Blog name change and language updates

I’m changing my blog name, learning Indonesian, and considering living abroad

Blog Update

I’ve changed my blog name from Oregon Polyglot to PNW Linguaphile, and here’s why. 

I moved from Oregon to Washington state in November (but I still live near Portland, Oregon). PNW refers to the US Pacific Northwest, which includes Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. I lived in Oregon for most of my life, but I’ve worked for the past decade for a company in Washington (near the Oregon border). I lived with my aging mother until she passed away, and now I live closer to my office. PNW describes my ties with both Oregon and Washington. 

Some people don’t like the word polyglot. Polyglot means someone who speaks (-glot meaning tongue) many or several (poly-) languages. The word doesn’t tell us how proficient they are, only that they speak more than one or two. (A triangle is a polygon with three sides, therefore poly- can refer to as few as three.) And ever since the annual events Polyglot Conference and Polyglot Gathering were started, polyglot has taken on the additional meaning of a language enthusiast. This is the way I primarily use the word for myself. However, since some people don’t like the word or attach strict meanings to it, I’m replacing it with the less-known word linguaphile. Linguaphile means a lover (-phile) of languages or words (lingua- meaning tongue). 

I’m starting to rename some of my other social media to match the new blog name. I’ve already changed YouTube and Instagram. I’m still deciding on the others. 

Language Update

As to other updates, I’ve been learning Indonesian from scratch for the past three months. I dabbled in it previously but didn’t retain much from my dabbling. Since my favorite courses aren’t available for it (Michel Thomas and Language Transfer), I’m experimenting with the Mass Sentence Method–listening and repeating after many sentences. Instead of being taught grammar, I’m figuring it out for myself. I started with 150 sentences from the old version of Glossika and then switched to Vocabooster, which I’m studying now. I’m up to 200 Vocabooster sentences at the time of this writing. 

Allegedly, if I study (but don’t necessarily memorize) thousands of sentences, with collectively tens of thousands of iterations, the language is supposed to click. I’ve already found, after a few hundred sentences, that I’m retaining enough vocabulary and grammar to start being able to express myself–but I still have to struggle to remember each word, since I pull them from various sentences. I know from experience that that problem is temporary. I’m talking to myself a lot in Indonesian to get past the initial struggles of speaking. Eventually, I plan to hire tutors for conversation practice. 

Meanwhile, I’m also watching YouTuber vloggers and trying to recognize words in their videos that I’ve been learning from the sentences. I’m primarily watching a vlogger named Andhika Sarasono, an Indonesian who lives in Japan. 

I’m trying to squeeze in some time with some of my other languages, so I don’t get too rusty in them, but primarily German. German and Indonesian are my newest and weakest languages. If I can raise them to a conversationally intermediate level, I can then work to advance all of my favorite languages at the intermediate level, where it’s easier to juggle them. My top five languages that I want to learn well before I die are French, German, Russian, Indonesian, and Japanese. (German was recently added to this list.) 

I already completed the Add1Challenge last year with German, but I stopped studying it for a year, and am just resuming it now. I’m using Language Transfer as my beginner course, but I’m supplementing it with the Mass Sentence Method using Book2 (AKA 50 Languages). Both of those are free and excellent resources, by the way. 

Dream Update

In recent years, my dream was to use one or more foreign languages in retirement someday, either working as a multilingual tour guide or a volunteer to help immigrants. However, now I’m contemplating the possibility of becoming a digital nomad–perhaps as a computer programmer. If so, I’ll have the opportunity to live for short periods of time in countries where these languages are spoken. But it’s just an idea I’m mulling over at the moment. 

(Photo of Mt. Adams taken by me) 

Author: PNW Linguaphile

Lover of languages (linguaphile) in the US Pacific Northwest (PNW). Formerly Oregon Polyglot. I'm over 50 years old, work in IT, and love hiking.

4 thoughts on “Blog name change and language updates”

  1. Sounds like you have a great plan in place.

    I guess Glossika is the mass sentence method. Are you considering using that? That way you could also get listening practice. Where are you getting your sentences from? Are you using Tatoeba or something else? I think that might work particularly well with Indonesian, from what I know of the language, although I haven’t really studied it. I may study Malay someday because I would love to visit Malaysia someday.

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    1. Hi, Clayton. I bought a bunch of the old Glossika courses (including Indonesian) before they were subscription-based. There was a big sale right at the end, and I had room on my credit card at the time. However, the method can be done with any set of sentences that includes both audio and transcripts (even the dialogs in beginner textbooks). I started Indonesian with Glossika and Vocabooster together, but after 150 Glossika sentences and 60 Vocabooster sentences, I decided to do just one course at a time. I chose to do Vocabooster first (500 sentences), then a few other courses to fill in vocabulary gaps, and eventually Glossika (3000 sentences) to build my fluency/grammar. Other courses I want to do in-between include Book2 (2000 sentences) and “400 Actions and Activities” from IndonesianPod101 (200 sentences). Together, they total almost 6000 sentences. Then it’s just up to me to make sure I do a lot of repetitions of each. The “400 Actions…” sentence list includes a lot of useful expressions, such as “print a document,” “send an e-mail,” “walk the dog”, and “brush my teeth.” Many of these phrases are missing from other courses I’ve seen, so I’m really looking forward to doing that one after Vocabooster. I’m starting with Vocabooster because it teaches high-frequency vocabulary used in conversations. I just hope that I don’t get bored of the method (or the language) before I finish all of these. But so far, because I’m learning so quickly without reading boring grammar explanations, my motivation level is high. As for Tatoeba, it works great for many languages, but the search engine is all messed up for Indonesian, which makes it useless. It’s too bad because Tatoeba is usually such a wonderful tool. If you ever do learn Malay, I hope you find resources you like at the beginner level. It seems like Indonesian has a lot more than Malay.

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  2. Hello. I am a linguaphile also. I guess it is safe to call myself that, since it doesn’t brag about how proficient I am in any. I have studied three of your five top languages and am putting more effort into German recently.

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