2014 Language Resolutions

Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable and safe holiday. I know a lot of you have probably set some kind of resolution for the new year. What language related goals have you set for the new year?

For myself, I’m going to aim to bring my all time “words of reading” stat up to about 1.5 million. I’m sitting at about 700,000 words read all time right now so that will more than double what I have read. I should be able to achieve this as long as I read on a consistent basis throughout the year and that is where the challenge will be for me.


I think setting a “words of reading” goal is smart. Activity points, LingQs made, LingQs learned don’t quite make sense as goals. I think I’ll do the same, but on a monthly basis. 100,000 words of reading this month and 30 hours of listening


Well, goodreads.com has prompted me to set myself a reading goal for 2014. I have set it at 20 books, which will probably break down as 5 in English, 5 in French, 5 in German and (really big stretch here) 5 in Russian. If they are grown-up novels (another big stretch) that’s half a million words per language, which corresponds to …erm…tens of thousands of new words encountered and many of them learned as a natural part of the reading process.

I used to set goals in terms of LingQs created and learned, but, y’know, Steve Krashen says we should all be extensively reading for pleasure to increase our comprehension, so I’m going to focus on that and see how it goes.

@spatterson - Yeah, I thought about using stats such as activity points, LingQs made, and known words. While I find them to be a bit of a motivation, they aren’t a very good measure of the time spent learning the language for me. My activity score always go down when I spend more time reading and listening to previously LingQ’d documents. Then it goes back up when working on new material despite spending a similar amount of time with the language. I’d add a listening goal but I’m terrible at keeping track of my listening habits away from LingQ. I do almost all of my reading at LingQ so it is easy to keep track of. Good luck with 100,000 words a month. I can hit that number occasionally but it is pretty difficult for me. Hopefully my reading speed improves and by the end of the year I can reach that without breaking a sweat.

@skyblue - What, no love for Japanese reading in your future? :frowning: That’s a lot of reading you’re planning on doing. Good luck!

My language goals for 2014 correspond to my reading challenge at Goodreads, which amount to 52 books:
13 French
13 Spanish
13 Italian
13 Korean

I’ve also set aside a special notebook in my Midori TN to record my thoughts after each reading in the language of a given book. In this way, I’ll get some writing practice done.

Strictly speaking, I will average one foreign language book and one foreign language writing practice per week. For audio input, I’ll just listen to whatever, whenever. And if I have extra time to dive into more, then I’ll go for it sans pressure. ~Easy, breezy, relaxing, and fun.


52?!? Remember get some sleep and drink lots of water. It would probably be a good idea to read outside on occasion. Gotta make sure you get your vitamin D after all.

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cgreen0038, it’s just one book for a period of seven days. It isn’t monumental at all! Do you really think that reading one book a week is that exhausting? Surely, you jest!

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I jest a little bit. One book a week wouldn’t be difficult if I was reading in English. Reading that much in my second language (Japanese) would be very taxing for me. So it’s pretty hard to wrap my head around doing it in 4 different adopted languages.

What is the average length of a novel? 50-60,000 words maybe? That is probably a typical month for me (something I’m trying to improve). Maybe I could do it if I was re-reading a books I’ve already read. It would be much easier if I was already familiar with the vocab. I’ve read a lot today but it from a book I’ve already read.

I’m not usually able to make much time everyday after work but, at least one hour listening would be possible for each weekdays and will focus more on weekends; like around 8~9 hours for listening.

I’m gonna pursue more readling this year. I wouldn’t go with books daintily, just will read anything given to me(teenagers’ and even kids books). But I will avoid grown ups’ for this year. I’ll just be satisfied with some news articles for an adult segment for this year in order to build up my reading speed so that I can propel myself to read authentic novels someday without getting frustrated.
My reading goals for 2014 is more than 50 English books. HOoray! Cheer up troopers!

달려봅시다! ㅎㅎ


I’m skeptical about new year’s resolutions. I think we should be setting goals on a regular basis, and building the habits that will help us reach those goals… and there’s nothing special about 1st Jan to help you achieve that.

It’s a good time to reflect, maybe, but for me at least I need to work on goal setting as more of a regular thing.

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There’s no reason to be skeptical Olly. My resolution will give me motivation now and something to be depressed about in February. :smiley:

@Bluemurder - The schedule you are aiming for sounds pretty similar to what I try to do. I have a tendency to slack off a bit on weekends when I have more distractions despite having more time available to study. As long as I can stay consistent with my study habits, I believe I should reach my goal. Consistency is always the hard part.

@cgreen: frankly, I’ll be very smug indeed when I manage to read my first short story in Japanese. A whole book might take me until 2015…but you never know…

My only current language goal is to overtake skyblueteapot for the total number of LingQs made in German!

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Kimojima: Thanks so much for your kind words, and for your wonderful suggestion. “Diagonal activation”…interesting…I think I’ll test it out, see how it feels :slight_smile:

Speaking of time commitments for reading, something I’ve been trying to do lately is read less intensively, trying to absorb everything I read. I have a tendency to stop and try to decipher anything I have trouble reading. This slows me down a lot and often I feel I’m better served moving on. I’ve been reading along while listening to audiobooks lately and that helps to keep me moving. I really couldn’t do that even a year ago because I simply didn’t have the vocabulary to keep up.

But while I’m a world away from where I was even a year ago, I still have a long way to go with Japanese grammar. Even though Japanese grammar is probably simpler than English grammar, it is so different that it continually throws me for a loop. Strangely, I find the faster pace of listening causes me to notice things that I’m not sure I would have otherwise. Maybe I over-think it when I give myself time to do so?

@Chris - “Strangely, I find the faster pace of listening causes me to notice things that I’m not sure I would have otherwise. Maybe I over-think it when I give myself time to do so?”

So far, no explanation satisfies me about this matter, but something similar happens about parts of texts at times with me. To mix a metaphor, listening seems to shine a different light on the written word.

cgreen, I hear you. I can totally relate.

But! It is possible to absorb mountains of meaning if you just let go and let the text do its work; let the text feed you. Let it feed you just beyond your gut expansion. (I learned this from one unforgettable year spent in the bowels of Hell with my first love, French.)

A lot depends on the density of the text. Personally, I choose texts that are easy enough to tread without getting blisters. If there are too many stones along the path, I’m going to spend a lot of time tripping and getting wounded. So, I won’t go there. For example, I’m not going to read Cien años de soledad de Marquez this year. A better, more manageable choice will be La Travesia de Enrique. If there are a few pebbles strewn about here and there, I’m going to step on them and keep on going without worrying if I got it right. To stop and get it right is to interrupt the flow of ‘passive vocabulary’. You do know, so trust what you know. It is not just about reading books in a different language or languages. It has much to do with choosing the appropriate text that challenges you without going completely over your head.

You can always jot down words that don’t reveal their meaning and look them up later. We look up words all the time at LingQ, so no biggie, just grab your online dictionary and weed out what you need to weed out. Conversely, just stop trying to hone it in; stop trying to be perfect. While reading, don’t skip a word and make sense out of what you do understand! In my experience, it all shows up again, and you do get it at least the third time around. The bigger picture is at stake; a bird’s eye view, so to speak, is what matters.

I don’t care about being perfect and trying to absorb 100%—it’s a ridiculous concept when it comes to learning. We are in the midst of learning! I’m a bibliophile and so I extend myself to read in all the languages that I’m studying and have a sufficient vocabulary base. Frankly speaking, if you spend time on LingQ reading and studying numerous collections, why can’t you do the same with a collection of text, which by any other name would be deemed a book?

Everyday I am inspired by my LingQ & Goodreads Friends who read in multiple languages, namely, Peter, Berta, and Reinhard. It’s just normal, everyday business really. Just go for it :smiley:


@Chris - “Strangely, I find the faster pace of listening causes me to notice things that I’m not sure I would have otherwise. Maybe I over-think it when I give myself time to do so?”

I have found this too-- missing things while reading and understanding it when I listen.