Language Learning Goals: Clear the List in December 2017

Wishing all my readers a

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year! 

As we approach 2018 I have reflected back upon what I have achieved over the year and also the direction I would like to take in 2018 in regards to my own language learning.

2017 Reviewed 

It has been an amazing year for Language Learners Journal. I Started the year as just a lady with a hobby blog and about 10 followers! As 2017 comes to a close the blog has become a business that is venturing towards a social enterprise and I now have a total of around 5000+ followers across different social media channels, 2 books (Mindful Learning: How to Be More Focused and Productive and Positively Productive) and a Mindful Learning course that has become one of the top mindfulness courses on Udemy!

I have done over 100 FREE one-to-one sessions for people struggling with their stress levels, confidence or motivation when it comes to language learning. Plus a few other writers have joined the community and write on a regular basis for me! If you are passionate about learning languages and would like to guest blog please contact me.

On a downside, my language learning did suffer this year as a consequence of the business being born, family commitments and continuing to work in my day job.  I have neglected my Spanish learning. Although that said this year I did add the very basics of German and even Icelandic to my belt! My Mandarin monthly meetup group continues to run in the local community and I am lucky to have a wonderful facilitator who keeps things going for me whilst I do the backstage admin to ensure the group has a booked space every month.

My Goals Language for December 2017

The theme of my language learning this month will be Christmas: Food and Drink.

Chinese Mandarin (Reading & Speaking) 

  • Daily Duolingo + Memrise + Utalk – I am super excited that Duolingo has now added Chinese! Finally, YAY!
  • Chineasy + Flashcards.
  • Read Peter and the Wolf in Chinese.
  • Find a new Italk tutor (or check to see if my old tutor is still teaching on the platform as she was excellent.


  • Utalk + Flash Acamedy App + Duolingo. I am in competition with my daughter on Duolingo and she is currently winning!
  • Listen to all my favorite Christmas carols in Spanish.


  • I purchased an excellent German course on Udemy and I plan to finish this before the end of December.
  • Listen to all my favorite Christmas carols in German.

My Language Goals for 2018 

I am planning to continue with my Chinese Mandarin, German, and Spanish in 2018. In addition, I hope to add some programming languages too! So as of January, I will be introducing Python and Java Script into the equation.

The beginning of 2018 is my 1st anniversary of joining #CleartheList, which is a goal setting network of dedicated language learners. I have to say I really enjoy reading the other blogs and I am inspired deeply by the dedication of this community. I would like to say a big thank you to the hosts Lindsay (Lindsay Does Languages), Kris Broholm (Actual Fluency), Angel Pretot (French Lover), and Shannon Kennedy (Eurolinguiste). The aim of Clear the List is to set and share your language learning goals for a given month and then obviously try your best to achieve them by the end of it!

Thank You!!! 

I just want to say a BIG thank you to my amazing readers who have supported the blog over the past year. My blog has been viewed over 220,000+ times during 2017, which isn’t  a bad amount for our first full year!

It costs time and money to keep this blog running, and these costs can be high. Therefore I want to thank my awesome Patrons who offer some financial support to help keep this site running. If you like what Language Learner’s Journal is about and want to sponsor the website, please feel free to donate – even if it’s just to fuel me with coffee to keep me producing content, giving free one-to-one sessions and help keep the site ad-free, YAY! You can donate anonymously or contact me and I’ll pop your name or logo on our dedicated page along with a link to your site.


Keep Language Learners Journal ad-free and help us invest in better equipment so we can continue to produce awesome content for language learners!


A Gift For You… 

As a thank you for being part of the Language Learners Journal Community my eWorkBook Positively Productive(US Link) will be FREE from 1st December for 5 days only! Download ASAP and if you like my book please leave an honest review on Amazon.

Frohe Weihnachten und die besten Wünsche für das neue Jahr!

¡Feliz Navidad y mis mejores deseos para el nuevo año!


Going forward into the new year what would you like from Language Learners Journal? More blogs, more videos, podcasts. Let me know in the comments section below, thank you…

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Baby Love (3)

Clear The List: Language Learning Goals for September 2017

Guten Tag! Hola! 你好!

Welcome to my monthly language learning round up…

German Recap

August was an exciting month for me as I introduced German into my language learning routine. Exposing myself to approximately 10,000 words per-day! It was an interesting challenge that I approached with an open and positive mindset. You can read more about the challenge here Trisha Tests: 10,000 words a day challenge – the outcome.

Whilst doing the challenge I also managed to get to the intermediate section of Flash Academy  – YAY moment. I really do like this app and would highly recommend it. Finally, I have been reading a number of popular children’s books online in German via the fabulous site Amira.

Spanish Recap

I have read “El coloquio de los perros” by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Translated by Interlinear Books. I have also completed the word search section of Spanish Pocket Puzzles.

Chinese Mandarin Recap

I attended the Monthly Mandarin Meetup that I started in my local area over a year ago now. It was really nice to meet other Mandarin learners face-to-face and play some games. We also had some members of the local Chinese community come and join us for a quick chat too.  I have noticed how rusty my spoken Mandarin has gotten.

Recap on Other Language Business 

I hosted an online coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer support and launched the 50 different languages challenge. At the time of writing this, we are at about 30 different languages so far. If you would like to partake in the challenge or simply donate some money to Macmillan Cancer Support check out my post the World’s Biggest Online Coffee Morning.

September Goals: 

September is set to be the busiest month of the year for me so far. Not only is my daughter starting secondary school – feeling very old now. Language learners Journal also turns a year old!

Now for some language goals…


  • I recently purchased ‘German in 30 days‘ by Berlitz. It’s a beginners CD and audio-book. I will be using this throughout September.
  • I will continue to use Flash Academy App for about 10-15 minutes per day.

Chinese Mandarin

  • Continue to learn 5-10 new Chinese characters per day via ‘Hello Chinese’ books and Chineasy: 60 Flashcards: The New Way to Read Chinese.
  • Brush up on my spoken Mandarin.
  • I need to do a lot of behind the scenes admin for the local Mandarin Meetup Group this month, booking rooms and promoting. We are hoping to launch our very own website as many of the members do not use Facebook. The face-to-face group will continue to be free and we hope to attract some more members.


  • Spanish will be popped on hold this month as I have so many things on the go at the moment and I need to remember to look after myself. Which is an important lesson for us all as we can not pour from an empty bucket.

Language Learners Journal 

  • In September Language Learners Journal will become a not-for-profit social enterprise! With the aim of promoting language learning especially in areas of deprivation, improving confidence, self-esteem and cultural diversity both online and externally. I personally feel it is now more important than ever to learn another language and about other cultures. Especially due to Brexit and as race hate crimes also appear to be on the increase.
  • I will be continuing to offer some initial free 20-minute one-to-one online coaching sessions for those struggling with language learning anxiety and confidence issues.

Join Clear the List!

For more information or to join #Clear the List, click here.

20 keywords to get you speaking your target language from day 1…

My goal is to speak as much of my target language as possible during language tutorials, right from my very first lecture! This post looks at the basic phrases one should learn before your first language tutorial.

I’ve included translations for  Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and French. Chinese is a tonal language, check out my post on The Layman’s Guide to Mandarin Tones.

So let’s get started on these keywords…

1. “Hello”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Nǐ hǎo
  • Spanish: Hola
  • French: Bonjour

2. “How are you?”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Nǐ hǎo ma?
  • Spanish: ¿Cómo estás?
  • French: (formal) Comment allez-vous ?  (informal) Ça va ?

3. “I am good”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Wǒ hěn hǎo!
  • Spanish: Bien!
  • French: Ça va bien!

4. “Thank You”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Xiè xie
  • Spanish: Gracias
  • French: Merci

5. “You’re welcome”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Bù kèqì
  • Spanish: de nada
  • French: Il n’y a pas de quoi

6. “I don’t speak…”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Wǒ bù huì shuō pǔtōnghuà
  • Spanish: Yo no hablo español
  • French: Je ne parle pas français

7. “How do you say …… in ……”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Nǐ zěnme shuō… Yòng pǔtōnghuà
  • Spanish: Cómo se dice en inglés
  • French: comment dit-on en français

8. “Sorry, I don’t understand”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Wǒ tīng bù dǒng
  • Spanish: Lo siento, no entiendo
  • French: Je suis désolé, je ne comprends pas. (masculine) Je suis désolée, je ne comprends pas(feminine)

9. “I understand”

  • Mandarin Chinese: wǒ dǒng
  • Spanish: entiendo
  • French: je comprends

10. “I am…”

“I am” gives you a much broader range of topics to choose from. Such as name, nationality, job etc, etc.

  • Mandarin Chinese: Wǒ shì…
  • Spanish: Soy…
  • French: Je suis…

11. “I’m sorry”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Hěn bàoqiàn or duì buqĭ
  • Spanish: Lo siento 
  • French: Je suis désolé (masculine), Je suis désolée (feminine) or pardon

12. “Yes”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Shì *There is no word for “yes” in Mandarin, but in many cases ‘it is’ works well. Otherwise, just repeat the verb of the question.
  • Spanish:
  • French: Oui

13. “No”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Bú shì  *There is no word for ‘no’ in Mandarin. You need to place the meaningnot” before the verb in question.
  • Spanish: No
  • French: Non

14. “Repeat Please /Say That Again”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Máfán nǐ zài shuō yībiān
  • Spanish: ¿Disculpa?¿Perdón? or ¿Cómo?
  • French: Répétez s’il vous plaît

15. “Speak more slowly, please”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Gèng màn, qǐng
  • Spanish: Más despacio por favor
  • French: Plus lentement s’il vous plaît

16.  “Please write it down…”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Máfan nǐ xiě yīxià, hǎo bù hǎo?
  • Spanish: por favor escribelo
  • French S’il vous plaît écrivez-le

17. “I’d like…”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Wǒ xiǎng yào… 
  • Spanish: Me gustaría…
  • French: J’aimerais…

18. “I don’t like…”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Wǒ bù xǐhuān…
  • Spanish: No me gusta… 
  • French: Je n’aime pas …

19. “See you next week”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Xià zhōu jiàn
  • Spanish: Te veo la proxima semana
  • French: À la semaine prochaine 

20. “Goodbye”

  • Mandarin Chinese: Zàijiàn
  • Spanish: Adiós
  • French: Au revoir

People will always appreciate the effort you have made to speak to them in their own language. Don’t worry about making mistakes as it is how we learn. The more we speak in our target language the better we will become.

Are there any phrases you think should be added to this list or a language you would like me to include? 

Let me know in the comments section below

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