What are you doing this holiday season with your language?

Happy holidays LingQers!

I wanted to know what you guys were all up to this holiday season with your language - are you doing anything exciting?

Personally, my best friend (who is Chinese) is staying at my apartment for two weeks, so I have lots of time to practise my Mandarin :slight_smile:

Hope you’re all enjoying the holidays, in any case!


I’m trying to finish A Tale Of Two Cities before the end of this year. What a book!

I just found the Chronicles of Narnia in Portuguese, so I’ve imported it and I’ll hopefully start reading it today or tomorrow.

Going hardcore for Chinese. I remember just over a year ago, I could hardly form sentences and felt hopeless. I buckled down and made a hardcore schedule (anki 1 hr/podcasts (passive)/ 2 hour tutor everyday/reading). I struggled at first, but finally got to a decent level and slowed my learning down.

Now I’m preparing to do it again to try to break through to the next level. I have a few different resources… but will likely do the same. I’m currently waiting for my tutor to return from France, then I can really begin studying!


I’m doing nothing special. Maybe I’ll find time to read more of the hardback Russian books that I have.

I did browse the language learning section of a chain bookstore for my own curiosity when there to look for a book to give as a gift. I was pleased that I knew the half dozen or so verbs that I randomly paged to in “501 Russian Verbs”. And I was amused by “Russian for Dummies”.

That sounds like a great couple of weeks. Have fun with your Mandarin. As for me, I’m living abroad in Latin America for the holidays. And November is the month of holidays here in Panama. November 5th is Colon Day. November 10th is Los Santos Uprising Day and November 28 is Independence Day.

How do you import books? I am having the worst luck with that. I have a couple ebooks and I cannot get it to work because it says something about copyrights.

What exactly is ankii?

There are some tools online you can use to remove the copyright protection from the book. I haven’t tried it myself, but IIRC, the one that Steve has recommended is called Calibre.

You can also probably copy/paste the raw contents into your own PDF to import it manually if Calibre doesn’t work for you.

It’s a flashcard system that is immensely popular among language learners because of its flexibility. It’s been around quite a while (hence the ugly app logo), but it is a community favourite.

You can check it out at https://apps.ankiweb.net/

I personally don’t believe in Anki at the beginner stages, because it becomes quite the grind to constantly work through flashcards when you barely know the language. Personally, I’d rather read content that I actually care about than staring at flashcards.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to do much LingQ so I prepared in advance by exporting a bunch of LingQs from the book I’m most interested in to Anki, a flashcard program. It was about 500 LingQs in total for the chapters I’ve read currently. I can do Anki flashcards anywhere, no matter what level of noise is going on around me. I blasted through about 600-900 reviews a day, seeing each card half a dozen times (so far). When I finally returned to my beloved book I was able to read chapters that were very difficult for me just a few days ago. So Anki is great when you can use it to focus in on your weakpoints.


I am with you there. I have never been a huge fan of drilling flash cards

I found it very useful while travelling this Christmas. I’m a very focused reader. If I don’t have silence and a dedicated block of time I just cannot read in airports, on buses etc, especially in a foreign language. I use Anki when I know that I’m going to have a lot of free time, but very little quiet private time.

Knowing that I exported 500 of my 1 star LingQs from the book I’m working on. I wouldn’t encounter them very often on LingQ, but words like belt, cap, hooks, rain hoods, and burglar appear quite a bit in The Hobbit (FR). In fact, Chapter 1 has 10,000 words and many of them are 1 star words in French. It would take a LOT of reading to be able to read that chapter comfortably. As it turned out, it only took about 60 minutes of flash cards a day spread out over the whole day.

I spent almost half of this year living in Tokyo.

Awesome experience, but I didn’t do much focused study during that time, so now that I am home in the states I intend to spend most of my free time on focused study. Set up Anki and TaeKim [and of course lingq] for the goal of passing the JLPT N2 at some point for work related reasons, but that might be about a year or more away. Really depends on how difficult the test actually is.