It’s been 4 months since I last wrote on this blog, and I’ve been super, super busy. I’ve been meaning to write in this blog, but to quote John Lennon “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”. This post is an epic recap of what I’ve been up to…
September 2015: I started using Danish language to teach Thai to Danish people!
Previously I’ve written about how I accidentally became a Thai language teacher here in Denmark. Fortunately for me, most Danes are very good at English, so in the beginning I was able to explain about Thai language using my native language of English. However it has turned out that there is a mixed level of English learners in the beginner Thai class that I teach, so I have started to explain things in Danish first, and if there is a huge confusion then I explain things again in English and it gets translated. My students are super patient with me for teaching in what is my third language.
October 2015: I got married (på dansk)
On the 30th of October 2015, I got married here in Denmark in my local Solrød Strand Rådhus. The ceremony was personally held by the local Borgmester (that means “mayor” for those of you who don’t speak Danish), and I was able to explain in Danish that if he spoke slowly, I could understand him. Surprisingly, I understood almost everything and there was no need for clarification in English. It made me even happier on what was already one of the happiest days of my life, and I never ever thought I would get married in a foreign language(!).
October 2015: Danske Lordagen
My wife and I agreed to make one day a week “Danish Saturdays”. As long as the theme is connected to Danish language, anything goes. We tend to rewatch familiar movies in Danish language, read Danish books out loud, make sugary winter comfort food and invite guests round our house. It can be extremely challenging at times, and we are not always 100% strict with the Danish language rule, but I have definitely noticed my level of comfort and familiarity with the language increase.
By the way, the most intense activity I did on Danish Saturdays has been helping my wife give birth(!) It wasn’t specifically intended to be a language activity, but we had a home birth and although everyone involved – friends, family, midwives – could speak English, they all reverted to Danish language during the more intense moments. And most of that day was comprised of intense moments. But I am now a proud father!
November 2015: I started using lang-8.com to write a diary in Danish
Technically this has been something that has been going on since around September, but I was going to write about it here in November. I don’t feel so comfortable writing on this blog in Danish – mostly because it can’t be corrected in an easy format – so instead I write over at lang-8. I try my best to write in the same way that I would talk to someone, and I always keep the entries extremely short, only about 4 – 6 sentences. I found that this helped a lot with my confidence in Danish, and I would like to continue this activity in 2016.
December 2015: Losing my 200+ Duolingo streak… On my birthday
After writing an nice blog post about how I finally achieved a 100 day streak on Duolingo, I thought that I had the habit of my daily Duolingo integrated into my life. I finished my Danish skill tree a while ago and I was in the process of seeing if you can ‘regold’ the tree from about 30xp daily of the strengthen skills mode on the website (my efforts were not successful). Then Christmas happened and my routines got broken. Streak freezes were used. Then right after Christmas, my birthday happened. My wife had secretly invited a couple of my friends from the UK to visit me for my birthday and new year (my birthday is the day before New Year’s Eve). It was really good to see my friends, but it broke up my routine so much that I didn’t even find time to even buy a streak freeze for my Duolingo account.
Plans for 2016
This year, I plan on making it the most active one yet on this blog! I will do one post a week every Sunday (this post counts as week 1). One of the reasons why I’ve found it challenging to write here in the past is because I’ve put pressure on myself to always write about something extremely interesting and useful, that will significantly help you with your language learning.
But then I remembered that I started this blog with the purpose of being a humble language learning log. The only thing that I need to do is ‘check in’ with what I’m doing in terms of language learning. See you all next Sunday!