April 14, 2014

Language Freak Summer Challenge (Second Edition): Announcement and Sign-ups!

You were waiting for it, right? Well, I hope so! :) I know I was! Summer is already in the air here, so I thought it was time to announce the second Language Freak Summer Challenge! Yay! While another people will relax and read some brain-softening holiday books, we will brush up our language skills, increase our market value, have some fun and become proud of ourselves! Last year the challenge went really well, and I got some positive feedback, so I've decided to leave the rules as they are. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I'm going to!

What is it all about?

In short, I challenge you to read books in foreign languages this summer! Now let's expand on it:

1) What is a foreign language? It's any language that is not your first one! However, let's not count languages that you know really well, shall we? For example, English is not my mother tongue, but about 80% of the books I read, I read in English. So I will not count it. Otherwise, any language you want to improve is allowed!

2) What is a book? Anything! An adapted or a translated edition, a children's book, comics, a short story, an audio book - all are welcome! It depends only on your level and on the amount of free time you have!

3) What is summer? The challenge runs for four months: from May 1st to August 31st. I hope this will give you enough time to reach your goals!

How do I participate?

There are levels! Choose just how much you want to challenge yourself to read, and don't forget to mention it in your sign-up post!

Beginner: read 1 book in any foreign language
Intermediate: read 2 books in any foreign language
Advanced: read 3+ books in any foreign language

The books can be in one or in several different foreign languages. You choose what you want to practice! But for really crazy linguists I have a special offer, which is called accordingly:

Crazy Linguist: read at least 1 book in EACH foreign language you know. Of course, this one is additional to the above listed three levels!

Bonus level is for films:

Subs Fan: watch any number of films in a foreign language (Why is it called so? Because subs are allowed, of course!)

After you read your book (or watch a movie), you are encouraged to post about your experience! It can be a review, or a reflection, or a rant, whatever! If the book's language affected your experience, write about it! Is it easy or difficult? Does it have crazy grammar or so many rare words that you couldn't put down your dictionary? Share!

For the hardcore language freaks I have another optional task! Try to write about the book in the language you read it in! Just a few phrases, to practice your writing! Last year native speakers were known to friendly explain the mistakes in the reviews, so don't be afraid to make them! It's all for your benefit, you know. :)

How do I sign up?

It's easy! Just write an introduction post and link it to the linky below! To help you write it, I've prepared some questions! You may answer them, or write anything else - your choice! The minimum info that I need about you is the languages in which you are going to read and the level you choose. But the more you tell us, the more fun it is! So, the questions:
  • What languages do you know? Note: even if you are a beginner, it totally counts! And don't forget to mention what your mother-tongue is!
  • What is your history with these languages?
  • Do you use them or are you out of practice?
  • Have you read some books in these languages? Did you like it?
  • What are your plans for the challenge?
  • For veteran participants: have you read and/or reviewed some books in foreign languages since the last challenge? Boast about it and link the reviews!

How does it work?

When you sign up, I add you to my RSS feed. Since then, whenever you mention in your post that the review is for the challenge, I note it and put it into each month's recap post. This recap post will list all the participants' reviews since the beginning of the challenge sorted by language. I hope it will be fun for you to see what other participants are reading in the same language you are! I also introduce new participants in these posts. The post will go live in the end of each month, so don't forget to stop by and check it out! Or follow me not to miss it :)

Take out your dictionaries and get ready to have fun! :)

And here's the linky for sign-up posts:


  1. Ooo! Me! I am waffling between two Danish books for this summer, a YA novel that would be easy, or Niels Lyhne--serious literature, which would be harder but I just read it in English, so not that hard.

    1. Yay, welcome! I'd vote for a YA novel! Serious literature can be difficult even if you know what is happening :)

    2. I'll second this. I'm reading Pride and Prejudice in German right now, and it is extraordinarily difficult, even though I have read it at least ten times over the years in English and can recite large chunks of it. Whatever I choose for the challenge this summer will be something easier, believe me. :)

    3. Here's my signup: http://howlingfrog.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-language-freak-summer-challenge.html

    4. Is there some problem with the linky that you link it here? Please tell me, so I can fix it! Is it not displayed for you?

    5. Jean, I've linked your sign-up post myself, I hope that is OK? I just need all the links in one place :)

  2. How about, for those of us who do not know a foreign language, we agree to try to learn a foreign language? Maybe not well enough to read a book but well enough to order a cup of coffee or glass of wine in a restaurant or say that we can't read a book in another language because our arrogant educational system doesn't think learning a second language is necessary for a well-rounded learning experience? I could do that, I think.

    1. That. Would. Be. Awesome. You never cease to amaze me with your braveness :) Do it! Make a goal for yourself and go fr it! Learning a foreign language is a wonderful experience, and I'll be happy if this challenge motivates you to do so! And it'll be very interesting to read about your experience!

    2. Me? Brave? Bah humbug. Mostly I'm just frustrated with my lack of knowledge. We have some Italian language resources collecting dust. I think I'll commit to using what we have and, if I don't do something (anything) by the end of the challenge, I'll admit that I'm never going to make it a priority and just give everything I have away. That'll teach me not to use good resources. Grrrrrr . . .

  3. Nice challenge! I've signed up and liked my post. It sounds fun :)

    1. Yay, my first official participant! Welcome!! I'll go read your intro post right now!

  4. Fun! I'm going to think about it. I took beginning Turkish this year and I wonder if its even possible.

    1. I'm SURE it's possible! :) Just choose something short and easy! :)

  5. This sounds like a good challenge. I do have Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban in French, but I have only been learning French for a few years so this might be too difficult for me. I admire everyone brave enough to try, I wish I could.

    1. You can! Harry Potter is a great book for starters! :)

    2. I've signed up and am going to give it a go. I can't promise to read all 349 pages, but will give it my best shot. When does this challenge end?


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