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15-minute habit: Magyarul tanulok! (I am learning Hungarian)
4 weeks ago I wrote about taking on a 15 minute daily cleaning habit together with my wife. It has been tremendously effective and our home looks like we just moved into it: everything is clean and sparkly, and it even smells nice. And all it takes is 15 minutes per day!
In the wake of this astonishing success, I thought I’d try adding a second 15-minute-per-day habit, to see if I can stack these things.
The first thing that came to mind was something I’ve been meaning to do for years, but always kept making excuses about and postponing: I want to learn my wife’s native language of Hungarian.
Katalin and I have been married for over 10 years, and she has learned my language (Swedish), but I haven’t learned hers. Even though we live in Sweden, and her speaking Swedish has more obvious practical value, this has always felt unfair to me. At the same time I found it hard to take any real steps towards actually doing it.
For the last 7 days, I’ve been learning Hungarian for 15 minutes per day. I’m using the Duolingo app, and it’s been great. The ratio of “learning new words” to “repeating things I already learned” is extremely well-tuned, and it seems like things actually stick to my brain. Furthermore, the Duolingo lessons only take a few minutes each, so I can squeeze in a bunch every day. This makes it feel like I’m always moving forward, which is great.
This is my first time learning a new language since I was a teenager, and it feels both intimidating and exciting at the same time. I’m really looking forward to connecting with Katalin on a deeper level, and reading some of the books she loved as a child.
Have you learned a language as an adult? Maybe even Hungarian? I’d love to hear your experience and any tips you might have in the comments below :^)