I am going to track my progress from knowing nearly no Icelandic to (hopefully) the day I go back to Iceland and am able to have conversations in Icelandic.
# But, why?
Icelandic is cool. That’s it.
I am starting the blog as a way to practice Icelandic. There isn’t much Icelandic on it now because I don’t know any. The plan is slowly transitioning to writing in Icelandic. This way anyone playing at home can progress with me, maybe. I’ll post about things I found difficult, and what I did to get through those difficult bits.
It would be embarrassing to have this post be the only one, taunting me, reminding me I failed to learn Icelandic like so many languages before. In a way this is my accountability thing, I don’t like “accountability things” but here we are.
# How though?
A book. Specifically Colloquial Icelandic. There aren’t a ton of books and courses out there for beginners to learn Icelandic—Duolingo doesn’t even have a course—but Colloquial Icelandic looks pretty good. If you have a course or book you use let me know.
Anki will be my other resource. I have a feeling the lack of Duolingo might work in my favor here. After reading this very long article I’ve been radicalized to the idea that there is an added layer of learning that happens by making your own flash cards. I’ve wanted to use Anki for a long time—this is the textbook usecase.
# Anything else?
Of course. I am not a #productivity guru…but I dabble. Before starting I went through a short anti-wasteman exercise to make some sort of plan. This is what that looks like:
- 🚀 Dream:
- Speak Icelandic within a year
- 🧠 Why?
- Icelandic is cool and I’d like to be able to speak, write, and read it
- I want to live in Iceland someday
- 🎯 SMART goal
- By the time I visit Iceland in 2022 I will be able to communicate in Icelandic.
- ⚛️ Habit
- Review Anki cards every day
- 🤯 How surprised would I be if I failed?
- 5, I’ve tried learning other languages before and failed.
- ☠️ Top 3 reasons for failing
- Learning a new language is just hard, maybe my system doesn’t work
- I decide other things are more important and abandon this project
- I never find anyone to practice with and therefore am never comfortable speaking Icelandic
- 🙋🏽♀️ WHO can help?
- A tutor?
- A meetup maybe?
- Strangers on the internet?
- 📚 HOW can I stack the deck in my favor?
- Planning a trip to Iceland is pretty exciting and a good motivator
- The Colloquial Icelandic book is a great resource which includes tons of audio files
- Using Anki and creating my own Anki decks as /Augmenting Long-term Memory/ suggests.
- Time blocking a dedicated “Icelandic Day” on top of my daily Anki practice
- 🔥 Action
- ✅ Starting and Icelandic blog
- ✅ Creating Anki cards
- ✅ Creating repeating todos on Things 3 to remind me to study my Anki cards
In case y’all are into tools as much as I am this is what I am using and how I plan to have them help me learn Icelandic:
- Roam Research: this is where I keep my notes and research on all things Icelandic. In the future I’ll hopefully be bringing in full articles in Icelandic, annotating them there, and taking notes.
- Things: I use this for all my task-management. I have a repeating todo that reminds me to review my Anki deck daily, and another one that reminds me to add cards on my “Icelandic Day.”
- Anki: Making flashcards.
- Bear: I like writing on Bear so I will be writing blog posts on bear. It works for me because I can copy and paste the markdown onto my website and publish.
# Is that it?
Hopefully there’ll be a lot more Icelandic in future blog posts.
# One Icelandic thing that is stuck in my head
Svolítið, it means “a little” and I got it wrong on my Anki reviews so much I have dreams about it.