Skip to content

Language Challenge #1 – Thoughts

So it’s the end of week 1 and the first Language Challenge. Hopefully you know why you’re here but if not here’s a link to last week’s goal-setting post. As promised there’s a video of me. Just look at the top of this post.

What have I learned?

15 new verbs. There’s no 2 ways about it, I’ve learned 15 new things. New useful things. That’s positive! It was a specific goal but that was the point. Here they are:

  • S’échauffer – to warm up
  • S’étirer – to stretch
  • (Se) Frotter – To rub (oneself)
  • (Se) Gratter – To scratch (oneself)
  • Frapper dans ses mains – To clap one’s hands
  • Faire craquer ses doigts – To crack/click one’s fingers
  • Trébucher – To trip (over)
  • Boiter – To limp
  • Renifler – To sniff
  • (Se) Mordre – To bite (oneself)
  • Cueillir – To pick/pluck
  • S’élancer – To launch oneself
  • Hocher la tête – To nod one’s head
  • Se tapoter – To pat (oneself)
  • Se pencher/se baisser – To bend down

Over the last week I’ve used techniques that are not so spectacular: I’ve written notes, created flash cards, repeatedly gone over the flash cards, and even practised with my italki teacher. One thing stands out though: I worked everyday because of this target.

Before last week I had been making lists of new words and phrases I came across, but rarely regularly reviewing them. I’d remember the odd thing from a previous conversation but the majority would fly out of my head because they didn’t come up again. So I took action. I even got in front of the camera, which is pretty new for me (can you tell from the video?!)

I learned more than 15

There were several verbs in the list that have both reflexive and non-reflexive versions, like frotter (to rub) and se frotter (to rub oneself).

I learned I can stick to my goals

Knowing I’d said I’d put a video up (even if it’s not certain a lot of people would watch it) really made me determined to memorise the verbs.

I learned new vocabulary

I coming up with sentences to give my verbs context I learned new vocab such as un rhume which means a cold.

I learned that French people get confused too

Hocher la tête can mean both nod and shake your head! I found this online and put it to a couple of friends, neither of whom were 100% sure either way. I like these trivial parts of a language.

I learned more about video editing

A new hobby of mine is filming and video editing so this was a good opportunity to give myself practice with a real project.

Was 15 ambitious enough or not enough?

I’d say I could do more. The A in SMART stands for ambitious (or achievable) after all. Even after having read the list over and over for the past week I can struggle to get all 15 but I know that I have filtered them into my system and I’m going to be able to use them. So I’d say the next goal of a similar nature I’d go for 20. They have to be relevant to me though or I won’t use them. Sometimes you have to be ruthless and only learn what you’re going to use in the short term. Be as efficient as possible!

What’s next?

Stay tuned for the next challenge which starts tomorrow. You can keep informed via my FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.

I want to hear from you

What language are you learning at the moment? What goals are you working towards? Let me know in the comments here or on social media!

À bientôt !

Published inFrenchLanguage ChallengesLanguage Learning