While I’m riding the high of my last challenge, it’s time to proudly announce my next one: for one month (Monday, September 15th through Wednesday, October 15th), all the media I consume will be in a language other than English.

bannerbaseThe name of this challenge is Foreign Language Only Month (FLOM)!

Why are you doing this?
This is an elaborate excuse to listen to Balkan Beat Box and watch Korean dramas nonstop for a whole month. Just kidding. (Not actually kidding.)

What media does this challenge cover?
Music, television, movies, print literature, and anything online. If I read, watch, or listen to anything, it has to be in a language other than English.

No really, why are you doing this?
This challenge was inspired by advice on immersion from language learning message boards. When immersion is paired with vocabulary practice, it benefits your learning progress. Since I don’t currently have enough materials in German at my disposal, I figured, “Why not immerse myself in ALL languages?”


What are some exceptions you’re allowing?

  • Classical music and other instrumental pieces. Since they don’t have lyrics, their language is boundless.
  • Subtitles for languages I’m not familiar with. Anything that’s not in German or French, which I’m slowly learning, may be watched with English subtitles. If something is in German, I need to grow a pair and listen without a leash. If something is in French, it will require French subtitles becuase damn, y’all.
  • Language learning videos and audio books. Obviously, some of this will be in English for native English speakers trying to learn another language. I figure if I’m putting more effort into learning one of the foreign languages by which I’ll be surrounded, all the better.
  • Language learning apps in general. I’m addicted to Memrise. However, this month I won’t practice the flashcards/mems that have English material. Foreign language vocab only!

What’s your hypothesis for this silly experiment?
What I know will happen is that I’ll earn more respect for other cultures and languages.

What I’d LOVE to happen is to experience a change in how I perceive the world around me.

What I secretly wish will happen is I’ll be so confused by the bombardment of unfamiliar words that I’ll forget what language I speak natively and mutter a bunch of gobbledygook when addressed by others.

You need to convince me this is going to be a challenge.
You have a point there. We’ll have to find out together how easy or difficult this is.

In all honesty, I’m a little scared about the reading portion of the challenge. I have a condition known as NERD where, if I don’t read for several days in a row, I become physically ill.* Because I’m not fluent at all in German or French, finding materials at or slightly above my reading level will be a challenge in and of itself. Because of this, I probably won’t read much outside of subtitles.

Will you cheat?
The short answer: unintentionally. I work at a library, where I’m surrounded by media in English. Not a day goes by that I don’t read the jacket of some book I have to shelve. I will resist the temptation for this challenge. Also, because I’m working on three (seven?!) novels, I’ll continue doing that. My jobs simply require me to use English and there’s no way I could reasonably get around that. However, you’ll notice this challenge is for media I consume rather than produce. Ha-HA!

Otherwise, I have no excuse to cheat at home. Sure, a family member may watch television while I pass by the room, but I’m not usually inclined to sit down and watch with them.

What sorts of wonderful things will you be reading/watching/hearing/doing?
You’ll have to come back to find out. (wink wink) Each post will have some media goody for you.

Posting schedule:

(Sept 15th: First day of FLOM; no post)
Sept 16th: two-day update post
September 22nd: week 1 update post
September 29th: week 2 update post
October 6th: week 3 update post
October 13th: week 4 update post
(October 15th: last day of the challenge; no post)
October 16th: post-challenge impressions

Monday will be a good day to kick off this challenge because it’s the beginning of a work week. Of course I’ll be on WordPress (in English) to post about all of this throughout the challenge. I will attempt to stay off of other social media and fail miserably, because I some Norwegian media to catch up on. (winky wink wink)

This challenge starts in five days. See you in six!

* NERD is a lifelong condition and may be contagious. If you think you or a loved one may have NERD, consult a librarian immediately.