Wrap Up: 30 Days of Progress

Well, I needed a win in the language learning game, and I got one.

For the past 30 days, I’ve had a renewed sense of urgency in my Tagalog learning, and I’ve finally been able to turn the corner on my progress.

Leap for your goals Image Source

Leap for your goals
By Steve Jurvetson (CC BY 2.0), Image Source

My big three wins:

1. I subscribed to Filipino Pod 101.

This cost a few bucks, but frankly, I needed more content than what I had. I finished Pimsleur, got tired of textbooks, and realized that the free sites out there weren’t quite cutting it for me.

So I ponied up the cash, and I’ve been working through the “beginner” podcasts, having finished 15 of them.

2. I learned a bunch of vocab.

I added about 250 new phrases to my Anki deck, with at least that many new vocabulary words.

That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s enough to make a difference.

Two days ago I was watching a Filipino comedy (My House Husband) , and while I didn’t pick up everything, I understood more than ever before. Maybe 40% of the words? Importantly, I had no problem following along with the plot.

3. I picked up some motivation.

Success breeds success. Feeling the improvement had made me want to keep going.

I wasn’t planning on sticking with Tagalog this long, but I’m enjoying speaking to my mom and feeling this heritage language start to come alive in my brain.

I wanted to reach the “intermediate” stage, but I’m not quite there. But I can tell it’s coming.

The month of extra effort did everything I hoped it would, and I’m pumped up about continuing on into next year.

Now, if you’ve been playing at home, tell me about your wins in the comments please!

A Word About the Site

Longtime followers have probably noticed the site has been pretty quiet lately. I’ve talked at length about the reasons why–work demands, life demands, fatigue, etc.

Well, I’m only going to get busier. I’m starting a graduate program in January, an M.Ed in Instructional Design.

This is important to me. My work will pay for the program, and having more educational education (?) will help me be a better language teacher.

I’ve received lots of comments and private messages from people who find the site useful, all of which I’m extremely grateful for. So even though I’m busy, I want to continue producing content and helping people reach their goals.

I like writing longer articles to really flesh out the information, but in the new year, expect some shorter articles that get right to the point. This is better than putting the site in “archive” or “sleep” mode, and it fits into my schedule.

Now, I should start thinking about what to post on January 1st, which is like Black Friday for language bloggers. 😉

  • http://allthetongues.hol.es/ Roman Shinkarenko

    Maybe you should write about Pilipino, I still hasn’t understood the difference between Tagalog and what the Philippines call official language.
    Will you still be available on Facebook?
    From what I’ve learned from different language blogs: the only way to language learning success is “do something every day”. I mean, all of the other tips are just an icing on this one. (Full disclosure: it’s still an unreached goal to me).

    • http://www.languagesurfer.com/ Ron G.

      Re: doing something every day–I agree with your assessment, but with a caveat: Different activities produce different qualities. Doing the same thing every day would develop limited skills.

      The Filipino/Tagalog issue is pretty straightforward. The Philippines has several dialects, all of which have been influenced by other languages (notably, Spanish); these dialects share some commonalities but also have vast differences.

      In the 1930s, after a lot of political wrangling, Tagalog was chosen as the national language. It was standardized so that it could function as an official language, and in the 1950s this standardized form was called “Pilipino,” later to be referred to as “Filipino.” Now English and Filipino are the two official languages of the Philippines.

      Most Filipinos still use the word “Tagalog” to describe the language everyone speaks, because just because the government changes the name, that doesn’t mean people on the street are going to as well. As an outside observer, I’d say that “Tagalog” is growing organically and incorporating English, slang, etc., (and more or less becoming “Taglish”). And I’d say that Filipino is maintaining traditional rules and growing as a formal language. I don’t think the diglossia is quite there yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it coming.

      • http://lahijadelsol.com/ Cat Ramos キャット ラモス

        Congrats on the Tagalog progress, Ron!
        Although Filipino and Tagalog are used interchangeably, Filipino is the national language based (mainly, but not solely) on the Tagalog dialect. there are many dialects in the country, but Tagalog has different levels of politeness/formalities and uses words like “po” and “opo”. As far as I know, other Philippine dialects do not have these (I could be wrong).
        I made good progress on my Hungarian too. For December, I only used Assimil and Glossika as my main resources and I managed to learn at least 170 sentences in Glossika, and about 100 in Assimil.

  • http://fluenthistorian.com/ Natalie

    I’m glad to hear that Tagalog is going well, Ron. I wish you had the time to post here more often, but I totally understand being busy with work.

    Good for you for going back to school! I’m so impressed with people who do work and school at the same time. I did my masters program before I started my job and now that I’m working, I cannot imagine being in school! I’m studying for a professional certification right now and that’s difficult enough to fit into my day!

  • http://www.5minutelanguage.com/ Agnieszka Murdoch

    Good to hear about your progress, Ron, and good luck with your course! Language blogging is demanding, especially if you want to produce good-quality content, but I’m sure you’ll manage to maintain the quality of your work with the new challenges alongside it.