June language hours

A little over a week ago now I moved back to New York City to start my endocrinology fellowship. Of course that means less time for language learning as I’m focusing on really learning my subspecialty and work, but I do spend a lot of time walking in the city, and always am listening to something foreign language related. I also do some podcast listening while exercising (but over half the time I prefer music or just to focus on exercise). A problem I have now in NYC is it’s hard to focus on one language. I meet someone everyday who speaks a different language, which always peaks my interest and makes me want to learn a bit of that language… making it harder to focus on Mandarin and Japanese. A big one for me here in NYC is Russian, I have a number of good friends here who are Russian speaking, and I tend to run into a lot of Russian speakers (I had a great dinner with a group of friends celebrating a birthday where about 75% of the conversations around were in Russian. I also met a French speaker from Mali who told me about the best West African restaurants in Harlem that I have to go check out. One surprising thing is that Spanish is spoken all over, but I’ve only used it once this past week. It’s definitely more pervasive in Dallas, and I’ll miss just having Spanish all around me. But I’m sure I’ll still get plenty of opportunities to use it here.

I also went on an Arabic tangent during the first half of last month… I have the Pimsleur Arabic 1-3 so I listened to a bunch of lessons.

That being said, over the past month I have done a decent bit of listening to japanesepod101, lingq reading/listening, and popupchinese. I haven’t really done any book learnin’ though.

June hours:

Japanese: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Mandarin: 6 hours, 20 minutes

Russian: 4 hours, 40 minutes

Spanish: 4 hours, 35 minutes

Arabic: 4 hours, 20 minutes

French: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Portuguese: 1 hour, 45 minutes

German: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Dutch: 20 minutes

Polish: 15 minutes

2018 Total Hours:

Japanese: 43 hours, 0 minutes

Mandarin: 38 hours, 50 minutes

Russian: 34 hours, 15 minutes

Spanish: 27 hours, 35 minutes

German: 12 hours, 5 minutes

French: 12 hours, 5 minutes

Portuguese: 5 hours, 55 minutes

Arabic: 6 hours, 20 minutes

Italian: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Polish: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Dutch: 1 hour, 0 minutes

Esperanto: 15 minutes

Irish: 10 minutes



May language hours

As predicted, May was hectic, and I had my lowest language learning productivity in the past few years unfortunately. It consisted of a few episodes of Babylon Berlin, I watched 2 episodes of Marseille in French, a decent bit of Spanish (reading el sueño del celta and a lot of radio and using it at work), and then the odd youtube video and a tiny bit of duolingo.

May hours:

Spanish: 5 hours, 50 minutes

German: 3 hours, 0 minutes

Russian: 2 hours, 10 minutes

French: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Portuguese: 30 minutes

Dutch: 10 minutes

Polish: 5 minutes

2018 Total Hours:

Japanese: 36 hours, 30 minutes

Mandarin: 32 hours, 30 minutes

Russian: 30 hours, 35 minutes

Spanish: 23 hours, 0 minutes

German: 10 hours, 55 minutes

French: 9 hours, 20 minutes

Portuguese: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Italian: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Arabic: 2 hours, 0 minutes

Polish: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Dutch: 45 minutes

Esperanto: 15 minutes

Irish: 10 minutes

April Language hours

Previewing my schedule at the beginning of the year I knew this time would come: when my major goals for Mandarin and Japanese would slump and stagnate (or fall off) for several months. Every 4th day I’m working a 28 hour shift and sometimes I’m unable to catch a nap at work to recharge, I’m finishing residency, planning a move back to Manhattan, and going to start Fellowship in July, and take internal medicine medicine boards in August. With all that going on in my life, I put Mandarin and Japanese on pause (or at least reduced, I’ll probably still put some time into them for fun when I have the time/energy and miss them), and mainly work on language maintenance in my other languages in the meantime (less effort, and enjoyable… watching an occasional movie or tv show, or reading news, listening to music, etc).

April Hours:

Spanish: 7 hours, 0 minutes

Mandarin: 6 hours, 5 minutes

Russian: 5 hours, 40 minutes

Japanese: 3 hours, 5 minutes

German: 1 hour, 30 minutes

French: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Polish: 55 minutes

Dutch: 35 minutes

Italian: 30 minutes

Portuguese: 15 minutes

Irish: 10 minutes

Arabic: 5 minutes

2018 Total Hours:

Japanese: 36 hours, 30 minutes

Mandarin: 32 hours, 30 minutes

Russian: 28 hours, 25 minutes

Spanish: 17 hours, 10 minutes

French: 8 hours, 0 minutes

German: 7 hours, 55 minutes

Portuguese: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Italian: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Arabic: 2 hours, 0 minutes

Polish: 1 hour, 0 minutes

Dutch: 35 minutes

Esperanto: 15 minutes

Irish: 10 minutes


March hours

March hours:

Japanese: 11 hours, 10 minutes

Mandarin: 10 hours, 10 minutes

Russian: 4 hours, 45 minutes

Spanish: 3 hours, 0 minutes

German: 2 hours, 40 minutes

French: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Italian: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Portuguese: 1 hour, 0 minutes

Arabic: 20 minutes

Dutch: 5 minutes

Polish: 5 minutes

2018 Total Hours:

Japanese: 33 hours, 25 minutes

Mandarin: 26 hours, 25 minutes

Russian: 22 hours, 45 minutes

Spanish: 10 hours, 10 minutes

French: 6 hours, 55 minutes

German: 6 hour, 25 minutes

Portuguese: 3 hours, 25 minutes

Italian: 3 hours, 0 minutes

Arabic: 1 hour, 55 minutes

Esperanto: 15 minutes

Polish: 5 minutes

Dutch: 5 minutes

February hours

Japanese: 9 hours, 0 minutes

Russian: 8 hours, 0 minutes

Mandarin: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Spanish: 4 hours, 10 minutes

French: 3 hours, 15 minutes

German: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Italian: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Portuguese: 1 hour, 0 minutes

Esperanto: 15 minutes


Clarinet: 1 hour, 25 minutes, piano 15 minutes

2018 Total Hours:

Japanese: 22 hours, 15 minutes

Russian: 18 hours, 0 minutes

Mandarin: 16 hours, 15 minutes

Spanish: 9 hours, 10 minutes

French: 5 hours, 40 minutes

German: 3 hour, 45 minutes

Portuguese: 2 hour, 25 minutes

Italian: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Arabic: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Esperanto: 15 minutes



Clarinet practice: 2 hours,  55 minutes, piano 15 minutes

January language hours

2018 was off to a strong start, with a lighter work load than usual I was able to put in some extra time studying and doing various activities in other language. In particular I did 3 hours worth of skype lessons in Russian, 1.5 hours in Mandarin, and 1 hour in Japanese.

Japanese: 13 hours, 15 minutes

Mandarin: 10 hours, 0 minutes

Russian: 10 hours, 0 minutes

Spanish: 5 hours, 0 minutes

French: 2 hours, 25 minutes

Arabic: 1 hour, 35 minutes

German: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Portuguese: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Italian: 40 minutes

Clarinet practice: 1 hour, 30 minutes

December language hours

December language hours and 2017 recap:

December is up and it’s time to see if I fulfilled my goals for the past year, and to reflect on my progress and growth. I find this to be a fun and useful activity to do every year, as it helps me see where I failed and succeeded, and make goals moving forward to the next year. I do this in many parts of my life, not just in languages, but since that’s my focus here… that’s what I’ll be focusing on in my writing today.

For the month of December I finally finished reading Inés del Alma Mia, and I made a New Year’s Eve push to hit my 10 hours in Japanese (needed 45 minutes), and studied over 10 hours of Chinese as well, so I am happy with my December work.

December hours:

Chinese: 10 hours, 20 minutes

Japanese: 10 hours, 0 minutes

Spanish: 9 hours, 30 minutes

Russian: 2 hours, 25 minutes

Portuguese: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Italian: 1 hour

German: 40 minutes

French: 35 minutes

Dutch: 30 minutes

2017 language total:

Japanese: 118 hours, 30 minutes

Mandarin: 54 hours, 35 minutes

Spanish: 50 hours, 40 minutes

Russian: 45 hours, 30 minutes

Italian: 20 hours, 50 minutes

German: 13 hours, 35 minutes

French: 9 hours, 55 minutes

Portuguese: 8 hours, 45 minutes

Other: 2 hours, 0 minutes

Total hours: 324 hours and 20 minutes. Most studied in 12 months: 566 hours, 10 minutes.

I did better than I did last year (304 hours), and I met my most important goal of >100 hours of Japanese and >40 hours of Mandarin. I was hoping for a better showing of Italian and Russian last year and I wanted a total hours number over 350 (arbitrary… but something to shoot for). I think month to month goals are better than yearly goals, which is why a goal number of hours per year is a tough one to make and meet.

For next year, I am setting the bar higher for myself. I will be busy, so it will be difficult, but I want to achieve over 100 hours for both Mandarin and Japanese (with a monthly goal of 10 hours per month, but room to fail a few months as I have other commitments in the coming year which will affect my study time during the summer (more on that in the next paragraph). I also want to start having tutor sessions to practice speaking Japanese and Mandarin. For Russian I would like to study >60 hours (average 5hr/month), reading 2 books and regular conversation practice. I have no specific goals for the other languages (maybe through the year I’ll have motivation to push more on one of ). If I accomplish this, I should easily have done more in 2018 than 2017.

I didn’t read much for leisure last year, only finishing 6 books (2 in Spanish, 1 in Italian, and 3 in English). My goals for next year are 2 in Russian, 1 in Spanish, and 3 in English at the minimum.

In July I’ll be moving back to New York City, and with the move I’ll be exposed to all the different languages of New York which will be a lot of fun. So after July depending on my situation, friends/acquaintances in New York my study routine and goals may change drastically, but for now, I think these are realistic goals for me to shoot for.

November language log

November hours:

Mandarin: 10 hours, 35 minutes

Japanese: 10 hours, 20 minutes

Russian: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Spanish: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Italian: 1 hour, 25 minutes

German: 35 minutes

French: 30 minutes

Portuguese: 25 minutes

2017 Running total:

Japanese: 108 hours, 30 minutes

Russian: 43 hours, 5 minutes

Mandarin: 42 hours, 15 minutes

Spanish: 41 hours, 10 minutes

Italian: 19 hours, 50 minutes

German: 12 hours, 55 minutes

French: 9 hours, 20 minutes

Portuguese: 7 hours, 30 minutes

October language log


This months hours:

Japanese: 10 hours, 35 minutes

Mandarin: 10 hours, 20 minutes

Russian: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Spanish: 3 hours, 20 minutes

French: 1 hour, 30 minutes

German: 1 hour, 0 minutes

Portuguese: 50 minutes

Italian: 30 minutes

2017 Running total:

Japanese: 98 hours, 10 minutes

Russian: 39 hours, 45 minutes

Spanish: 37 hours, 55 minutes

Mandarin: 31 hours, 40 minutes

Italian: 18 hours, 25 minutes

German: 12 hours, 20 minutes

French: 8 hours, 50 minutes

Portuguese: 7 hours, 5 minutes

September hours

Weak month overall. No significant language progress made or anything out of the ordinary. I will need to double down if I want to make meaningful progress. Reading ines del alma mia in Spanish, working through Genki 2 in Japanese and the part 2 of assimil’s Chinese course.

Japanese 7 hours, 0 minutes
Chinese: 4 hours, 20 minutes
Russian 1 hour, 0 minutes
Spanish: 3 hour, 10 minutes
Portuguese: 10 minutes
German: 10 minutes
French: 20 minutes
Italian: 10 minutes

Running total:

Japanese: 87 hours, 35 minutes

Russian: 35 hours, 15 minutes

Spanish: 34 hours, 35 minutes

Mandarin: 21 hours, 20 minutes

Italian: 17 hours, 55 minutes

German: 11 hours, 20 minutes

French: 7 hours, 20 minutes

Portuguese: 6 hours, 15 minutes