I know I’ve been mentioning how weird it’s been to take on this overarching project, this JACLAND business, because it’s a lot to pile on my plate.

And yet, you’ve seen me plow through a bunch of stuff that didn’t need doing regardless of how overwhelmed I am. So let us continue.

I’m going to loop back to Volume One’s going and doing mentality. In April I’m going to see a performer in Paris. Her name’s Aloise Sauvage and she’s just cool and has good music so as a parting gift to myself after the New York Marathon, I bought a ticket to her concert. (Okay, it also felt cool to buy a ticket to a concert in Paris).

I wasn’t planning to be in Paris is April, and then I clicked the “purchase” button, and solidified my plans for that week. Now I’m going to Paris to see a performer who speaks a language I straight up cannot understand. She could be singing about stuff I’m totally against. I mean I doubt it, that would suck, but the point is, I’m going to be in a sea of French people listening to a French performer talk to her audience and have no idea what’s going on.

So if you haven’t already guessed I’M LEARNING FRENCH (j’apprends le français). I know its something I’ve talked about before, I took a couple lessons before I left New York. I also know that it’s not technically part of Volume Three. In V3 I actually wanted to learn Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

I kinda struggled coming to this decision because I’m already trying to do so much, but the truth is I want to. It’s just something I want to do. And I really enjoy doing it. I’m learning rather fast and it makes me feel good. And that’s the whole point of JACLAND. Actually doing the things you keep telling yourself you want to do.


There are so many resources for learning languages. I really started to cruise when I picked up a book at a Waterstones bookstore in London called Unlocking French with Paul Noble. His style of repetition and building upon what you’ve already learned works really well for me. It makes me feel like I’m getting usable dialogue right off the bat, and gives you examples of ways you can morph his lessons into many other necessary things to communicate.

I also downloaded an app called Memrise. It gives you video and audio examples of how the phrase is said by people who speak French. I love the app and blowing through the lessons, however you do have to pay after you finish the first level. And I do not like that. Because I am very broke.

That’s where Duolingo comes in! Yeah everyone has is on their phone. If you want to learn a language, it’s a fun way to get started. It teaches you useless things you don’t need for basic language learning, like how to say “The horse likes apples,” or “the house is green.” But it does give you words to use. So if you want to dip your toes in, this is a very basic, easy way to get started.

YouTube is also the mecca for learning languages. I follow Damon and Jo, a travel duo who started as broke backpackers and now how an entire empire. I’m pretty sure they just do videos based on whatever’s in front of them now and I’m 1000% here for it. Damon is a Francophile and learned the language so well the duo taught a French 101 class for their channel. They have videos on unconventional French lessons. The duo also speak at least five languages each, so they do whole travel videos is Portuguese, French, English, Italian and then many other videos about learning languages. They’re also funny. Love you D&J. Hire me.

If you’re into flashcards, you could… use flashcards. Or, naturally, there’s an app for that. AnkiApp lets you build your own, and helps you with your trouble words by setting them to the side for you to spend a little extra time on. I’m of the mindset that flashcards are like productive procrastination. It takes so damn long to just get them all written out, by the time you’re done you’re like, “Job well done. Time to fuck off.”

Finally, an app I’m mixed about, Tandem. It’s great for meeting people who speak the language you want to learn, who maybe just need practice learning the language you speak. It’s also somehow turned into a dating app by people who want to learn languages? Which is annoying. Also also, you’re on your own. There’s no program. You have to strike up a conversation with someone who doesn’t necessarily know how to respond to your questions, and then you have to keep that conversation going on your own accord. So in a sense, it is like a dating app because you need to have chemistry with someone to try and suffer through the baby talk of meeting someone in the middle with language barriers. They do have features where you can correct someone’s sentence structure, you can send audio messages (calm down, fellas, okay? No I’m not going to visit you wherever you are), and you can translate messages sent to you to see the structure side by side.

Whatever it is, if you want to learn a language, find a way to make it fun for you. Find a way that makes you excited to learn something new each day. Find a hot French performer and buy a ticket to her concert for incentive. Worked on me.

Are you learning French? Do you speak French fluently and are able to help? Do you have a favorite, unmentioned way to learn languages? Lemme know! <3<3

Here’s to another week of doing too much stuff for weird reasons.

Wish me luck and à bientôt!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *