French, Hungarian, Japanese

90-day language challenge – update #1

Posted by Cat Ramos

The first 10 days of my 90-day language challenge was not easy. Not surprising, of course. In the beginning, I was struggling to find the time to do all 3. Despite this, I still managed to find pockets of extra time during the day for language learning. During my commute, during my evening jog, after lunch (so I don’t fall asleep after eating too much). It is a lot easier now 🙂


Not much change to this. Over the weekend, I managed to make another deck to for chapters 21-50 of the book “Business Japanese”. For this deck, I changed the format of my flashcards.
Front: word, example sentence
Back: reading, meaning

I noticed that if I put the sample sentence at the back of the card, I tend to just gloss over the words, without absorbing what the entire sentence meant. If I don’t know the context in which a word is used, it will be hard for me to come up with the correct definition. I like this format better. In fact, I have better retention and better results on my 2nd deck.


I am now on the 2nd CD of the Michel Thomas French advanced course. I find this a bit faster compared to the previous course. Understandably because this is more advanced. As I had expected, I needed to slow down during the “futur simple” parts because of the different rules of conjugations plus the &*^% exemptions. Also, I think it is time for me to pick up Assimil again. I have not used my voucher for Lingq…I think I am being disillusioned with all the drama surrounding input vs. output debate in language learning. Input is Steve (owner of Lingq) and output is Benny (Fluent in 3 Months).

Language books on Amazon
Michel Thomas French

french progress 10 aug


I am officially in love with Pimsleur! In 10 days, I can now make conversations in simple situations like shopping, asking for directions, asking a friend out to eat/drink, asking for someone over the phone. As practice, I write down key phrases and sentences in my notebook. This serves as my mini revisions/review after each lesson. Writing something down by hand helps me remember it better. My only complaint about this course is it is all-audio only. After each lesson, I always try to look up the words that I misheard. Some examples are vásárolok, vacsorázni, and később. Thankfully, I get a lot of help from Endre, Tunde and from the Facebook group “Learn Hungarian”.

hungarian progress 10 aug

Some new resources

1.Hungarianpod101 – I signed up for a free 7-day trial account (which expired early this week). It has a nice and extensive collection of lessons with audio and PDF notes. All the audio files are free for download, even for free accounts. The PDF files and transcripts can be downloaded but only to a maximum of 10 files. Beyond that, you have to upgrade your membership. I have not yet decided to upgrade. I read reviews at how good Japanesepod101 is and from what I have seen so far, the Hungarian one looks promising. I might upgrade once I get to a higher level in my studies. For now, I think I have enough resources and materials.

2. Memrise – This is another web-based flashcard program that comes with a companion smartphone app. It is different from Anki and Brainscape in the sense that…it nags me to actually study my cards! 😀 I get a popup message on my phone that says “it’s time to water ___ of items”. In Memrise speak, “to plant” means to study new items and “to water” means to revise/review. I use this solely for Hungarian review. It’s great that some of the courses I added to my study list have audio files so I don’t have to do the Brainscape-Forvo route again. I do have some French and Japanese courses in my account (Death Note vocabulary, haha) but I have not studied any.

3. Pocketmod – This is a simple and old-skool way of tracking which ones I have studied and which ones I have not. The ticks in the boxes are motivation enough for me to keep going. I want to always see all the boxes for a day checked off. It means that I’ve been a good girl that day (and maybe I deserve another McDonald’s chocolate sundae). August 9, all blanks…hello, it’s my birthday. No work, all play 🙂 It was a Harry Potter marathon night.

Oh look who hasn't been exercising! :D
Oh look who hasn’t been exercising! 😀

Language books on Amazon

4. Lift – I like to keep track of my goals, not only for language learning. So I signed up for an account on Lift and here is how my goal list looks like. A few of these, I only added today. Planking…I know, right? 🙂


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2 thoughts on “90-day language challenge – update #1

  1. Stephanie

    I don’t think I could manage to learn 3 languages at once! Impressive! Good luck on your 90-day challenge. (And don’t let the bickering get you down. I think that both the input-crowd and the output-crowd have something of value to say.)

    1. catchan1980

      Thank you for your comment, Stephanie! Luca Lampariello did say it won’t be easy so make sure that the languages you will study are very different so you won’t confuse them all the time. So no Spanish-Italian, or German-Dutch. It’s great that you are learning Tagalog! Good luck and if I can help you with anything, let me know 🙂 I teach my American boss but you are probably at a much higher level now.

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