Language Geek New Year Intentions

I know, I know – you expected to see “resolutions” in the title. I decided to copy Geoff’s lead, by using intentions rather than resolutions. Every New Year resolution I’ve ever made, I’ve failed miserably at; and as Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The empirical evidence I have on hand (that is, my memory of years gone by) says that if I make a language resolution, it’ll fail, so I’m going to avoid stepping into the quicksand altogether, and just not make any resolutions. It’s intentions this year.

So, the intentions:

  • In general, I intend to continue working on my three current languages, German, French, and Russian. This may seem silly, but I think it’s important to have that base intention. I suppose giving up language learning altogether would be a possibility, so…
  • For German, I intend to continue increasing my vocabulary, and reading native materials. I also intend to work more intensively using Hammer’s German Grammar and the associated Exercise book; I’ve neglected them too long.
  • For French, I intend to finish up working with Assimil’s New French with Ease, and start on Assimil’s Using French. I also intend to continue getting a basic vocabulary under my belt, using Mastering French Vocabulary as my primary source. While I’m not going to do so just yet, as I don’t think I’m far enough along, I intend on getting a French language exchange partner sometime during 2009.
  • For Russian, I have two specific intentions: finish working through New Penguin’s Russian Course, and finish working through Assimil’s Russisch ohne MΓΌhe. I’d like to make it through at least one of them by mid-2009, and both of them by the end of the year. Even with regular university courses and my other language pursuits, I think this should be achievable, with a bit of focus on my part.
  • And finally, I intend to display my utter madness, by perhaps starting a new language in 2009. I won’t be doing it right now, as with Russian, I still feel like I’m floating in a vast, turbulent sea, with no life jacket. Once I feel like I’m in said ocean with a sad little boat, then I may start a new language. If I do start a new language this year, it will be Spanish.

What are your language learning intentions / resolutions / plans for the year?

And of course – happy new year! I hope you all had nice holidays.

By |2009-01-02T08:59:20+00:00January 2nd, 2009|All Entries, French, German, Language Journal, Russian|8 Comments


  1. Joanne January 2, 2009 at 9:07 am - Reply

    I’d like to start learning a new language and have my eye on Russian, but haven’t yet been able to find a class that’s a good fit. Still searching, though.

    I wouldn’t mind taking refresher courses in languages I’ve already studied, however. I used to know Spanish reasonably well and regret letting it go. I studied German for a year in college, enjoyed it, but let that go as well.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Josh January 2, 2009 at 9:35 am - Reply

    The best class would be the one with only you in it. πŸ˜‰ Just kidding, but I don’t think you need a class to learn Russian. There are ample materials available. Using the Princeton Russian Course alone, along with a Russian language exchange partner for corrections, would probably be enough.

    Happy New Year to you as well.

  3. Mairo Vergara January 2, 2009 at 9:51 am - Reply

    I’ll keep working on my English and maybe I’ll do some Japanese, which I’ve never been doing for a while. Maybe I’ll try Spanish, since it’s easier for me and also a very cool language. Happy New Year!

  4. GeoffB January 3, 2009 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Happy New Year! It sounds like you’ve picked out some good intentions for your new year’s language learning. Having crashed and burned on my last few years’ resolutions, it was time for a change and I think this is what I was looking for. Very few people can simply resolve to be better language learners and have it magically happen – or at least I can’t – but by doing the right things and moving in the right direction – well thought out intentions – you can become a better language learner. Hope this works well for you too.

  5. anka January 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    happy new year!

    my new year intention is not to get kicked out of my second major, which happens to be russian philology. I intend to balance it with my thesis in progress, perfecting english and italian and – yes, though it may sound cuckoo – having an actual life. like friends and boyfriends and stuff. Even if I may quit my second in the process – and end up studying russian just for fun – I intend not to be kicked out of it!

  6. Aidan January 9, 2009 at 4:15 am - Reply

    Great to find your languages blog as I am another language nerd. It’s a continual struggle maintaining the languages you have while still trying to learn new ones.
    Right now I am really working on Japanese because I am going there in a couple of weeks. As I am Irish (but an English speaker) I am always trying to maintain an okay level of Irish (Gaelic) by listening and reading as much as I can. I am lucky to be married to a Pole and living in Holland so I speak Dutch and Polish every day.
    My Spanish has been suffering from neglect and I have a couple of French books from Linguality to read (written in French with English annotations). This year I want to start learning Italian but where does one find the time to learn every language you want to master?

  7. Damien January 11, 2009 at 3:56 am - Reply

    Purpose for this year – B2 english level and take FCE πŸ™‚

  8. Damien January 11, 2009 at 3:57 am - Reply

    Purpose for this year – B2 english level and pass FCE exam πŸ™‚

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