Thursday, May 5, 2011

Six Month Check-in

It's been a little more than two weeks since my last update. I've been pretty busy, either at the cabin or, in the case of this last week, a long out-of-town interpreting gig.

Since I started tracking my progress in November of last year, it's now been about six months. It's time I check to see where I'm at, overall.

First up, Norwegian. I hadn't really planned on my active skills being where they are right now, but I've had ample opportunity to use the language actively. While at the cabin, I've been able to speak almost daily. That's brought my level up faster than I had anticipated. The conversations I've had have mostly been due to two friendships with longtime immigrants I've formed in Northern Wisconsin. I've watched a fair amount of Norwegian film - enough to become somewhat knowledgeable in the genre. And the films I've watched have served as a springboard for conversations with my two friends.

All said, I could probably bump up my level from a B1 to a B2.

As for Polish, it's gone much slower than I had expected. I have not had any active use of the language at all so far for 2011. I'm a little disappointed that I haven't progressed any with speaking, but passively I think I've gained some. I've gone through a couple good novels. They were difficult, but held my interest. I learned a good deal of new vocabulary.

So, while I still see my speaking ability at an A2 level, I see my reading ability at a B1 level.

I've made the most progress in Turkish. I've not just concentrated on this language in general, I've made sure to push both my passive and active skills. In the last six months, I've gone through one complete audio course (Pimsleur Turkish), as well as two combination audio/text courses (Teach Yourself Turkish and Türkçe Öğreniyoruz - this last course completely in Turkish). I've discovered a huge amount of Turkish pop music, both "classic" and current, that has helped me with some idiomatic expressions, as well as given me some cultural insight. And finally, I've been using Skype with a language partner for a while now. This has, by far, taken my active use to a level that I really had no intention of reaching at this stage. But again, the opportunity presented itself, and I couldn't let it pass by.

Because of this, I would place my speaking ability at A2, and my reading ability at B1. That's the same level my Polish currently is at - a language I've been studying for quite a bit longer. I also think that I've progressed further with Turkish because there's a passion for it that isn't present with the other languages. That passion that's slowly grown over the last few months was also unexpected. And truthfully, I don't know where it came from. Whatever the reason, I'm glad I found this passion. It's taken me and will take me further than I had planned.

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