Language Learning – Update 2

In the last post, I mentioned that I’ve been struggling with a lot. So I’ve had to realize that I cannot keep up with the pace of language learning that I’d like.

The Coursera class didn’t work out as I’d hoped and learning Hangeul is on the back burner at this point. My focus is on French.

I’m still using Duolingo every day and have other forms of French immersion that help. French Teacher Carlito‘s newsletter is great! Plus, I’ve loaded up my YouTube and Instagram feeds with wonderful bite-sized French lessons from several people.

With all that I have on my plate, that’s about all that I can handle. After reading a recent blog post where I encountered an English word that was new to me, equiponderate, I decided that I need to cut myself some slack.

There is no deadline for becoming fluent in French. I have a goal and I’m doing the best I can. It takes a lot of time and practice to become fluent in another language. Life is throwing a lot my way right now, so I can’t progress the way I could if things were different.

I’m fluent in English and have a fairly decent vocabulary. It’s taken decades to reach this point and I’m still learning new English words. New English words keep being invented. Language learning is a lifelong journey, so I have to keep reminding myself to be patient.

Maybe you’re going through something similar. Remember to be patient with yourself and keep going. There is no race and live life one day at a time.

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Image: Wordnik

NaBloPoMo Complete!

 

NaBloPomo 2023

NaBloPoMo is ovah!!! I did it! Posted everyday this month. The past couple of days, I thought I wasn’t going to make it. But it worked out.

As I’d hoped, NaBloPoMo has helped me get back on track with my blogging. If I can blog everyday for a month, I can certainly blog twice a week.

And that’s my new goal for a regular blogging schedule. Twice a week, on Wednesday and Sunday. I may veer from that if something unexpected comes up, or if I am away on vacation. Traveling more is a big goal for next year! I should be able to schedule posts ahead of time if needed, so hopefully it won’t be an issue.

I started using the Notion app recently and it’s really helping with keeping track of my goals. It’s free and I’m enjoying it more than expected. I know I mention YouTube all the time, but lots of vloggers use Notion. Starting this past October, I tried it as well. Actually, I use the app on my phone and the desktop version too.

Many of the vloggers also do a 5:00am morning routine, but I’m not there yet. Who knows though? Maybe I’ll try it for a week and see what happens.

So far I’m just using Notion to do a monthly reset. It’s quite useful in letting me define short and long term goals by reflecting on the prior month. What worked. What didn’t. Then deciding how I can tweak things to work better for the upcoming month.

December starts tomorrow, so it’s time for another monthly reset.

Language Learning – Update 1

language learning with Coursera

Back in early October, I decided to study Korean and French. I studied French in high school and freshman year of college. For Korean, I’m studying from the ground up. Since I’d like to track my language learning progress, I’ll update here on the blog, like a series. Because there are so many aspects to learning languages, it’s a lot to cover.

So how is it going? Ça va bien!

Obviously, I have a head start with French. So that is where I’m devoting most of my time. I’m using the Duolingo app and love it! It’s very convenient using it on my phone and I usually end up “studying” for longer than planned, because it doesn’t feel like studying. It’s set up like a game. But I can tell that I’m learning. It allows me to listen to French, speak it, read it and write it. Which is quite an amazing tool. The first week when I tried speaking, I was fumbling over my words and felt my mouth contorting. I forgot how physical speaking is when the sounds are unfamiliar. I hadn’t spoken any French in so long!

A friend, who is using Duolingo to study Portuguese, was the one who recommended it. I don’t think of myself as a particularly competitive person, but I find that I am motivated by seeing how well that I’m doing and what’s needed to perform better.

The first month or so most of the words were familiar, but I definitely still needed and need a lot of help with grammar. Now I’m learning many new words. Some just because I never learned them before. Other words didn’t exist back when I was studying. Technology changed everything!

Oh and I’m using the free version if you’re wondering. There are options to buy, but I haven’t used them and don’t plan to. My goal for using this right now is to brush up my skills. Early to mid next year, I may possibly take an online course in advanced French and/or hire a tutor.

language learning with Duolingo

For Korean, I am taking baby steps and my progress is so very slow. I’m using Coursera to learn Hangeul.

When I started the course, I thought that it was free. But when I went to submit a quiz today, it wouldn’t let me without upgrading to paid. And I couldn’t move forward with the lessons either. I was able to do all that before in this course, so I’m not sure what changed. I would not be surprised if in around five years or so, I receive a notification that I’m eligible to participate in a class action lawsuit of people who felt they were pressured and/or misled into paying for a “free course.”

It’s not that much, so I paid. Also, since I took a rather in depth marketing course several years ago for free.

That’s the first update for now. Stay tuned for more on my language learning journey!

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Images: Screenshots of Coursera and Duolingo

The CHANI App

Chani App

This may be the first time that I’ve written about an app. I use quite a few of them, but only the free versions, except for the CHANI App.

When the CHANI App for Android users was finally available this summer, I downloaded the free version right away. This app was created by Chani Nicholas, an astrologer that I’ve written about before. I loved her book, You Were Born For This. I look forward to Mondays, so I can listen to her Astrology Of The Week Ahead podcast. Generally, I absorb her content in any way that it’s available.

I really enjoyed using the free app. After hearing about how many users listened to the daily guided meditations, only available with the premium subscription, I decided to do the 14-day free trial. I started listening to the meditations and actually changed my morning routine to incorporate it. Chani has a very soothing voice and the meditations remind me of the ones during a yoga class.

After the free trial ended, I started paying for the premium subscription. I like some of the more detailed information available about my personal chart, but I’ve realized that I don’t use that most days. I’m really paying for the meditations.

Then I started noticing that the app seemed a bit glitchy. I received a couple of crash notifications about it on my phone. Also most days now, when I’m listening to the guided meditation, it will just stop. So I have to restart the app to continue. Sometimes a couple of times. The meditations are about ten minutes, so having to keep stopping during that time is not calming or soothing.

I wondered if these issues were just because of my phone. It’s a few years old and doesn’t have a ton of memory on it. Also the app is new and it may take time to get everything working correctly. But then again, wasn’t all the time that we Android users waited for, so that it would work correctly?

When I looked up the app on Google Play, I noticed that one of the recent reviews mentioned having a similar issue with the meditation stopping and needing a restart. The review was rather harsh and I don’t agree that the app sucks. But I am wondering why I am paying for this app now and whether I should continue.

The information on the free CHANI app is very helpful and maybe that is all that I need. With taxes, I’m paying $12.74 a month. That’s not a ton of money, but it’s more than I’m paying for Netflix, with commercials, where I get a lot more content. Over a year, that adds up to $152.88, which is a fair amount of money.

However, Netflix is a huge corporation. I feel no sense of happiness supporting it. Chani has a smaller woman-owned business that I like supporting. I love that she has a salary floor of $80k for all her employees and offers incredible benefits. And I love that she partners with her wife’s business FreeFrom, where they employ survivors of domestic abuse and put them on a path to building wealth and financial security. I love the work that they are doing. They are changing the American workplace and making such a positive difference.

But I also need to make good financial decisions for myself. I just paid for this month, so I have a month to decide* if I should go back to the free version.

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*Updated 11/12/23: I ended up downgrading back to the unpaid app.

Screenshot: Google Play