I did really well for 2 years.
Really well. I was basically conversational in Italian!
Then… I didn’t do anything. Life got a bit crazy and I couldn’t deal with migraines anymore, so I stopped taking iTalki lessons and no longer kept up with my reading or journaling.
Thankfully, though, I have a new treatment plan and a new job that lets me set my own hours so my motivation is coming back.
Do I need to re-learn Italian?
I don’t think I’m that bad off. I did take a year and a bit off, but I can still understand a lot if I focus on a song, video, etc. I would label myself as “rusty” with Italian… Luckily I was on the verge of being at a comfortable A2 level so I didn’t lose everything.
German, however, is a different story. I was barely past A0 and into A1 territory. I’m pretty sure what I learned is still down in my brain somewhere, but I can’t recall it without a lot of prompting.
So what am I going to do? Completely immerse myself in Italian. I figure that will be easier and more motivating. So, I’m going to get back into:
- My Spotify playlist when I wake up or when I want to listen to music
- The few Glossika recordings I have for Italian while driving
- Writing in my Italian journal
- Reading Olly Richard’s Italian Short Stories – one chapter per day
- Listen to podcasts, then re-listen while reading along
I think a few weeks of this – which should be 2-ish hours a day of devoting attention to Italian, plus some passive listening – will have me feeling much more comfortable in the language again. It also won’t cost me anything extra for the moment.
I’ll be using resources I already have access to!
I want to give myself a full 2 weeks of just focusing on Italian before I start introducing German. After all, I don’t want to lose the languages I have but I still want to add more! Since I feel like I’m starting from scratch, my German exposure will be a bit more structured.
- Start a new Spotify playlist for German
- Go through a module per day of German Uncovered
- Do a few pages a day of Hacking German
- Listen to full-speed German podcasts
Is That It?
I don’t know about you, but this seems like a lot and not enough all at the same time. My goal this time around is to have as much fun as possible while still feeling the motivation of slowly accomplishing things in other languages.
My friend Gary, who started the Language Learning Library, is starting a free language challenge. That won’t be starting for a bit, but when it does I think I’m going to go for it with Italian while I keep getting my ear used to German on the side.
Have you dropped your language studies before? Have you come back from it? Or are you looking for ways to come back from it?