I'm Going To Admit Something To You

I'm going to share a personal admission with you all right now. You won't see many other bloggers admitting things like this. Are you ready for it?

We are almost at the end of a second month this year — one-sixth of my time is already gone — and I still can't even have a simple conversation in Turkish!

Yup. That's right. I guaranteed to learn this language fluently in one year, and so far, after two months, I can't even have the most basic of all conversations.

And why is that? I could tell you about how I was busy with travel, or how I took an opportunity to improve my German, or how I've been writing, blogging, programming, socializing, and chatting with girls, but you'd see excuses for what they are.

I'm still not worried, though. Not worried at all. In my last post I talked about commitment, and now you're seeing why that was on mind. Whether or not I've been studying every day just doesn't matter, because I'm committed to succeed at this, and I've still got plenty of time to do it.

I didn't commit to being fluent in two months, I committed to one year. And I've already succeeded at that in the past. Twice. So I know I can do it again.

Just because I've been mostly unproductive in Turkish for the majority of two months is not an excuse to give up. And neither is whatever roadblocks have gotten in your way in whatever language you're learning. A pause, a break, a hiatus, it's not a valid reason to quit. Unless you're not really committed.

While my level still isn't very far, it's not as if I hadn't learned anything. I've already shared with you some of the things I've learned. And in my next post I'm going to share a really cool technique I've been using to learn conversation without any instructional materials.

Giving up hasn't even crossed my mind. I've still got 10 months left. Our friend Aaron Myers learned to speak Turkish fluently in under 9 months. Granted, I don't live in Istanbul, but if he can do it, I can do it.

Want to see my favorite language resources and courses?
I listed them here.

Author: Yearlyglot
I'll lead you through a 12 month journey from knowing absolutely nothing about a language to having professional fluency.

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  • Improvement, as you should already know, in languages you're learning and many other things (pretty much any type of skill) isn't linear, it comes in lumps with long plateaus in between, so if I were you I really wouldn't be worried, that's probably what's going on. At some point in the next month or two you'll likely have a major breakthrough (then another plateau, etc. etc.).


  • One of the reasons I'm interested in your blog this year is because we're both taking on the same language, but taking very different approaches. While our timelines are slightly different (but not by much, really), just from the couple posts you've shared re: Turkish, it seems we've discovered a lot of the same things about the language at around the same stages in our respective learning.

    And I find that really interesting. and fascinating.

    So keep on keepin' on.

  • Thanks for the love! Not sure I did it in nine months, but I certainly had a great start. My son (4 at the time) passed me by at about 14 months and my daughter (now nearly 5) is just about to pass me by three years later. We are all still learning with no end in sight!

  • Aha, now it really begins!

  • Keep pushing. Keep your eye on the ball. You can do it.

  • Yeah, learning never stops.

  • Indeed.

  • No sweat. I got this. :)

  • I disagree somewhat. Nothing is truly linear, sure, but a line can be drawn between those spurts, and it should represent some fairly consistent progress.But I'm not writing off my first two months! I'm only saying that I haven't learned what I usually might have by this point. But I'm still not worried.

  • I'll be curious to know if that's still your observation after then next few posts I've got coming the next two week.

  • I'm not planning on failure, I'm planning on success.

  • No, what I meant was the whole not studying thing. If you don't acheive your goals which you stated at the start of 2011, will you just carry on or will it be some other language? But then again, all this negative talk is not really helping, so good luck for the next ten months!

  • Like I said... I don't plan for failure. :)

  • Oh, I get what you mean now!!!! What's the point planning for stuff like what I was on about? That's the quickest way to fail!

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