Tag Archives: languages

Goals, Resolutions and Pie Crusts

28 Dec

As the year wends its tired, bloated way to a close, it’s time to think about the dreaded ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. Of course, sometimes we need to have goals and aims rather than just ‘I resolve never to…’. For many years, I had only three: read more, write more and be less of a loser. All three probably still apply for 2016.

Last year I set some more specific aims in response to a post on one of my favourite blogs, Fluent in 3 Months. Benny had some good advice, which was to make sure your goals are concrete (a bit like the SMART targets we’re always setting with the kids at school).

As you can see in his comments, I set out the following aims for myself (with a languages slant, as per the blog):

Learn enough Japanese to get by in Japan: Achieved! I learned how to read hiragana and katakana plus a few basic kanji, which meant I was able to locate a Monjayaki restaurant in Tokyo with no romaji sign. It was really delicious so the pain of doing my Memrise/WaniKani reps was worth it! I was also able to ask a few basic questions of tour guides and bus drivers. Okay, I wasn’t conversing freely, but I learned enough to make the trip fun. I should probably revise this at some point because I haven’t done any Japanese since August.


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An Afternoon with Benny Lewis

22 Mar

I’ve just come back from a lovely afternoon at Waterstones Piccadilly. It has been ages (shamefully) since I was in a bricks and mortar bookshop – since leaving Clapham I’ve been without a local indy – but I really enjoyed browsing and picked up Guerra, a book on the Spanish Civil War, which I know practically nothing about.


However, the point of my trip was really to meet one of my favourite bloggers, Benny Lewis of Fluent in Three Months. He has just released a paperback based on his popular website. I stumbled across the blog at the end of his very first ‘mission’ to learn Czech, and stuck around for Benny’s adventures in Brazilian Portugese, Dutch, Mandarin and ASL amongst other languages – even Klingon!

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