For 2015 I’ve decided that I am going to try a 3 month language challenge for learning Italian. Currently I have no knowledge of the language beyond what the average American would have from TV and other media. I’ve chosen Italian because I’ve always wanted to learn another Romance language. I’m fluent in Portuguese and can fake it pretty well in Spanish, though I’ve not studied it formally for very long – I’ve only read a couple of books and some poetry. I really wanted to learn a non-Ibero-Romance that was ideally not one of the main national languages such as Jèrriais, Occitan, or Sicilian but I’ve just spent the last year working on Irish where I have had a huge issue finding native speakers to assist me as well as a glaring gap in resources at the upper-intermediate level. With the less commonly studied Romance languages it seems my plight regarding a lack of learning material would be even worse. Combining that with my grand over-estimation of how good my Irish was when I started back on it in December, 2013, I want a quick win before going on to a non-Indo-European language in mid-2015. Thus, I chose Italian as it would potentially open up resources for learning Sicilian in the future and I can leverage my knowledge of Latin and 2 other Romance languages.
So, here is my plan:
1. A 12 week challenge to go from A0 to a high B1
2. Using Pimsleur Italian, Colloquial Italian 1 & 2, and Assimil
3. Memrise to help build vocabulary
4. Book weekly lessons on iTalki with a native speaker
5. A twice monthly report out on YouTube to keep me honest
6. Keep working on Irish!
My challenge begins on January 4, 2015 and will continue until the 28th of March. I think the biggest challenge for me will be to maintaining my study habits with Irish as I am committed to getting out of the B1 level and up to the B2 level in 2015 and that means a lot of work. I’m still struggling conversationally and in writing making stupid mistakes with irregular verbs and poor pronunciation. But I think that a short distraction into another language will help me regain my motivation.