6 Week Language Challenge – Quechua

I am participating in the language 6 week challenge which started on August 1st. The idea is to concentrate on one of your languages which is at a lower level and make as much progress as you can in 6 weeks. I of course chose (Ayacucho Peruvian) Quechua to improve, trying to get to a basic conversational level by November. I’m using @Simikuna on twitter for this challenge

My wordlist already contained 400 words taken from the textbook Qayna, Kunan Paqarin and the functional Quechua-English-Spanish dictionary by Clodoaldo Soto Ruiz. For each word I have been adding a sentence from the dictionary but with additional words it will get harder, I will need to trawl through other texts looking for sentences I can use for context. I found a great vocab list on runasimi.de – I had seen the site before but no idea how I missed the list with over 20,000 headwords! This week I’m working on making a more manageable list of 4,000 words or so that I’d like to learn. During the challenge my stretch goal is to learn 1,000 although it’s more likely I’ll end up with around 500. By the end of this week I’d like to be approaching 200 words learnt though! (Current count 130)

I am doing the following tasks, aiming for 1-2 hours daily:

Studying around 30 new words a day and editing my word list (15 – 30 min daily) I will have to see if I can keep up with the reviews – previously I have been doing 5 words a day and sometimes the words seem so similar to me that I struggle to remember them.

Watching Ñuqanchik (news in Quechua) each weekday (30 min daily)

Reading social media posts in Quechua (5 min daily)

Study from Qayna, Kunan, Paqarin textbook (2-4 hours weekly)

Writing / chatting (2-4 hours weekly) – would like to find a Skype partner and I’m working on it but it’s tough with the time zone difference between Australia and Peru.

The only caveat here is that I will not be completely neglecting all my other languages so the additional reading / podcasts / speaking may cut into my Quechua time a little. I’m taking a Gaelic class every Wednesday evening so there will be some study for that happening too. But I’m really trying to focus on Quechua, a dedicated 6 weeks to improve seems like a great idea. So far in 3 days I have spent 5 hours on Quechua, so that’s a decent 1.5 hour per day. Whether I can keep it up is another question! Rai and I already started our unofficial 6 week challenge before this and I was struggling to do 30 minutes daily. But I think that prepared me to give this a go, now I have my routine down and my vocab list more prepared. My trip to Peru in November is highly motivating me 🙂

Blowing the dust off

I haven’t posted in a long time but hope to be more active here. My language endeavours haven’t ceased by any means.  I am focussing on Scottish Gaelic this year and have also been learning some Quechua and Norwegian.

My languages as of 2017 are:

Fluent: English (native) and Spanish

Intermediate (B1-B2): German, French, Portuguese, Esperanto

Beginner (A1-A2): Norwegian, Scottish Gaelic, NZSL, Maori, Japanese, Quechua

My goals for 2017 are the following:

Scottish Gaelic A1>A2+
Goal: Pushing B1. I want to be able to read the learner’s novels I bought, have short conversations and understand something of podcasts/radio/BBC Alba.
To do:
1. Finish the Gaelic distance course I’m taking – if I do part 3 it will take me right through to the end of the year. Currrently studying part 2 (An Cùrsa Inntrigidh)
2. Read at least 1 learner’s novel, prefereably 2 (they are only 90 or so pages long..) and 1 comic. (So far I’ve read one novel and one comic)
3. Keep consuming media in Gaelic. At the moment I’m going through old episodes of the soap “Machair” which has been highly entertaining.
4. Practise my conversational skills – I have an iTalki tutor and I’ve been practising when time permits

German B2>C1
Goal: Improve my German so I can express myself more naturally and fluently
To do:
1. Go through German C1 book for structured learning – currently on Chapter 1/12
2. Versuchen zu schreiben, lesen, üben 😛 (try to practise!)

Quechua A0>A2
Goal: Use Quechua on my trip to Peru!! Would love to be able to have conversations with people.
To do:
1. Finish textbook Currently on Unit 2/4
2. Keep chatting / talking to people online
3. Read The Little Prince and watch a dramatisation of the play Ollantay

Norwegian A1>A2+
Goal: Be able to read books and understand media
To do:
1. Finish Duolingo Norwegian course. Done!
2. Read Naiv Super by Erlend Loe among other books


The rest I am maintaining where they are for the moment. I always have too many languages on the go which is why most of my intermediate languages are at B1 rather than B2 where I’d like them to be. But after I’ve improved my German I would like to one by one bump French and Portuguese up to B2, that may be a goal for next year! Gaelic is my focus this year since I am paying for the course 🙂