Language Reflections After LangFest, and State of My Languages

I’m happy that many people have enjoyed my 2019 Montreal LangFest post, and that it’s being posted all over the place and read by many people. And as much as I had fun on my 4th year at the event, I took advantage and had some language practice, and I left with a few thoughts in my head.

One main problem that has been a constant for me is my listening abilities. I liked to think that French is my best foreign language, and I know it is. Yet, in some conversations in French with native speakers, I sometimes couldn’t understand what was said to me. To fix this issue, I feel I should find some sources to watch and listen to more French content, but I find trouble finding content that interests me. There is an app that I would give a try.

I didn’t expect to find some Polish speakers to speak with, but this became a point to talk about because of having some practice in New York right before the trip. The little Polish that I still remember came back to me for the weekend, but it also wasn’t much. I was hoping to practice my better Slavic languages (no Czech/Slovak, but found someone that spoke BCSM [Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin] but leaning on Croatian, besides friends who speak these) which I did a bit, and spoke a bit of Russian at Mundo Lingo Montreal during the weekend.

Despite my French just floating around in intermediate levels, I gave it a chance to practice, and get used to the Quebecois accent again, for the weekend. Haha. I hope to also travel back to Montreal more often, and not necessarily for LangFest either, and practice some more, but it will depend on how much free time I can have in the future.

Now that we’re past halfway through the year, and have attended my 2nd language conference for the year so far, I should reflect on what I’ve been doing with my language studies in the past 2 months, especially since I wanted to do this before making the trip to Montreal, but couldn’t because of lack of time to blog.

French – I feel I should listen to more content, especially in Quebecois, because my interest has grown in it. I joked about developing a Quebecois accent to go along with my fading Parisian accent, but I’ll see how far I can go with that.

Slovak – I study it every few days. I do my music listening on Spotify, and although I gave the listening a break for a few days, I like that I’m still picking up words here and there in the songs. Something that I’m considering doing is using the LingQ app/site, and restarting my Slovak lessons to pick up lost vocabulary.

Czech – I also do listening on Spotify for Czech. Like Slovak, I haven’t had much chances to practice speaking lately, and unfortunately, I’ve slowed down my study progress for it on Duolingo. I should try to pick it up and make a few more visits to MluvitCesky.net for a bit of grammar lessons.

Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: This is the language I have been most actively studying the last few weeks, by using Mango Languages for Serbian. I find music to listen to on Spotify, as well as trying to read sports articles in Serbian to pick up some vocabulary. One Facebook page that has helped me to study vocabulary in Slavic languages is called “Interkomprehensija”. The source language is Polish, but the admin often posts vocabulary and compares it to other Slavic languages, mainly Slovak, Czech, Croatian, Slovene, and Bulgarian. As a Slavic language learner, this page is a huge help, and every now and then, it provides some comedy in its posts about false friends between vocabulary between Slavic languages.

Greek: I haven’t done much for Greek lately, but upon recently hearing that the Drops app has released its Greek vocabulary course, I may attempt to jump on it and see how is it.

Portuguese: It’s also another language that I’ve done a bit of for a few weeks, mainly doing some listening by watching Portuguese TV. I may have an announcement in my October languages post regarding a new language project for Portuguese, and an attempt to develop a Brazilian accent to go along with my European accent (or at least try. I could end up with both accents. Haha.)

And at LangFest, well, during that week, I worked on a bit of Polish, at least to be able to describe what was I doing in Poland during my time in November last year doing volunteer work. Me going back to study this language will depend on whether I’m attending the 2020 Polyglot Gathering in Teresin/Paprotnia (west of Warsaw), and although the organizing team has posted information that registration for the event may start this month, I most likely may not start preparations to even think about attending it until perhaps January 2020. The announcement of next year’s location of the 2020 Polyglot Conference may also play a role in this decision.

If anyone would come to me and ask me what are my active languages that I’m studying at this moment, I would say Czech, BCS, and Portuguese. Within the next few weeks, I could make some decisions to pause or restart one or 2 languages, or just continue with these and dedicate more time to another one of these 3 languages. I should know in a few weeks, and may either plan a trip to end the year. Stay tuned.

A last thing, as I am about to publish this, I have reached 2 years since I’ve published my first blog post on here. I’m very happy to not only get to 2 years of the blog, but to continue being an active poster, writing about my travels, the language conferences that I attended, giving advice, and keeping everyone updated on my languages studies. Because this journey of trying to be a polyglot is a long one, but it can be very fun when you like what you are doing, you like what you are learning, and you try to do things to improve as much as you can.

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