I am very happy to say I have completed this challenge. I do believe I was a bit over zealous in attempting to learn 2 languages at once. I would say if you are naturally gifted with language or you simply dedicate all of your free time to such a task that it would be possible, however for me I have many things going on in my life and total immersion in learning Italian and German was not what I was intending to achieve.
The goal was to see what could be learned whilst maintaining a small but consistent practice throughout 30 days. To be honest I think using this model I would have been better just sticking to 1 language. The learning was to disjointed and although in the beginning it was relatively easy and fun to just memorise random sentences, when it came to getting into the core of the language such as learning grammar well my brain can only remember so much!
I did have fun doing this but also I am glad to see the end of it. There were days where I would practice for over 2 hours and others I just did enough to say I did it, especially when realising at 12am whilst just dozing off to sleep that I totally forgot to practice! What was interesting though is that I developed different skills that I didn’t even really consider when beginning, mainly dedication and consistency. I have a natural weakness towards not being able to finish things. Thankfully I have been able to overcome this multiple times as you can see with this website, my music, and so on.
Still though it is not unusual for me to have multiple projects going on at the same time and sometimes things can be left on the back burner for longer than they should. So this was actually a good way to improve the art of finishing projects. Especially one that has to be done consistently everyday for a whole 30 days. There really was huge pressure towards the end from within myself to just quit the challenge, especially as my learning had decreased in efficiency once I realised that I would definitely be dropping German for now as soon as the challenge is over.
There are a lot of different Pizza’s in Italy!
Nonetheless I stuck with it so I could have the memory of completing the 30 days. Now I can say I did this and I know that I can do it so I will use the same model but for different things. I already have a plan for my next challenge that I will begin immediately. My next challenge involves 30 days of being grateful for everything and anything for 10+ minutes a day as well as doing Kegel exercises twice a day to increase sexual performance.
For anyone who doesn’t know what Kegel exercises are they are simple contractions involving your perineum. You contract this area for a second or 2, rest for the same and then repeat 10-15 times. It can take a little practice to find the right area, once you have it is easy. You will know you have it when you are not using any other muscles to perform the action, for example you should not be clenching your stomach muscles to do this.
The whole experience has for sure told me to be wise when choosing programs like these to stick to. At least my time spent learning German could potentially be useful if I decide to pick up the language again at some point. Maybe after I have a solid grasp of Italian, which I will continue to practice, after a couple days break first of course.
I like the Italian language it is fun to play around with and simple to learn. All there seems to be is some simple grammar rules and then it is mostly about memorisation. I still have just under 8 months in Italy so that should be more than enough time to become somewhat fluent in the language. I am quite dedicated because I went to an Italian speaking session where a bunch of people spoke Italian but their level was way higher than mine and I could barely understand anything! It was just annoying as I enjoy being in group settings and be able to add the classic quick-witted English humour to the group energies as well as listening to or imparting words of wisdom.
I actually ended up leaving early and going to the English group! Never mind, I will just double down on learning Italian now that I can drop German and I should be up to speed in no time. I found a couple useful resources for learning independently. Duolingo is really good and has made learning a new language into a game of sorts. Also a YouTube channel called professor Dave has a great playlist for the Italian language where he goes through all the fundamentals of learning Italians as well as capturing the quirks of the language in an easy to understand format.
A casual walk around the beautiful alps.
I also learnt quite a bit about English grammar as we don’t actually receive much in the ways of Grammar lessons in public English schools. It was kind of funny to not even know what an ‘article’ is only to find out that it relates to some of the simplest words in the language. I wonder why in England it is not seen as important to learn. Yet we can still speak the language without learning grammar, well most of us anyway. I also was many times grateful to be able to speak English as to have a mastery of English is very useful in the day and age. To be able to speak and write this language with ease was definitely something I took for granted until I had to learn another one. All in all it was a positive experience and I invite you all to create your own 30 day challenge and see what new skills or experiences you can play around with.