If the soil could talk it would rain compliments on all those who know how to look after it properly. One of our most precious resources, it has been mismanaged and misunderstood for too long but…
I recently tried to spend 40 hours in a week learning American Sign Language (ASL) for the 40h7dLC (40 hours, 7 days Language Challenge). Guess what. I wasn’t even close to it. Or, at least, not on my own terms.
In my defense, I shot myself in the foot before the challenge even started. Passive learning counted toward the 40 hours but, since I chose to learn American Sign Language, that wasn’t really a convenient option. It’s not like I can listen to sign language while doing laundry.
Still, while I didn’t study for 40 hours, I studied more than I otherwise would have. And that’s a beginning.
On paper, I failed this challenge. In reality, I consider this challenge a win because of all I learned. And that’s not just ASL-related knowledge.
I love languages and I like challenges. Combining the two was a great opportunity to push my limits as a language learner.
Yet, when it came to it, I still had a life to live. I currently live with my parents which meant having long meals and regular evening drinks with them. I also need to keep writing if I want to make a living. On top of all that, I also need to relax, sleep, and learn other languages I love.
I spent about 5 hours per day learning ASL the first three days without reducing my time writing and my time with family. The result? I didn’t rest much and started feeling overwhelmed. When Thursday came around, I woke up with brain fog and a wrist that hurt from all the typing and signing.
That’s when I really decided to follow what other people were doing: accepting my study of other languages as part of the language challenge. I went back to listening to German radio in the background while writing my articles. I watched Korean dramas. And I played around with a few other languages I was curious about, most notably Ainu.
If learning a certain language isn’t your priority, don’t try to make it so. Learn it. Take a break. Have fun with it. Take another break. Skip a day if need be even.
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