7-Day Language Challenge: Why Does It Matter?
Learning as much Serbo-Croatian as possible in 7 days
Two weeks ago I decided to do a 7-day language challenge and I decided to choose the Serbo-Croatian language for it! Now I’d like to quickly explain why I did it and why a 7-day language challenge is actually useful!
So, what’s this challenge all about? The challenge was simple: basically, I tried to learn as much Serbo-Croatian as I could in seven days and at the end of the week I had a quick conversation with Martina, a Serbo-Croatian speaker, using what I learned (and I recorded the conversation, of course)!
I managed to put in 21 hours of active studying into the challenge, averaging at 3 hours a day (although I worked a lot harder on my days off, of course) and on top of that I put in at least eight hours of passive exposure to the language (listening to audio as I did other work, went to the gym, or drove around the city). My focus was almost exclusively based on conversation – my interest was simply on learning how to express myself and build as much a basis for understanding as I could.
Some people may think: but what’s the point of trying to learn as much as you can in just one week? Of course it’s impossible to simply become fluent in a language in just seven days, so why even bother to learn a lot of the language in seven days? Well, I think that the answer lies in one simple law of nature: inertia!!! You simply gain a lot of inertia and momentum as you dedicate one full week to learning as much as you can of a language (whether you’re just starting or if you already speak the language at a certain level, you can get momentum on your side).
You can learn a lot in that week and gain a lot of confidence in the language as you build vocabulary and get a lot of exposure to it. The only risk is getting frustrated and feeling like you haven’t achieved that much in that week – but I believe that as long as the learner doesn’t have unrealistic expectations, what can go wrong? After all, it’s just a week, right? 🙂 I will be posting more content, including more detailed information on exactly what I did in that week to learn as much Serbo-Croatian as I could to have a chat, on YouTube and on our website!
One observation: knowing Russian did help me learning Serbo-Croatian, since both languages are Slavic. However, they are not too similar – I would compare the relationship between Russian and Serbo-Croatian roughly to the relationship between French and Italian. Basically, if you know Italian, you have a leg up learning French. So, in all likelihood, if I knew absolutely no Russian, I would have certainly not gotten as far as I did learning Serbo-Croatian in those seven days.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed learning about the 7-day language challenge and maybe some of our readers will decided trying it themselves! 😉