This year, I'm going to take on the task of learning a new language in a brand new way. I'm going to try something that I don't think anyone has tried before. Or perhaps it has been done, but not in a way as public and visible as this blog.
Just as I did last year, I'm going to learn to speak a new language fluently in one year. But this time, I'm going to do it without any of the traditional language learning products. No lesson books. No vocabulary building software. No instructional CDs. No LiveMocha, no Busuu, no LingQ, no Rosetta Stone, no Living Language, no Pimsleur. No classes, no tutuors. And I'm going to do this without moving to the country where this language is spoken.
How will I do this? Well... I'm still working out a lot of the details. And its possible that there are some holes in this plan, but I believe it will work. I believe that I will be able to learn a foreign language from the comfort of my home, for free, and without studying.
Quite simply, I'm going to use Google. I am going to learn all the vocabulary I need by searching for relevant content. I plan to demonstrate how a person can use Google effectively to learn words, find vocabulary, learn pronunciation, find content, meet people, make friends, and learn a language.
And moreover, I'm going to do this in a language that is unlike any other language I've learned. It won't be a Romance language or a Slavic language or a Germanic language, so there won't be any chance of me leveraging the vocabulary or grammar that I already know. I'm going to learn everything this year for the first time.
I am going to learn Turkish. After last year's language profile of Turkish, I was fascinated with the challenging new grammatical details — especially vowel harmony — that I hadn't seen before in other languages. I also became quite fascinated with Central Asia after my short visit to Uzbekistan last year, and Turkish is a relative language to many of the Central Asian languages.
So, is this going to be hard? I hope not. But I suppose it's possible. Is it going to be effective? We'll see. I hope so. But I guess there's a chance it could fail. Is it going to be fun? Oh hell yeah. I think it's going to be especially fun, finding creative ways to learn a language without using any of the tools people have come to rely on.
I can't wait to get started. And I'm already looking forward to the added challenge of beginning this crazy adventure even as I spend the next month traveling in Italy!