Language Diary

I’ve made another blog for my daily language learning activities. I’ve kept language learning logs in the past in a variety of formats: plain old notebooks, at the HTLAL forums (my internet home away from home), and in a Google Docs file. I’ve generally found them to be worthwhile, simply because if I don’t keep track of what I’m doing, I quickly find myself not really doing anything; whole days will pass where I’ve accomplished very little in any of my languages. Keeping track of it in a log helps me stay on course, or at least get back on course when I’ve strayed.

When I first made Language Geek, it was supposed to be part language learning journal, part language learning tips. But the journal part never really materialized, partially because I wasn’t sure if people had any great desire to read about my daily “stuff” – a lot of it is fairly mundane. I love reading about others’ language learning exploits, even if it’s about them learning a dozen new words, but perhaps I’m a little strange. 🙂

To avoid driving off what readers I have here, I made Language Diary (because Language Journal was, alas, taken at It will, barring any catastrophes, keep the same format it has right now: one post per day, outlining what I did, along with some remarks about things that I found of particular interest.

What do you all think of merging the two? Totally against it? Think it would be fine? If they were merged, I would be able to provide separate feeds (i.e., a feed with and without the daily diary thing). I’ve made a poll here, but feel free to leave comments about the idea as well.

[poll id=”2″]

By |2010-05-06T13:50:34+00:00May 6th, 2010|All Entries|8 Comments


  1. Catherine May 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    What an excellent idea. I kept track for one month and it was beneficial (I was accountable). I’m just now looking around for ways to get back into it again and this might be the way to go.

    My opinion – keep it separate, but accessible via your sidebar.

    • Josh May 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      Catherine: So far, I like the blog format; it’s easy to keep each entry separate (as opposed to noting different dates, etc. in Google Docs), and it allows me to post via email, too.

      Thanks also for the opinion. That’s sort of what I’m leaning towards; I’m enjoying maintaining the log, and finding it useful in keeping myself moving forward, but I’m not sure I really want to “clutter up” LG with the posts.

  2. Catherine May 8, 2010 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    I too prefer your blog format. I’ve used a calendar plugin for wordpress and it wasn’t for me (need to click on each day to get the details). I also used ‘Don’t Break the Chain’ which only logs in the days. Nothing else.

    And while ‘Don’t Break the Chain’ is fabulous for sticking to a study schedule, I’d like to be able to look back at what I’ve studied. Also, I’m terrible at sticking to a set plan (I start off doing one thing and drift off into another), so a blog log with a solid lesson plan attached might work for me.

  3. Josh May 8, 2010 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Yeah, I’m quite bad about starting with one thing and then ending up doing something entirely different. In the past, I’ve not really noticed this until quite some time had gone by. For example, it took me a while to realize I had never gotten around to doing the second wave of French with Ease, as I had moved on to doing exercises in a different book and just reading. My hope is that by keeping a daily log, if I do veer off and not finish a particular branch of study, I’ll notice it sooner and be able to correct it.

    I just looked at Don’t Break the Chain, and that looks fairly helpful, but as you said, I don’t want to just see that I did French on Tuesday; I want to know what I did with French on Tuesday.

  4. Catherine May 8, 2010 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    I’m with you 100%. One of my problems is that, in preparation for reviewing all available Thai courses out there on WLT, I have the majority of them (plus Italian and stacks of French courses). So like you, when I do study, I’ll start off with the aim to study from one, but grab another instead. I’m all over the place…

    Also, I go off on tangents related to my aims. For instance, Assimil has a Thai course but the book uses transliteration, not Thai script. I detest transliteration. So I then got sidetracked when putting the conversations into script.

    I get sidetracked a lot, and it’d be better if I only allowed myself to take detours after I completed my assigned work for the day.

    So the idea jotting down a proper learning schedule, then following up on a daily log is simple, but has a very good chance of being effective. I’m game. Totally.

    Btw – I have your log in a feedreader for reminders and tips. Wish us both luck 🙂

  5. leo May 9, 2010 at 9:32 am - Reply


    and thank you for the tip

  6. Adrian Morgan May 10, 2010 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    I voted for keeping them separate, because with the diary updates being daily, they would soon swamp the blog posts.

    If the frequency of diary updates and blog posts were about the same, then there would be a case for merging them.

    (BTW, I had some very speculative ideas about language learning techniques this week, prompted by listening to a podcast about memory. Probably all a load of unworkable rubbish, though.)

  7. Nomadic Tian May 11, 2010 at 9:19 am - Reply

    That is the dilemma I faced yesterday. My language blog was suppose to be a journal and a language learning blog, but I find the blog to be more suited for teaching others on how to learn language then keeping a journal of my progress. In fact I realized I enjoy helping others with learning languages. So this morning I created a separate blog to record my personal progress. It’s . I see them as sister blogs. Separate yet connected, if that makes any sense.

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