Amelia from the UK is currently taking the italki World Cup Language Challenge to learn Korean.  She uploaded a Public Video Pledge and even started a personal blog site to help motivate her – Hallyu to 한국어.   We were so impressed with her efforts that we asked if we could repost what she had written on her personal blog as she gives weekly updates on her progress.  Check out her latest post – reposted with permission.

Hi All,

I am finally back with a video this week. I should probably have left this for the “big reveal” next week but my teacher told me I needed to talk to myself and at least I feel less silly if I’m doing it for this!

So, this is me rambling in my room for a while on things I have done recently. I’m aware there are quite a few mistakes in it but my aim was to try and talk for as long as possible without being too slow. I have now been studying for about 10/11 weeks and have done 24 hours on italki so I’m very nearly done with the challenge :-)

I do feel my korean speaking is a little faster than it was a couple of weeks ago. You can tell there are specific words I use a bit too much, and I can use more difficult grammar, but I need to make the most of what comes naturally. If I’m actually conversing with someone, I’m not going to focus on how difficult I can make my sentences…

Anyway, I hope everyone else is still going – nearly there! And I hope everyone has a good week :-) This time next week the challenge will be over…not that I’m going to stop korean lessons at that point!

Amelia x

Throughout the 2014 italki World Cup Language Challenge, we are not only giving away prizes to the challengers but also users who cheer for the challengers!

Today we are presenting our winner of the Cheer Contest!

The winner of the 2014 italki World Cup Cheer Contest goes to Leigh Davis!

Leigh’s cheering video stood out from all the cheering videos and received the most views. We are impressed with Leigh’s enthusiasm and his singing ability! Don’t miss out his video, and you can also check out his story here.

Prize: We are going to reward Leigh 50 USD in italki credits to help him continue his Spanish learning and start learning Italian.

For all those who did not win this time, do not be discouraged, and don’t forget to check out the 2014 italki World Cup Language Challenge Official Page.

We know you can do it! Keep it up!

If you ever have questions, or need any help contact us at support@italki.com

WCLC-week-7

Lindsaydoeslanguages is blogging about her World Cup Language Challenge and we’re reposting here to share with the entire italki Community. This blog post originally was posted on Lindsaydoeslanguages.com website.

What a challenge! You know what? I feel really proud of my commentary last weekend. A lot of people even asked me to commentate the final the next day! If you missed it, take a peek here and let me know what you think of my Portuguese!

Beforehand, however, I was genuinely a bit nervous. I’d never done a live event on YouTube before, I would never have thought to do this in my own language – never mind one I’ve been learning for a few weeks, and I’d never commentated a football match. And to make matters worse, it was Brazil vs Netherlands – both countries speaking two languages I’d been learning recently – Portuguese and Dutch! Who was I supposed to support?!

For this week’s goal, I initially said I’d opt for a video discussing how the commentary went in Portuguese, but I decided to try my hand at writing instead, something I haven’t really done much of. Please feel free to correct me in the comments! Here we go… (Psst! Click the Google Translate button in the top right hand corner and it should translate the text for you if you don’t speak Portuguese!)

Semana 7

Então, e terminado! Estou muita contenta com o meu comentário e o meu português agora. Me sinto como si posso comentar um partido de futebol, posso fazer tudo o que necessito em português. Fazer um desafio como isso e o melhor coisa que poderia tido feito porque foi um desafio verdade!

Porque escrever?

Escrever não é uma coisa que fazemos muito na vida quotidiana hoje. E quando fazemo-lo, estamos rapidamente corrigidos dos computadores e tecnologia – então, já esta importante que aprendamos a escrever?

Acho que a idioma e uma das coisas mas importantes que aprendemos na vida. Ter uma maneia em que podemos comunicar e empresarmos e imprescindível. Mas – escrever também?

Quando falamos, falamos rapidamente, normalmente sim uma oportunidade a pensar muito do que estamos a dizer. Mas, quando escrevermos, podemos parar, e pensar, e ter cuidado do que queremos expressar. Isso é o que é importante.

Fazes o italki World Cup Language Challenge?

Quase, quase! Podemos ver a linha de terminar! Espero que tenhas desfrutado o desafio e que vais a continuar com as suas idiomas depois. Eu sei que tenho aprendido muito de português e que o tenho desfrutado muito! A prossima! Mas, antes, há uma semana e media mais em que podemos fazer mas aulas si necessitamos, revisar o que necessitamos a revisar, e desfrutar a idioma antes da tentação de uma outra quando tememos o premio de ITC…

E agora que?

E difícil seguir isso! Mais, acho que vou a continuar com português depois do desafio com um pouco quando posso. Isso dito, depois de Julho, tenho que concentrar só em francês porque e “importante” que obtenha uma boa nota mais ódio estudar academicamente e não posso esperar ate que possa aprender as idiomas sim as restrições outra vez!

Just a little something to keep my Portuguese brain ticking over!

How are you getting on with the italki World Cup Language Challenge? Not long left now! Let’s do this!

It’s week 6 of the italki World Cup Language Challenge.  (Yes, Germany has won the Cup, but a more pressing and curious question remains: who will win the italki World Cup Challenge?).

Or, as many of you may be quick to point out, what does “winning” the italki challenge really mean?  How do I read the leaderboard? Should I boo or cheer? (“Cheer” is the answer to the last one – learning a language is good for you).

Offical 2014 italki World Cup Language Challenge Leaderboard

Short Answer:

The Country ranking attempts to answer the question “Participants from which country have taken the most classes during the World Cup Challenge (on average)?”.

The Language ranking attempts to answer the question “Students of which language showed the most dedication to taking classes (on average)?”. This latter one got a bit confusing because many of the participants are actively studying multiple languages.

Long Answer:

Basic Methodology.

Trying to put together a ranking of groups of people as diverse as italki users is always a strange proposition – very few fit well in easily-defined groups. Ultimately we have had to take some shortcuts to be able to process the data and present it in some sort of a consistent fashion.

The “top-10″ rankings you see have been limited only to “teams” of 4 or more. By “teams” here we mean ways of grouping participants.

Country teams.

The obvious way was by country. Even here, however, we had to make a decision about what counts as one’s country, as we have both countries of origin, as well as countries in which our users live.

For the top ten by country we decided to allocate students into teams based on their profile listing of the country of origin, add up all their session hours, and divide by number of people on the team. The reason for us using an average was to find a way to rank these “teams” on an overall metric.

So, for example, the average participant from Mexico has spent 19.09 hours taking lessons with an italki teacher.

As you can quickly imagine – this has flaws. The “Angola” team wound up beng just one student, who has completed over 50 hours of lessons since the beginning of the challenge. Trying to defray the statistical anomalies like this, but still give a shout-out to the dedicated lone representatives of their countries, we have dropped teams with less than three students.

Why 3?

Frankly, we needed a number that would not eliminate too many teams, but could still be seen as a team-effort. Yes, it is rather arbitrary.
Target Language teams.

The math on this just got a little weird. Many of our participants are taking multiple languages. Some are even taking languages which are not listed in our site (one of our more prolific users who has racked up numerous hours in Tagalog is actually learning Ilokano from his teacher- a language we do not have formally listed on the site yet).

After loads of hand-wringing and fights with our spreadsheet programs, we have decided to use this metric in a simple and crude way:

Your target language “team” is determined by what language you have studied most of in the period of World Cup Challenge. Then, all the hours that you have taken regardless of language get tallied up and divided by the number of other members of your “team”.

Yup, its very crude. Cantonese and Shanghainese dialects got dropped entirely for example. That said, the reason we chose this approach is: although it’s easy to tabulate the number of hours in a specific language, it is much harder to figure out how to divide that number to find the average.

Do we divide them by total number of participants of the challenge? That would be unfair to the small dedicated groups learning Catalan or pretty much every language but English.

Do we divide them by number of people who have at all studied this language? That also yields meaningless results, as it doesn’t represent the amount of effort many of our students have put into studying a total of 3 or 4 languages.

Ultimately we decided that a participant’s “primary” language will be his or her “team”, and created this relatively abstract measure. What the ranking says is that, on average, people studying Spanish (as a primary language) have spent approximately 7.51 hours taking language classes.
Final Thoughts.

We do not want our participants to miss out on the glory, so we are planning to do a final ranking by number of hours of all the users who have completed the challenge target. These will be individual rankings, with a breakdown of number of hours learned in at least their top-two or top-three languages.

Doing this breakdown every week, however, would be very distracting for our team, and would take away from many other activities that are necessary to keep the site running: community management, customer service, handling the publication of articles, and promoting italki resources to inspired language-learners all over the world.

Most importantly, we feel that the real winners of the challenge, whether completers or not, will be those who can look at the “before” video and the “after” video, and see how much they have accomplished in understanding another language and culture in avery short span of time.

By the way, when your before and after videos are ready, please send them to support@italki.com.

Good luck everyone in the last few days of the challenge!

 

 

 

WCLC-beforeLindsaydoeslanguages is blogging about her World Cup Language Challenge and we’re reposting here to share with the entire italki Community.  Original post here.

Eek. What am I doing, guys?! This is scary. After watching a handful of YouTube videos of Portuguese football commentary I’m hoping that Brazil and the Netherlands score a lot of goals on Saturday – that way, my commentary will consist mostly of

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

No, I’m kidding! Although I am a little nervous, I am super excited to see how this goes. Also, Brazil vs Netherlands? As in Portuguese vs Dutch? As in the two languages I’ve been learning for the past few months? Who am I supposed to support?!

There’s a lot of words I have to learn for the live commentary to make sure that I can speak as on cue as possible and keep up with all the action. I should point out right about here that I’m not a mega football fan, so I probably won’t know any names of players and so this does have the potential to be very funny!

Check out my very jazzy preparation vocabulary notes full of useful words (I’m bound to have missed something!) and some interesting phrases I’ve picked up from the videos I’ve been watching.IMG_1969-copy

Too jazzy?

Don’t forget to bookmark the link right here in preparation for Saturday at 21.00GMT. Be there or be square. Because apparently being square is a bad thing.

Are you doing the italki World Cup Language Challenge? How is it going for you? Let me know in the comments!