Review of 2016, & your goals of 2017:
Dear language enthusiasts,
I hope you’ve had a wonderful year in 2016, not only in language learning, but also in your life. As we are getting closer to the end of the year and preparing to start 2017, I thought to have a continual on my last year’s post, regarding how we’ve done in 2016 and what we are hoping to achieve in 2017.
My three main languages are English, German and French – I’m a native Farsi/Persian speaker. In 2016, I’ve significantly improved my English and German. As for English, I’ve read about 12 books – I know, I’m lazy, shame on me – and listened to audiobooks and podcasts – mostly HBR podcasts – to improve my command of English, not to mention that I’ve learned and enjoyed a lot, too. I’ve also tried to learn one word a day and make a note to build up on my English vocabulary, words like: palatable, frivolous, quandary, or deplorable; I’ve managed to reach word number 250, so I’m lacking 115 words. This is going to be my main strategy for English in 2017.
As for German, I was hoping to master level C1 by the end of the year; although I’m not there yet, I’m way past B2 and I’m not so worried about it. I’ve watched all the Big Bang Theory series in German – which I have to admit, I’ve found it somewhat more hilarious than the original English version, I haven’t watched all the seasons in English, though. Another useful strategy I use is to find nice Ted Talks and then read the German translation and sometimes the French translation, I prefer this to the immersion method in Duolingo.
As for French, I’ve finished the French Tree from both English and German. I watched a few movies in French, including The Intouchables, Quantum Love, and Casse-tête chinois, not to mention the EXTRA learning series. I finished and mastered Michel Thomas course, which I highly recommend. My goal was to reach level B1, but I don’t see myself that confident, although I had a few short and pleasant conversations in French.
I also learned a little bit of speaking Mandarin, about 100 words/expressions, but I have to review them again. I find it really nice, it has a totally different system than other languages I’ve encountered so far. For example, they use one form of verb for all forms of subjects; as if in English you would say: I BE, you BE, she BE, etc.
My language goals of 2017:
My main focus would be on my German and French, I have to add to my German vocabulary and try to improve my French proficiency. My birthday is in July, so I hope I could reach level B1 in French by that time; if so I would give myself the French translation – book and audiobook – of Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.” As for German, I’m going to use the amazing FREE learning materials on Deutsche Welle on a more regular basis, they have all sorts of materials for any level you are in, I highly recommend it; my favorite ones are: Top-Thema mit Vokabeln, und Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten.
Here is the link to my 2016 post:
All the best,
Hey, nice post!
My 2017 goals are: learning Italian (I'll learn it in one month since it will be very easy because I speak Spanish and French), Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) and Korean.
From February to September: Chinese
From September to December: Korean
hum, life is too short, Spanish is also my favorite, but I have already too much on my plate, at least for the next 4, 5 years, :-)
I wish you a WONDERFUL 2017, and good luck with your language learning :-)
I didn't have any goal with respect to language learning in 2016. I have learned a lot here completing many trees and now I can read books comfortably, effortlessly in French, Italian, Catalan and Portuguese.
I would like to be able to read books as effortlessly and comfortably in German and Esperanto and possibly in Norwegian too. So to achieve that, I think I will try to finish several of my German trees here and also the Esperanto from Spanish tree, and continue doing the Norwegian tree.
great, have a WONDERFUL 2017, and good luck with your language learning :-)
You seem to be doing an awesome job, Heschmat. Out of curiousity: is it very difficult to study languages like French and German when your background is Farsi and Persian?
As for my goals, 2016 was the year when I finally delved deeper into Russian, a beautiful language that I've wanted to learn for a long time. Next year, I want to continue to improve my Russian as well as my French, while keeping my Spanish game up. I've been thinking about taking a few months to devote myself fully to Italian, but I suspect that this might mean spreading my time over too many goals.
Also, I turned to a new tactic this year: playing video games in a foreign language! It's incredibly fun to do, and with Steam offering many language options on audio and interface, there's always enough to do.
haha, cool tactic :-)
you're doing pretty amazing, too. :-)
Well, we study English and Arabic in school in Iran; althoug, nobody really learns a language. But I liked English and my English was not bad during school time; so I didn't have difficulty regarding alphabet and different grammer. Between French and German, I find German much harder, its structure is totally crazy. :-D
I would agree with you, focusing on Russian, French, and Spanish makes more sence. It's all about FOCUS. :-)
all the best,
It is somehow great fun to read about statements like this as a native German speaker :-)
Too bad I had not "to learn / study it" in the last years - maybe that "harder" grammar / conjunction stuff would give me a great boost in studying Romance languages....
Truth is I have to learn everything from scratch...even the language / studying basics (what is what).
Wish you all the best luck!!
It is interesting to see what I wrote last year and see how successful I have been. I have indeed continued to improve my French and German. I am completely confident with listening and reading both and can speak both fairly fluently, although no doubt riddled with mistakes. I get far less practice with speaking than with reading and listening. I have watched many series in both and listened to many audiobooks too. My Russian is getting close to the point my German was last year but probably lagging behind by a couple of months as I still can't follow spoken Russian. I seem to narrow words down to one of two meanings but can't decide exactly which is right in the time available, I need more time to think about what I am hearing than is available in real time. But it is getting easier all the time. I have also improved my Spanish and Italian to the point that I can read books and listen to audiobooks and watch series in them, but I can't speak them, although I could probably respond to someone talking to me in them. Swedish I made good progress in but there is still a way to go for me to be able to read or listen without difficulty. There seems to be a bigger gap between duolingo and doing this sort of thing in Swedish possibly because there are no extra courses to take to give extra practice. In all the others I did the reverse trees and several cross trees to gain extra experience. I think one tree is not enough and am eagerly awaiting both the updated Swedish tree and the Russian to Swedish tree to hopefully help boost my ability in Swedish up to a good reading level. What I haven't done is keep up with new languages released. I think the only new one I did this year was Polish, apart from a little dabbling at the first few skills of a few others and the first few sections of Welsh. I was too invested in Russian to take the time on the newer courses. In 2017 I want to become able to listen to and read Russian with confidence and to be speaking it with a degree of fluency. I want to maintain and improve the others I already understand and hopefully finish the Welsh tree and a couple of other new ones. I also want to be able to understand spoken Tukish and Polish and Dutch and Danish. It will be interesting to see if I can manage all this. I hope you post again next year:)
wow, I'm glad you posted again. Your love of language is amazing, not to mention your determination and hard word. :-)
I wish you a wonderful year, in language learning and life; and sure, I'll post again next year. Keep up the AWESOME work :-)
all the best,
What a great post and a great idea! I normally set myself language learning goals more per decade than per year... But I'll give it a go, inspired by all the great goals listed in this conversation.
I'll have a busy year in 2017, so I'm not expecting too much of myself: For French, I want to continue reading books and read at least four proper adult books during the year, hopefully more. For Spanish, I finally want to start actually reading books, and get through at least three or four, even if they would be children's chapter books. I also want to get through the Lingvist stack of Spanish words (I'm at about 1,200 now, and there are probably 4,000+ words in the stack...) as well as get to at least 3,000 words in the First 5,000 Words course on Memrise, where I'm now at 1,600+.
For Estonian, I want to keep going to my classes and read three or more books, including the medieval detective novel I've had on my bookshelf for at least a year now... And, finally, for Russian, I want to be able to follow and understand the main points of clear radio programs such as news broadcasts, as well as having read a few children's books, hopefully proper chapter books. I also want to get to at least 3,000 words in the Top 10,000 Words Memrise course, where I'm now at close to 1,600. Ideally, I'd also like to have finished the Lingvist stack of Russian words by the end of 2017, where I'm now at 1,200+.
On Memrise, I usually keep all my words practiced and learn new ones every now and then, but making a concrete goal like getting from 1,600 (a kind of survival vocabulary -- well, I'd survive if I actually knew them all) to 3,000 (already quite a nice basis for reading) and realizing that this takes about 4 new words per day, every day, is probably a good thing for me...
Wow, you're doing pretty AMAZING. :-) I'm sure with your proven dedication you'll manage what you've set :-)
I wish you a WONDERFUL 2017, :-)
Wünsch' ich Dir auch! :-)
I already felt very motivated to do my new Spanish and Russian words this morning, thinking of this thread!
Haha, it's the penultimate week of 2017, and I really didn't reach my lofty goals this year!
Well, not all of them. But I'm pretty chuffed with the ones I did reach: I read the medieval detective novel in Estonian as well as a Spanish detective novel I had been eyeing for a long time. I reached 3,000 words in Russian and Spanish on Memrise already in late September, and have been keeping these (as well as 2017 Estonian ones) practiced ever since. I still do a bit of Duolingo every day. After a long break, I got back to Lingvist (my main language learning tool at the moment), and am at 2,800+ words in Spanish and 1,800+ words in Russian. I've been listening to some podcasts in Russian, and radio in all four languages.
I do feel that I've made progress in all four languages, despite having been very busy with real life stuff and splitting my learning time across several languages.
In 2018, I hope to finish the Lingvist courses, finally have the time and vocabulary to read a few more books (at least the next ones in both the Spanish and the Estonian series), read a few simplified Russian books, and continue to enjoy my language learning journey.
Happy language learning in 2018, everyone! :-)
I still have my four main languages: Spanish, French, Slovak and Swedish. In 2016 I finally started reading books in Spanish which has definitely improved my reading skills but since I've only had a couple of exchanges (not really conversations), my other skills are nowhere near fluency. As for the other languages, the big thing this year was getting a good foundation in Slovak. I found a book about it, finished that and I'm currently participating on an online course. In-person Swedish classes have helped me get my Swedish close to what it once was. When you combine all those with the Greek course I started here, I haven't had as much time for French as I would have liked.
So that should be my main focus in 2017, French. I may need a good refreshening and after that I'll hopefully start reading. I'm not as optimistic about finding Slovak books but I can at least finish the course and try to read news online. As for Spanish, I should probably try to get my listening near the level of my reading, hopefully by improving the listening instead of forgetting how to read.
Here on Duo, I'll try to finish the Greek tree and like I said last year: if not contribute, at least witness the start of the Finnish course.
like I said last year: if not contribute, at least witness the start of the Finnish course
Yeah, that's such long-persisting goal for me that I didn't even bother mentioning it! :-)
Wow... Now I feel very monolingual compared to you all.
My most impressive achievement this year was passing my C1 English exam. Oh, and yeah, I have finally abgeschlossen my Deutsch tree! And I read my first Spanish book and got a 19 (in 20) in my Spanish test! :D
By the end of 2017 I hope to:
maybe pass my C2 English exam
be able to read easy-reading books in German without a lot of help
finally complete my French tree
read lots of books in English and Spanish
maybe complete the Norwegian tree
maybe start reading books in French
Good luck with your goals, fellow Duolingoers!
C1 in any language is no joke, and that German tree is a beast - congrats on your accomplishments!!
you're doing pretty AMAZING, too :-) have a WONDERFUL 2017, and keep up the good work :-)
These were some of my main goals for 2016, as I recall: HSK4 Chinese, A2 Irish (I only knew how to say "hello" at the beginning of the year), improve French, maintain my other languages (Arabic, Esperanto, German, Spanish).
I didn't make HSK4 but my HSK3 is even stronger than before. I didn't make A2 Irish but I'm a solid A1, with a decent foundation and ready to jump up a level with some dedicated time and energy. I know what the language "feels" like now, if that makes sense, even if I can't do much with it yet. The other languages fluctuated between B1 and B2 depending on how recently I'd practice. I also spent a month learning Wolof! I've been wanting to learn an African language for some time so that was fun :-)
I'm doing a PhD in France, in English but all of my daily interactions and teachings are in French. The quality of my life here has been improving in direct correlation wtih my French level. For the first six months I was just letting it improve by learning vocabulary as needed or by osmosis from the environment around me. But then, every time I'd try to set a new goal for Irish or Chinese, or decide to spend a few months focusing on these languages, I'd realize how much French I still need to learn and do French instead.
Overall I have been transitioning from having specific goals in a tight timeline, to just learning languages for fun and letting myself progress naturally without any specific deadline. I certainly learn less this way but I'll need to decide whether I want to continue this philosophy or go back to having SMART goals. I think if I simply cut down my time on social media I will have no trouble achieving all that I want!
That said, here are some things I'd love to accomplish in 2017:
-Continue to improve French, especially vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. Improve accent to the point where people cannot tell I'm a native English speaker right away (if people think I'm non-French but can't tell where I'm from it's OK). Read at least one novel in French.
-Become conversational in Irish, and keep up with the book club I'm in
-Learn to write Chinese by hand (right now I can only read, and write with a keyboard). Maybe someday get my memrise review pile down to zero? Practice often enough to not lose the speaking ability I have now (solid A2). I've had the goal of making it to B1/HSK4 for a couple years now... but I find the A2->B1 jump rather difficult and I don't find Chinese enough of a priority to put in the effort required over the next year.
-Revise and improve my Arabic, especially over the summer
-Maintain other languages by practicing with friends and colleagues every now and then
For Duolingo specifically, I'd like to finish the Irish tree and do at least one "cross" tree (most likely Spanish for French). I'll also be keeping up with new tree revisions; I just got the German one this week, and Esperanto is expected pretty soon, perhaps in the next month or two.
I don't think I'll start a new language this year, I usually don't start a new one until all my others are at B1 or higher but last year I started both Irish and Wolof while my Chinese was still at A2. I will put off Wolof until the next business trip to Senegal is scheduled, and wait to start another new language until Chinese and Irish are both solid.
Of course I may continue to dabble in the Dutch tree when I get stuck with Irish... :-)
All the best on your goals for this next year, Duolingoers!
WOW, you're doing AMAZING, so many different languages. Only Mandarine, and Arabic are great achievements, considering that your native language is English.
I like to learn both Arabic, and Mandarin; I have no problem with Arabic, I guess It won't be that hard, considering that the alphabet is familiar to me, and I've studied it for many years in school; as for Mandarin, my first goal is to be able to have a conversation, I'm not sure about reading and writing it at the moment.
May I ask why you want to speak French so that people cannot tell you're a native English? :-)
Merci! Yeah I think you will find Arabic relatively easy, vocabulary is the biggest problem for me but Farsi has exchanged many words with Arabic over the years. I remember listening to a conversation in Farsi and being surprised at the words I recognized (like "engineer" is also muhandas or something similar). The essential grammar in Arabic is certainly not any harder than German; in fact I find it easier.
And I agree that Mandarin is really interesting and different! I thought reading would be the hardest part for me but actually it was listening comprehension!
I want to work on my French pronunciation because people still can't understand me sometimes when a word has multiple vowels that I pronounce poorly. Specifically focusing on mistakes that English speakers make has helped me so far, since the vowels are the biggest difference. At the same time, this video makes a good point of why I shouldn't try to sound exactly like a native speaker... ;-) (some strong language, if you are at work or near children): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz0XgAKR9Oc
haha, you've got it right with 'muhandEs', then perhaps I start slowly with Arabic, and postpone Mandarin to a later time :-)
And thanks for the video, it was hillarious, I'm still laughing, :-)
I wish you an AMAZING 2017, and good luck with your language learning, :-)
And I hope YOU have an amazing 2017, language and otherwise! It sounds like you have a lot of great learning ahead of you!
"People think I'm actually French, but stupid" - this line made me very quickly abandon the goal of sounding like a native speaker, because it will be a looooooong time (if ever) before I stop making mistakes! :-)
Hey, that's indeed impressive! If I can moderately speak Portuguese (something like the level of B) at the end of 2017, that'll do for me.
thanks buddy, be persistent and practice regularly, that's the key rule :-) have a WONDERFUL 2017 :-)
In 2016 I finished Italian. I think I am quite fluent in it actually, as I learned it for 5 years in middle and high school. In 2017, I want to start reading some books in Italian, I want to get Harry Potter In Italian, I think it will be easier to read, since I already know the story line. In 2017 I want to finish German, and its quite hard so I may do it also from Italian just to get a better command on it. I also want to start Swahili.
GREAT, the Harry Potter tactic is very wise. I guess it would help a lot; I have done the same tactic with other books, for German :-)
Have an AMAZING 2017, and good luck with your language learning :-)
Such a creative post idea! Here we go.
Review of 2016: I started studying Spanish in August, I didn't have too much knowledge of the language before. My goal was to learn past tense, which I did. Besides certain irregular verbs, I pretty much have mastered it. I learned plenty of new vocabulary words, but I have to review a little. I need to know them off of the top of my head. I am currently about 45% finished with my tree, a little bit before the final checkpoint. When I started, I didn't take any shortcuts.
Goals for 2017: My goal is to be B1 in speaking and listening, B2 in reading and writing by the end of 2017. Reading and writing have always been easier for me, as they are for many others. I also hope to complete the Spanish tree no later than Easter. I plan on watching new Spanish television programmes to help my knowledge grow. I also hope to finally get a grasp on certain irregular verbs.
wonderful, I wish you an AMAZING 2017, and good luck with your language learning :-)
Good luck, Heschmat!
My goals for 2017:
Become fluent (or at least near-fluent) in French and Spanish. I want to be able to read books in both languages, and finish around 5 or 10 ten books in each one. I also want to master the Russian alphabet and to be able to read it as easily as I read the Roman one. I want to start learning either German, Turkish, or Russian.
have a WONDERFUL 2017 and good luck with your language learning :-)
My Goals For 2017 Are: Finish my Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, and Italian trees. (Also finish all the Mango Languages courses for those languages.) [From January to Hopefully Before May.]
Start my Japanese/Mandarin back up. [I will be working on that for the rest of the year, hopefully]
And, convince my friend to learn a language with me. (I don't really care which language, as long as we both have a real interest, it's all good.) [I will be trying to do this throughout the year, hopefully, my friend will see me and think 'Maybe I should learn a language too' we'll see xDD]
And That's it!
great, good luck with your language learning! and definitely your progress could motivate your friend to learn a language. I wish both you and your friend a WONDERFUL 2017 :-)
Well, in 2016 I reached level 20 German and completed my tree. Also, after experimenting with a few languages I've become more focused in learning Norwegian.
My language goals for 2017:
-Continue to improve my German (specifically in speaking the language)
-Complete my Norwegian tree
-Get some dictionaries (mainly Norwegian and Nordic languages)
-Begin studying Icelandic (which I think will be my next language after Norwegian)
Maybe this list will change, maybe not, who knows? Happy new year fellow DL users, and good luck on your own goals! :-)
In 2016 I've: - Finished both the French and Ukrainian trees - Got to level 25 in French (may or may not have been achieved through translating an immense amount of articles..) - Read Le Petit Prince - Started using Memrise again (and boy have I missed it) - Going back to French, I got a certificate from McGraw-Hill Education stating that I'm B2
I hope to, in 2017,: - Finish the Colloquial French book - Use the McGraw-Hill Education Complete French All-in-One book - Go to France and use my knowledge of the language to comprehend my surroundings and converse - ..maybe get Les Miserables in French and read it? It happens to be my favorite novel, and I'd love to read it in the original language. - Learn Norwegian, finishing its book in the Colloquial series, and, of course, by using Duolingo
Not everything is clear, yet I hope that 2017 will be a good year!
My goals for 2017 are:
Finish my Greek tree
Finish my Hungarian tree
Finish my German tree
Start my Polish tree
My 2016 goals were all met!
WOW, amazing achievements, I am flabbergasted. You have done a lot in a short period of time. My goal is C1 German.
Thanks Lorel90 :-)
You're achievements are also AWESOME, keep up the good work, I'm sure you'll achieve you're goal in German. Have a FABULOUS 2017 :-)
2016 (and late 2015) were terrible for me due to personal reasons, so I wasn't focused too much on language learning. Now I am back in the game and taking it much more seriously! Hopefully I'll be fluent (to an extent) in Hebrew by the end of 2017, with some Arabic knowledge as well as minor improvements in the languages that I already have some basic knowledge in (French and Swedish). Maybe even learn some Turkish too, I'd love that.
Sorry to hear that, I wish you a WONDERFUUUUUL 2017, and good luck with your language learning :-)
Review: FINALLY finished the whole German tree! Yay!
Goals: Finish the Spanish tree and start the Portuguese tree! Finish making the Japanese tree so that we can release the beta version!
herzliche Glückwünsche für Deutsch, das ist hervorragend :-)
I already started a bit of Mandarin, but Japanese is also in among my favorites, still now, I don't know which one to pursue. Maybe I try your course, too, and then decide :-)
have a WONDERFUL 2017, and good luck with your language learning :-)
Thanks for the post - it is a valuable one.
Let me share my language goals for 2017:
ENGLISH: I've passed C1 exam - Keep this level reading 1 CNN article/day minimum.
ITALIAN: I've passed C1 exam as well - Keep this level to read 1 "Il giornale" article/day minimum.
GERMAN: I've passed B2 exam - Pass C1 level before 2017 September could be great so I will prepare for the language exam with language books and audios.
FRENCH: It is a new language for me so I would like to complete the Duo Tree soon and try to pass the B1 exam in 2017 November-December.
Select the final language that I will learn in my life slowly. (I think 4 or 5 languages are the maximum for me that can be spoken in real.) Russian, Arabic or Spanish could be the best option.
Have a great day,
No, they are not online tests. They are offical professional language exams that are well accepted in Europe and I pay for them.
I like to measure the progress and use official measurement - it is also beneficial for CV. (Learn a language is a great hobby and it makes us more competitve for interantaional companies.)
All the best,
Thanks a lot. Honestly I have been learning these languages for a long time now:
ENGLISH: More than 10 years.
ITALIAN: More than 5 years.
GERMAN: More than 4 years.
FRENCH: Since last summer: 1.5 half years.
RUSSIAN: 3 months.
Step by step slowly on the way that takes me to the fluent level. :)
Have a great day,
Thanks for sharing your goals; you've accomplished a lot. Einfach hervorragend. :-)
I guess amongst Russian, Arabic and Spanish, "Spanish" would be much easier for you to learn, and "Arabic" the most difficult?
The "English-German-Russian" combination is the best in my country according to the international companies' needs, our middle-eastern geographical location and our current economical background.
Spanish is one of my love. Unfortunately it is too close to the Italian language - it is disturbing and creates problem in my Italian discussions.
Probably Russian will be the final language on my plate. It seems interesting and it's also very useful. :)
Unfortunately it is too close to the Italian language - it is disturbing and creates problem in my Italian discussions.
If you do go for Spanish, don't worry too much about this. The better your Italian gets, the easier it will be to keep these similar languages apart.
I'm also looking for my "probably last language". I guess another goal of mine for 2017 is not to start on yet another one, but give myself time to really make a good, sensible decision. Fortunately, Russian is hard enough to keep me pretty occupied... X-) (And I'd originally only planned to start learning Russian in 2018, but then the Duolingo course came out last year...)
thanks a lot for the information.
I have basic knowledge in Spanish. It seemed great to improve that basic level as Spanish is similar to Italian.
When I started to learn the Spanish words I mixed them with their Italian forms and vica-versa. The problem: I felt that I lose my Italian fluency.
I stopped learning Spanish so I selected French. :)
nice, I would pick Russian, if I were you. It makes more sence, specially that it's more practical :-)
I wish you a WONDERFUL 2017, and good luck with your language learning and life :-)
Hi Heschmat, thanks a lot for the kind words and let me wish you the same: Have a great year and I'm looking forward to your next post about "Review of 2017, & your goals of 2018" by this time next year. :)
thanks, I'm super excited about 2017; and sure, I'll post the review. stay tuned :-D
I hope to greatly improve my German. The past two years have been great and I now have a German friend at school, so yeah :P
I am hoping to learn Estonian, Italian, Hungarian and Swedish for 2016. Persian would be great too.
Honestly, it depends on what kind of a mood I'm in.