Join me in a summer personal challenge!

Benny, the Irish Polyglot, (polyglot= speaker of multiple languages) has posed a 3 month summer language challenge.Take on a new language, set a BIG goal and get to it.
The challenge?
I’ve been lagging on my languages for the past year, taking on very passive modes of maintaining them (reading, flashcards) with very little new acquisition. You know what? It’s not getting me anywhere- time for something new.  I’ve been thinking of diving into a new language for a while anyway and this is the perfect time to take the plunge. With a three month deadline to see how far I can go, I’ve definitely got the motivation part covered. And to add to that, I’m trying a new online course and putting to the test the study skills I’ve built up over the years.

So here’s my challenge: Swedish!

I just started on Monday and am already having the most fun.

Study tools:

  • Swedish course. Babbel, I really like their format. It’s very much what I would have tried to do myself, except I would have had to pull together bits and pieces of other books and programs- so much work and they did it for me.  You dive into phrases, have a chance to deconstruct the grammar and pronunciation from time to time, and have a smart SRS system for reviewing words.
  • Online dictionary. The People’s Dictionary
  • Flashcard system: Anki. I’ve mentioned this program before- great SRS system, with a synced iPhone app. Love. (SRS? Spaced Repetition System. It remembers what you got right and what you got wrong and quizzes you based on what you need to review.)
  • I have Swedish Rosetta Stone (an old version) but haven’t touched it yet because I’m getting so much out of Babel.

Motivation sparks:

  • Youtubing videos of Alexander Skarsgård doing interviews in his native Swedish for inspiration. (I swear this isn’t the only reason I’m interested in learning Swedish, haha.)
  • Cruising for beautiful photos of Sweden to add to my Pinterest Board: Maybe I’ll Go There
  • Reading articles on French Wikipedia about Sweden (Hey, I’m not giving up on my other langueages- just sliding them into maintenance mode while I put some juice behind my Swedish challenge).  Once I’ve increased my vocab in Swedish I’ll try Swedish Wikipedia.
  • I’m sure I’ll add tools as I move on from my basic course here.

What else?

  • Alas, have not found a Swedish-enthusiasts meetup or club in New Orleans.   The Swedish Consulate is a few blocks away though so I might just drop by and see if they have any cultural activities planned.


  • Well, studying is good but- I have to talk to people! This weekend’s plan is to update my profile and make some new Swedish speaking chat-buddies. Wish me luck!

I’ll keep you posted on my progress- in the meantime, join me! Make a three-month challenge and let’s do it! It does not need to be a language- but I hope it’s something that has an element of fun.

Tack, vi ses!