Preview 2017

So after my review of 2016 was tongue-in-cheek, this preview will be about my plans for the new year.

As some of you may know, my interest for dead/ancient languages was recently sparked (after years of snubbing them because no one spoke them anymore) thanks to my historical linguistics minor at university. I’m currently enrolled in a class about Hittite, a class about the Anatolian language family, and a two-semester class about Sanskrit, as well as a class about one of the bigger research topics the laryngeal theory (if you have no clue what I’m talking about, I don’t blame you–just bear with me and hang on).

As you may also know, my 30th birthday is getting closer (October 2017, if you must know), and I still have this promise I gave myself years ago: to be able to speak at least ten languages by the time I turn 30. About that: I think I’ll modify it a bit and make it “to be able to understand/read in at least ten languages by the time I turn 30” because that seems to be more accessible given the fact that I lost a lot of fluency in those languages I haven’t spoken for years but am still able to read in them fairly well (thanks to a good understanding of grammar, and good deduction skills for unknown/forgotten vocabulary).

Currently, I’m able to read fluently in German and English, and still fairly well in French, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch (though especially Spanish and Italian need some refreshing, and Dutch contains a lot of guesswork based on my German and English vocabulary). So that’s six languages down, four to go.

As I said earlier, I’m currently learning Sanskrit (the final exam on that course will be before my birthday, so if I pass, I’ll count Sanskrit in) as well as some Hittite, Luwian, and some basics of other Anatolian languages. I’m not yet sure whether it will be enough to justify counting those languages in; I’ll probably play it by ear by the time I finish the classes and see how comfortable I feel reading unknown texts (if I’ll be able to decipher them at all).

I’m back trying to learn Chinese (Mandarin) for the umpteenth time (at some point, those pesky words and characters have to stick, right?), and I want to refresh and improve the Turkish I learnt at university during my first two semesters.

On top of that, there are a few languages I’m interested in, one of them being Low German (I don’t know whether its official status is that of a language or that of a dialect, but I’ll count it as a language since there are dialectal variants within Low German as well), which I already understand to some extent thanks to my knowledge in German and Dutch.

Besides languages, I want to learn more about the peoples and cultures in Asia minor and the bordering regions (including ancient Egypt, on which I’ve just started a Coursera course), and about Chinese culture.

I’m on track to finishing my B.A. this summer, and will probably enroll in another degree starting this fall, although I haven’t yet completely decided which one it will be, and how to go about it with my work and all (another degree full-time while also working full-time is utopian and not going to happen if I want to stay sane).

Speaking about working, I want to continue working as an English teacher (EFL) teaching adults for local community colleges, and I want to improve my knowledge on teaching methods and materials, as well as work on some of my own materials.

And last but not least, I want to continue working on my conlang Kviglivok, which was the topic of my BA thesis, and which is still lacking a good basic vocabulary.

I may or may not actually get around to writing fiction again (still haven’t got my motivation and passion for it back since my burn-out, and almost non-existant sales of my published books don’t really help) but I know better than to pressure myself again.

If you actually hung on till here, thanks a lot. I know it’s a long post, probably full of rambling and uninteresting stuff, but hey, now it’s your turn: Let me hear your plans for 2017 and I promise to read them to the end as well if you post them in the comments.

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