Language learning, up to July 2010

Here’s the first numeric status update for my project to learn several languages at once.

Counts total learnt learning waiting
BSQ 180 143 3 34
KHK 121 112 2 7
GLI 94 73 2 19
FIN 76 66 1 9
MLS 76 61 14 1
RUM 69 23 22 24
JPN 67 59 1 7
HBR 64 53 3 8
CRN 51 44 0 7
RUS 50 17 16 17
DUT 45 35 1 9
NRR 45 25 2 18
PRT 44 43 1 0
FRN 37 34 1 2
SWD 35 35 0 0
CMN 34 33 0 1
CZC 27 24 2 1
PQL 21 20 1 0
GER 18 12 0 6
ICE 18 16 2 0

Total: 1172 questions in 20 languages, average 58 questions per language.
Learnt: 928, learning: 74, waiting: 170.

The language codes are ISO 639; most of them are probably reasonably obvious, except for KHK, which is Mongolian.

I dumped a bunch of words in the languages in which I previously had the fewest words (Romanian, Russian, Norwegian), last night, so there are more “waiting” words than usual.

I’m very impressed with the Supermemo method. I’m using it through Emacs flashcards, but for those who don’t use Emacs, there’s a python program called Mnemosyne that uses another variation of this algorithm. Of course, learning a language is not the same thing as acquiring it; flashcard learning is just building my vocabulary and my knowledge of grammatical rules — and examples.

And what does it feel like to be doing this? So far, it’s quite a buzz. I hadn’t done any systematic heavy-duty learning for a while before this, and it’s encouraging to find that I still can do it.

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