June log

June has been busier at work. I wanted to study 10 hours of combined Japanese and Mandarin, since I really want to devote more time to Mandarin. However I’m enjoying going through the Colloquial series Japanese course and don’t want to put that aside, and I listen to a lot of japanesepod. For Chinese I listen to popupchinese almost exclusively and practice reading on the popupchinese website. For Russian I watch TV, occasionally read news, and I had 2 tutor session last month on skype with a tutor from Belarus.

Japanese 6 hours, 0 minutes

Russian: 4 hours, 40 minutes

Chinese: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Spanish: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Italian: 35 minutes

French: 30 minutes

German: 20 minutes

Portuguese: 20 minutes

running 2017 hours:

Japanese: 71 hours, 35 minutes

Russian: 33 hours, 50 minutes

Spanish: 19 hours, 25 minutes

Italian: 15 hours 30 minutes

German: 10 hours, 35 minutes

Mandarin: 9 hours, 50 minutes

French: 6 hours, 40 minutes

Portuguese: 5 hours, 15 minutes

June language hours

In the month of June, I continued with similar methods for learning Japanese: colloquial Japanese (I’m now on the second to last chapter, but go back a lot to review vocabulary, grammatical structures, and reading dialogues), and listening to Japanese pod 101 beginner podcasts (which are fantastic, and I paid for the basic membership and recommend it to anyone serious about learning Japanese. They do great work).

I was working in the Emergency Department at our county hospital for medical residency, and so I almost spoke Spanish exclusively at work. I also started watching the univision show “El Chapo” on netflix, which has a very similar feel to “narcos”, so I did a lot of Spanish.

Going forward I’m a bit torn, I love learning and progressing in Japanese, but I really want to get back to studying Mandarin. I’m not sure how I’m going to resolve it, but this month I’ll be very busy at work and likely won’t meet my goals anyway and won’t put in much time learning languages. We’ll see.

June hours:

Japanese: 10 hours, 40 minutes

Spanish: 10 hours, 35 minutes

Italian: 2 hours, 10 minutes

German: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Russian: 1 hour, 0 minutes

Chinese: 1 hour, 0 minutes

French: 35 minutes

Portuguese: 35 minutes

Czech: 30 minutes

Running 2017 total:

Japanese: 76 hours, 15 minutes

Russian: 30 hours, 10 minutes

Spanish: 27 hours, 40 minutes

Italian: 17 hours 5 minutes

German: 12 hours, 20 minutes

Mandarin: 7 hours, 10 minutes

French: 6 hours, 45 minutes

Portuguese: 5 hours, 30 minutes

Other: 1 hour, 30 minutes

May hours

Japanese: 11 hours, 40 minutes

Russian: 5 hours, 35 minutes

Italian: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Spanish: 3 hours, 0 minutes

Portuguese: 1 hour, 5 minutes

French: 1 hour, 0 minutes

Chinese: 35 minutes

German: 15 minutes

running 2017 hours:

Japanese: 65 hours, 35 minutes

Russian: 29 hours, 10 minutes

Spanish: 17 hours, 5 minutes

Italian: 14 hours 55 minutes

German: 10 hours, 15 minutes

Mandarin: 6 hours, 10 minutes

French: 6 hours, 10 minutes

Portuguese: 4 hours, 55 minutes

Other: 1 hour, 0 minutes

April language log

I had an amazing trip to Japan: visited Tokyo the cleanest city in the world, and with the fewest trash cans! Ate way too much fish, shopped, enjoyed the beautiful cherry blossoms, visited Kyoto and Nara, stayed in an old Ryokan (traditional Japanese hotel), and spoke Japanese! I actually could communicate all basic needs in Japanese (albeit very imperfectly). I was able to check into hotels, get food, directions, get train passes etc all in Japanese, so that was a major win for me. I had a lot of fun, and hope that someday in the future I’ll be able to go back. So I’m not quitting Japanese, but will continue studying it!

As for other languages, I watched some movies and used my spare time to occasionally read or do other various activities. I also did another online tutoring session in Russian to continue to practice speaking Russian.

I also dabbled in some Esperanto for fun to get the jist of the language, but I don’t plan on learning it.

April Hours:

Japanese: 19 hours, 25 minutes

German: 5 hours, 0 minutes

Italian: 3 hours, 35 minutes

Russian: 3 hours, 25 minutes

French: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Spanish: 3 hours, 5 minutes

Chinese: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Esperanto: 1 hour, 0 minutes

Portuguese: 50 minutes

running 2017 hours:

Japanese: 53 hours, 55 minutes

Russian: 23 hours, 35 minutes

Spanish: 14 hours, 5 minutes

Italian: 11 hours 45 minutes

German: 10 hours, 0 minutes

Mandarin: 5 hours, 35 minutes

French: 5 hours, 10 minutes

Portuguese: 3 hours, 50 minutes

Other: 1 hour, 0 minutes


March language log

Took a trip to New York, spent all weekend immersed in Russian in Brooklyn and spent some quality time with good friends. Continued meeting Japanese goals. Put Mandarin on hold, though now that I’ve been away from it a bit I’m starting to really miss it, but with my trip next week to Japan I really need to try to focus my energy to getting some basic grip on Japanese ready in order to be able to make some small talk. I can’t wait!

March hours:

Russian: 12 hours, 10 minutes

Japanese: 10 hours, 35 minutes

Spanish: 4 hours, 0 minutes

German: 2 hours, 50 minutes

Italian: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Portuguese: 1 hour, 0 minutes

French: 30 minutes

2017 running total:

Japanese: 34 hours, 20 minutes

Russian: 20 hours, 10 minutes

Spanish: 11 hours, 0 minutes

Italian: 8 hours 10 minutes

German: 5 hours, 0 minutes

Mandarin: 4 hours, 5 minutes

Portuguese: 3 hours, 0 minutes

French: 2 hours, 0 minutes

February hours

This month I’ve been working in the ICU and focusing a lot on work, so I had less time for language study. However when walking the dog I always was listening to Japanese lessons, and on days off I would study Japanese from my textbook.

February hours:

Japanese: 10 hours, 0 minutes

Spanish: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Italian: 2 hours, 0 minutes

Russian: 2 hours, 0 minutes

Mandarin Chinese: 1 hour, 0 minutes

Portuguese: 45 minutes

French: 45 minutes

German: 35 minutes

2017 Running Total:

Japanese: 23 hours, 45 minutes

Russian: 8 hours, 0 minutes

Spanish: 7 hours, 0 minutes

Italian: 6 hours 50 minutes

Mandarin: 4 hours, 5 minutes

German: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Portuguese: 2 hours, 0 minutes

French: 1 hour, 30 minutes

January language log:

I’m on track for my goals so far. I’ve scheduled several italki sessions for Russian and 1 for Japanese, and have been progressing through my colloquial Japanese course book and doing japanesepod101 lessons. I’m also reading in italian and watched cinema paradiso. So far I’m on track!

January hours:

Japanese: 13 hours, 45 minutes

Russian: 6 hours, 0 minutes

Italian: 4 hours 50 minutes

Spanish: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Mandarin: 3 hours, 5 minutes

German: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Portuguese: 1 hour, 15 minutes

French: 45 minutes

2016 Recap!

So the year is over, which means it’s time to look back at how I did in my language studies! At the beginning of the year I had dropped Japanese to focus on Chinese studies, wanting to study ~10 hours of Mandarin Chinese per month to make better headways into learning the language and about Chinese culture. However this past autumn my wife showed interest in visiting Japan in the Spring during our vacation time (cherry trees will be in full bloom!) so I cracked open my Japanese books and audio and got to business. Overall I made some good progress in learning Chinese and Japanese given my busy schedule as a medical resident, but in order to learn either language fluently, I will need intensive immersion and more time to dedicate to the task. For now, I am happy with making slow progress and learning what I can!

I also spent a good deal of time brushing up and studying French and Russian, with movies, reading novels (2 in French, 1 in Russian), etc. Next year I want to continue studying Russian, and maybe get a tutor to speak to regularly since I don’t have many opportunities to speak Russian here in Texas. For my other languages I want to actively focus a bit on refreshing Italian by reading a few books and watching more movies (similarly to what I did with French last year), and then just passively enjoy the other languages only when I want to/have time (no concerted effort on them).

December 2016 hours:

Japanese 11 hours, 20 minutes

Chinese: 4 hours, 25 minutes

Russian: 4 hours, 5 minutes

Spanish: 3 hours, 35 minutes

French: 2 hours, 55 minutes

Portuguese: 1 hour, 40 minutes

German 1 hour, 0 minutes

Italian: 1 hour, 0 minutes

2016 total hours:

Chinese: 59 hours, 10 minutes

French: 54 hours, 0 minutes

Russian: 48 hours, 0 minutes

Japanese: 43 hours, 10 minutes

Spanish: 35 hours, 0 minutes

Portuguese: 17 hours, 40 minutes

German: 15 hours, 25 minutes

Italian: 14 hours, 35 minutes

Greek: 11 hours, 5 minutes

Polish: 6 hours, 20 minutes

2016 Total: 304 hours, 25 mintues

2015 Total: 434 hours, 40 minutes, Most studied in 12 months: 566 hours, 10 minutes

As you can see, I am spending less time with foreign languages than I have in years past, but that is due to working hard in residency and trying to learn as much medicine as I can. I have less time for hobbies, exercise, music (I like to play clarinet), but it is still important to keep up hobbies and doing other things we love, even when work is demanding.

Next year I would like to study >350 hours (set the bar higher), and have at least 100 hours of Japanese study. I don’t want to completely stop studying Mandarin, but for now since I am going to Japan (and really loving studying the language) I want to ride that enthusiasm. My goal for Mandarin is >40 hours, which should be manageable if I balance my free time well. To 2017!

November language log

November hours:

Japanese: 10 hours, 40 minutes

Spanish: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Russian: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Chinese: 2 hours, 10 minutes

German 1 hour, 35 minutes

Italian: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Portuguese: 1 hour

French: 45 minutes


2016 running total: 

Chinese: 54 hours, 45 minutes

French: 51 hours, 5 minutes

Russian: 43 hours, 55 minutes

Japanese: 31 hours, 50 minutes

Spanish: 31 hours, 25 minutes

Portuguese: 16 hours, 0 minutes

German: 14 hours, 25 minutes

Italian: 13 hours, 35 minutes

Greek: 11 hours, 5 minutes

Polish: 6 hours, 20 minutes


Residency has become more difficult, and now I’m working a 28 hour call at the hospital ever 4 days, which is tiring, and takes a toll on my desire to study languages, and when I’m away from the hospital I enjoy taking a walk with my dog outside, or just relaxing at home with my wife. So I have decreased my overall study time, but I still will listen to audio/podcasts while walking the dog (more so in Japanese), I speak a lot of Spanish, and I will still occasionally read a bit (story, online newspaper in foreign languages) before going to sleep.

September/October hours

Japanese: 16 hours, 40 minutes

Russian: 9 hours, 0 minutes

Spanish: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Chinese: 5 hours, 0 minutes

French: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Portuguese: 1 hour, 10 minutes

German: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Italian: 1 hour, 0 minutes

2016 running total: 

Chinese: 52 hours, 35 minutes

French: 50 hours, 20 minutes

Russian: 41 hours, 10 minutes

Spanish: 26 hours, 55 minutes

Japanese: 21 hours, 10 minutes

Portuguese: 15 hours, 0 minutes

German: 12 hours, 50 minutes

Italian: 12 hours, 25 minutes

Greek: 11 hours, 5 minutes

Polish: 6 hours, 20 minutes