Last stretch of 2014?

Idle mathematics aside, I’ve been reviewing what I did this year regarding language learning, and other than keeping this blog and starting Nahuatl as my new language project, results fall rather on the disappointing side of the page. True, I held on to Italian after starting it last year. I also started learning Esperanto and Nahuatl (an odd pair if you ever read one), picked up an interest in German (damn you, Mizton!) and started getting curious about Latin. The balance more or less turns out this way:

The Good

  • Read three books in Japanese (so far)
  • Read one book in Italian (so far)
  • Started learning Nahuatl and acquired a ton of materials of what is otherwise considered a “rare” language
  • Started getting the gist of Italian’s congiuntivo
  • Finally understood where accusative applies in Esperanto
  • Found a Mexico based Esperantist group

The Bad

  • Haven’t said a word in Italian in months
  • Having trouble retaining simple Nahuatl phrases and conjugations
  • Don’t get me started on talking in Esperanto

The Ugly

  • Rampant wanderlust
  • Difficulty managing work hours vs. study time

I think that of all excuses not to do something, the one I hate the most is “I don’t have the time”, and yet here I am, having trouble finding it. In fact, more than being shy or anything else, I’d say the reason why I haven’t started talking in Italian or Esperanto is precisely that I’m not allotting enough time to languages–I missed the chance to go to an Esperanto practice group because of my workload, not too long ago, and every time I think I should book a class in Italki, the first question to pop up in my mind is “but when?”.

However, I still am not crazy enough that I’d put languages ahead of livelihood, so I think the bottom line here is that I have to find a point of balance for both. This means I can’t go chasing every language that wags its tail at me and learning just the basics before I burn out from language-juggling (two requires enough concentration). Therefore, I’m putting my foot down, kicking wanderlust out of my life for a while, and prioritizing my current language goals in the following way:

  • Italian is now number one in the list. My goals in it are:
    + Read at least another book before the year is over
    + Enter the Italki 2014 October Language Challenge, get a tutor and get talking
  • Nahuatl is now número dos. My goal:
    + Make a short video in this language
  • Esperanto/German/Latin/ASL (and all them other pretty tongues) are now on indefinite hold, for as long as it takes me to reach my language goals with Italian

Unless the universe conspires against me, I hope to be reporting on the results of this new order of matters before the year is over. Wish me luck!