Breaking Down Goals and Making Progress Visable

Now my first post had a specific definition of what I really want to get out of Esperanto by the end of 3 months, and this was intentional, because (to me at least) being that detailed tends to paints a picture of what I need to do, and the painting is on the wall. It reminds me where I’m going and makes that place within arms-reach of my desk .

But, 3 months is still… 3 months! If I’m going to complete the picture, I’ll need to do it in layers. So I’ve written in detail what I think each layer will be composed of.

Month 1:

  • Being able to use my Laptop in Esperanto. That is, actually understanding the words on the screen. Not staring at the warning and then guessing which button to click (Sometimes it feels like I’m playing Russian roulette with my assignments… Does that say delete or save?)
  • Being able to browse an Esperanto centred forum and get the gist of 50% of a posts. Gist is defined as not being able to read all of the words, but being able to infer the meaning based on what is known.

Month 2:

  • Commenting source code in Esperanto with no help, this does not mean mistakes are unacceptable, everyone makes mistakes the important part is to learn!
  • Being able to browse Esperanto websites about Esperanto music and news and getting the gist of about 50% of the page. If it is a single article, understanding the point the article makes, but not necessarily being able to read it all is acceptable.
  • By this point, being able to speak and chat online with only lite use of a dictionary seems reasonable. In the case of conversation, a high mistake ratio is okay I just need to make sure to learn from them!

Month 3:

  • At this point, being able to understand 80% of forums posts on a topic that I would understand in English (Video games, not TMZ Esperanto edition). That 80% is understanding, not inferring.
  • Taking notes at school exclusively in Esperanto. This implies the inability to use a dictionary or even think about what words one would need to write.
  • Bumping up all written Esperanto on websites, books etc to an understanding of 70-75%, inferring is okay. At this point, being able to read something like the Hobbit shouldn’t be a dictionary party, most unknown words should be learned through context (hopefully).
  • Conversation and live chat should be up par with forums posts. I should be able to understand 80% of what the person is saying to me, but 75% of my output ‘mistake free’ seems acceptable.

These are in no way concrete, pictures and paintings change at the whim of the artist. These goals are here to be accomplished, but they are also here for motivation. Have you ever made a todo list for the day, and then crossed out tasks as you finished them? It feels pretty good, and that is the point of these goals. Not only does it make me feel good to complete a goal, but it’s a way for me to measure my progress and really understand how far I’ve managed to make it.

Now, with these goals defined. It’s time for me to go study! An early Happy Thanksgiving, hopefully you enjoy it with family and friends!

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