec thru Feb - Thailand

Mar & Apr - Philippines

So my 3 month spurt in Korean turned into 6 weeks. But the good news is that I'm the best I've been in the language, and I'll be in Pusan for 1 month, trying to make it even better.


Updating my plan of attack to reflect my travel:


Korean - 1 month in country

Tagalog - 3 months + 2 months in country

Swahili - 4 months + 1 month in country

Russian - 2 months

French - 2 months

Japanese - 2 months

Mandarin - 2 months


total = 21 months



I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Edited 
1
#18
level
9
Posts204Likes76Joined5/6/2018LocationLapu-lapu / PH
Native
Cebuano, Tagalog
Other English

Wow! Enjoy Leo!  

Charlyn Amoin

Posted 
1
#19
level
31
Posts964Likes611Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai

I'm in Pusan now:



I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Posted 
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#20
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