Language Goals

Does anyone have goals that they set for themselves? By this I mean, do you set that by this time I would like to know this many words, have listened this many hours, read this many words, etc?

I’m trying this out right now with Spanish and I am finding that it keeps me going, keeps my motivation in the language. It gives me something to aim for and try to achieve something difficult. I put some of my goals in my profile bio if anyone wants to take a look.

So, what are your goals or even opinions on the subject?

I have goals re known words because I find them motivating. I don’t have any goal re how many words to read because once you have a sufficiently large vocabulary, the new words will come at a slower and slower rate and so it’s difficult to estimate how many words I’d have to read to reach my goal. I don’t keep track of my listening hours but I do make it a habit to listen to my target languanges daily.


To make it to 200 hours by May you’d have to listen to at least an hour a day of Spanish every day till then. Is that your intention?

@ Desmond

When you say you’re using the SRS method to learn Japanese, what do you mean? What sites/resources are you using?

Thanks to the both of you for this, you’ve given me motivation to set goals for myself for my Chinese learning.


I use Anki as my SRS software. What I do is I’d watch Japanese TV programmes and try to catch some words and phrases. I’d then look them up to see if I’ve heard them correctly. I’d then copy some relevant examples from and input them into Anki, together with the sound files from Sometimes I’d just input some sentence examples from the dictionaries without any sound files into Anki.

The method has worked recently well so far. However, I’ve been bored with all the TV dramas I’ve been watching. Moreover, recently has changed their interface and I just don’t like the change at all. Looking up sentences have become a lot more hassles. Also, now that LingQ’s Japanese has come out of beta, I intend to switch my Japanese study to LingQ as well. doo has been using LingQ’s Japanese materials and seems to have make great progress.

I haven’t been very good at setting goals lately. But I think when I get to about 25 or 30 thousand French words I’ll have a bit of a break and do something else, maybe Finnish, Chinese or Korean (if it’s up here by then). I’m thinking it’s going to take me many more hundreds of hours of listening before I can understand tv, movies and live native speakers comfortably in French. So far, I’ve listened to about 150 hours (plus whatever I learnt before LingQ, which in input-based terms probably equates to very little!). With Spanish, I’m thinking that 10-15 thousand words on LingQ would satisfy me for a while and perhaps about 150 hours of listening (so far I’m at about 70, from scratch).

My goals are:

  • know 2500 kanji in Japanese (till 2011);
  • speak basic, everyday Bashkir (till 2011);
  • do not miss articles in English (without any deadline :p)

I don’t measure my progress by known words and listened hours, as I usually forget to update my LingQ progress snapshot.

I choose to set goals one week ago because I felt myself not motivated anymore.

English, 16 000 words by 31 december 2009
German, 5 000 words by 31 december 2009.

At the 31 december 2009, I will set new goals by the 28 February.

A goal has to be ambitious but doable.

Five languages in five years (apart from native) at satisfactory level - this was the original plan. I set this goal almost a year ago when I started learning Spanish, and even if I don’t achieve this goal, I won’t be disappointed since I just love the whole language learning process, and this is the most important part for me. Understanding, new people, new, beutiful cultures, new friends and travelling are just nice byproducts. :smiley:

While I was learning Spanish, after about 6 months, I just realized that satisfactory level won’t be enough for me - I want to be fluent and as perfect as I can be. And if it takes more than five years, so be it. :smiley:

I’m pretty sure that you know Khatzumoto, if not check out his website ( He knows a few things about Japanese and SRS. :smiley:


I thought about that after I put that in there last night. So I began my studies and I did about 1.5 hours of listening last night. I don’t think the listening is a problem because it is something I enjoy doing, and I loose track of time doing also. Also, there will be days where I know I’ll be doing more than just an hour, which is usually on weekends.

Ya I’ve been trying to do an hour a day of Chinese, but I want to bump it up to 2 hours or even 3 a day.

My goal is to be coversationally fluent in Chinese in a year, and I’ve already got two months down…


Thanks for the Japanese link! I had seen this before but I hadn’t really taken a close look at it.

I agree with you, one language per year should be a cinch with a system like LingQ. So far I’ve learned two languages in 4 years (though not perfectly:), so I’ll just have to double my efforts…

As I said on the other thread, I’d be glad to help out with Chinese, and that goes for anyone!

My recent experience with Spanish has convinced me that LingQ can be used to get a foothold into a language very quickly. I’m toying with the idea of doing a 3 month session on each of the languages on LingQ just to create a solid base that could be built upon later [3 months x (10-3) = 21 months (less than two years!)].

Since picking Swedish back up in the past few months, I hope to have listened to at least a thousand hours of it by October 2010. If I get really crazy, I might be able to double that, but we’ll have to wait and see. This is my only quantifiable goal right now, and as you can see, it’s not so concrete. :slight_smile:

Somewhat more abstractly, if by, say, 2011 I’m able to speak it like a typical Swede my age speaks English, I’ll be feelin’ pretty good.

Thank you, I’ll need that help! :slight_smile: Thank you very much!

If you get a grasp of every langauge here, aren’t you afraid that you would forget everything in the first/second/third language by the end of the 21 month?

Unless you concentrate on each one intensively for 3 months and then do ‘maintenance’ (e.g. 10 minutes of listening and reading) on the ones you’re not actively learning while you learn a new one…

I’m confident that this wouldn’t happen. I’m not saying I’d be fluent in 3 months but have a solid base to build from or to use when travelling. But this 3 month period would also need to include lots and lots of listening. With Spanish for example, I feel that I’ve got enough of a grasp now that even if I stopped and started again 1 or 2 years later, it wouldn’t take take much refreshing to be back to the same point (but no better, of course). Obviously, Spanish is similar to French and therefore it’s much easier to make progress given that I’ve been studying French for some time. But on the other hand, I have been dividing my time between Spanish and French (a little bit more attention to French). But if the whole three months were dedicated to one language (German or Swedish, for example), I reckon there could be a lot of progress made. Mind you, I doubt that I’ll actually undertake such a task. It’s just one of my crazy ideas at the moment! haha.

Jó napot kivánok!

That’s pretty good, Cecile. 16,000 is a lot of words! I’m impressed!

I was reading Khatzumoto’s blog (that I mentioned in another thread) and he wrote that it is much more effective to boost one language to the maximum (native level) in the shortest period possible (he did that with Japanese in 18 months) and then you can move onto another language - because chances are you wouldn’t forget (well, not that much) if you achieved native level fluency. I don’t know. Maybe he is right, maybe not. But it worked for him!


Mites menee? :smiley:
(I really appreciate that you used accents! :D)

There was time when I thought the same. Then I just changed my mind. I think I’ll go for one language (Spanish) in hardcore mode and do another (Chinese) just for fun until I reach my target level in Spanish. Then I’ll just swap the two languages. But that is the beauty of it - everybody has the chance to decide what and how he wants to learn. :smiley: