Misty's Language Learning Journey

This page is just about all of my language learning experiences. I'm currently learning French, Italian, Chinese and Japanese on the side. I also am flirting with the idea of studying Romanian. My progress in these keeps changing, so what I've written about them below may be out of date. A lot of my language experiences were not successful, but I'm still glad I tried. Hopefully this page is interesting to someone.


I started learning this when I was in primary school, but I'm still in the intermediate level. I moved schools a lot and some of them didn't teach it, so my studying hasn't been very consistent. It's one of my favourite languages, and that's not because it's the easiest to learn. The words are so fun to pronounce, they sound much prettier than English words. Learning French hasn't just taught me a new language, it's also helped me understand English a bit more.

In primary school, all we learnt in French were the numbers and a few songs. Then my school suddenly gave up and tried to teach us Spanish with this DVD made for preschoolers. Then in secondary school I was in one of the classes that learnt French (the other classes did German instead), and I began to learn it properly. I even went to France, but I wasted the trip by only speaking English.

I took French lessons in school whenever I could, and I'm still taking it in university. Some of the teachers were really good, but others didn't care much. I would like to say that my level is fairly decent. The only things I struggle with are pronunciation and listening. My listening skills are terrible because I don't watch TV in French. All I do is read manga. The grammar can be quite difficult at times, I need to study some of it again because I've forgotten. I also need to figure out how to type the accents on the keyboard.

Right now I am studying French so hard, I'm absolutely obsessed with the language. I want to become fluent so badly. I've tried to speak French to people in the real world, with varying results. My worst problem I spend too much time figuring out how to correctly conjugate verbs in my head, or I feel inclined to speak English instead. I want to write on this website in French, but I don't know if I'm ready for that. I can barely even figure out how to type in the accents on the computer.


This was the first foreign language I was exposed to, thanks to Dora the Explorer. I went to a school where they taught it instead of French. But they only taught it once a week, for ten minutes. I'm not really sure how we were supposed to remember any of the words that way.

I went to a secondary school where it was an elective class, but they only taught it for one year. The teacher told us that if we wanted to continue, we were going to have to go to another school instead. I decided to take the class, and it was so fun. I've forgotten a lot of what I learnt there. I never really used the language anywhere, but it at least helped me understand some pop songs. I want to start learning it again on Duolingo in the future.


I was going to learn Chinese in the first secondary school I attended. They gave everyone a preview lesson of multiple different languages, and you were supposed to pick one to study in the second year. I was so excited to learn Chinese, but then I moved countries so I couldn't start. Then I met some Chinese friends, which was my motivation to self-study the language. I used this textbook called "Basic Written Chinese". It taught me both traditional and simplified characters, but the problem was that it mainly taught you how to read it, not how to speak it. You had to buy the companion textbook if you wanted to speak it properly. So I didn't really know how to pronounce anything, and I struggled with the tones so much. Even now I still struggle with the tones. Eventually I forgot to continue studying, until I went to university.

I'm taking Chinese in my university, and it's the class where I get the best grades. Because I already knew the basics, it helped me a lot. But I don't really watch any Chinese television or listen to any Chinese music, so I don't learn much outside of class. Most of my classes were online, so I'm still terrible at writing the characters. I have progressed so much in such a short space of time, which makes me happy. Plus, it helped me with my Japanese a little bit.

Right now I am disliking Chinese a bit. I'm so bad at speaking and listening to it. A lot of people in my class watch C-Dramas so they hear the language a lot and they can speak it well. I'm struggling with pronouncing the tones, but I'm starting to grasp them more now. But I feel like everyone in my class is better than me, so it makes me feel less enthusiastic. I'm going to keep trying hard to practice so I can improve. For some reason in my class I feel inclined to speak French instead of Chinese. Sometimes when the teacher asks a question I almost answer with "oui". My brain is switched to "not-English mode", so it just lumps all foreign languages together.


I am a weeb, so of course I've studied Japanese. The push that made me want to learn it was the Diabolik Lovers games. I started learning an entire language just so I could play this dumb sadistic vampire series. I don't even know what level I'm at, it's probably something around the N3 level. I self-studied mainly through media, so a lot of the vocabulary I know is very random. Some of the most basic N5 level words I never even remembered. My listening skills are far superior to my reading, but learning Chinese characters has actually helped my kanji recognition a bit.

I started learning hiragana and katakana with Quizlet. Quizlet sort of sucks now, but when I started it was really useful. I used the test mode to remember the characters. It kept repeating the questions I got wrong, which managed to drill the hiragana and katakana into my brain through trial and error. Then I managed to get a copy of Genki I. It was a good textbook, but I think I would've enjoyed it better in a class setting. I probably should've used flash cards to remember the words, because all I remember from that book was the grammar. Then I just sort of played a lot of games, and watched a lot of anime. Yes, I know the whole Internet says that it's bad to learn Japanese with anime, but I personally found it useful. And my parents couldn't criticise me for playing too much games or watching too much anime, because I told them it was a "language learning experience".

I don't really actively study Japanese like other languages. Sometimes I feel really fluent and impressed at my skills, other times I feel that my skills are terrible and I can barely understand anything. At least I can sing along to my favourite songs and understand some anime well enough. I see other people spending hours doing kanji drills, and I feel a bit guilty. I'm just not motivated enough to do that. I tried to continue my studies with Duolingo, but Duolingo Japanese doesn't like me much.


I tried hard to study Korean with a book called "Korean From Zero", but I just couldn't remember anything. All I know how to do is read Hangul and say "I love you". Self-studying is fine, but for this language I would've preferred to learn it with a class. I feel guilty whenever I listen to K-pop, so I mainly just listen to the Japanese versions instead. I recently tried Duolingo Korean, but it's not very good.

With Japanese and Chinese, the different characters help the words stick in my head easier. But Korean uses an alphabet where the different words don't really stand out to me. I think Hangul is the prettiest writing system, it looks so stylish. And the language sounds really nice too. Maybe I'll study it again one day...


Arabic is another language that I just didn't get along with. I actually took a university class for this one. After almost a year of learning it, all I could do was read it, not understand it. I studied it at a time when I was actively learning two other languages, taking two history classes, and working all weekend. I was tired and my motivation was low. So I eventually just dropped the class. I feel guilty.

The way the classes were taught made it a bit boring. They just focused on the alphabet over everything else, so we didn't practice speaking or even forming sentences all that much. I know the alphabet is important, but I just feel they could've taught it differently. And the textbook was boring in my opinion. Maybe I should've stuck with it for longer. I feel bad giving up on it, but at least I tried.


I almost took Italian in my first year of university, but I had to take Arabic instead. Italian is such a cool language that I've wanted to learn for a long time. Recently I started studying it using just Duolingo. Duolingo's not the best choice according to some people, but it works great for me. It's only downfall is that it doesn't really explain things, it just shoves new words in your face multiple times so you remember them. I think you're supposed to combine it with other resources, but I just use it alone because I don't have anything else except an old phrasebook that's been sitting in my house for years.

I wish I could've studied some Italian when I went to Italy, but I was a kid then so I didn't care about learning languages. The only word I remember from that trip was "uscita". I should've started learning it earlier, but these past few years my motivation and energy levels have been at a record low.

This year, after a whole summer of Duolingo Italian, I managed to take my university's Italian classes! I am enjoying it a lot. The professor already uses Italian 90% of the time, but somehow I managed to understand her well. Even though French and Italian are different languages, studying one is somehow helping me with the other.