Language Goals // 2022

Hey everyone. Happy New Year to you all.

I wondered if people were setting themselves goals for the year based on languages? I’ve found in the last six months that writing down 3-5 goals each week has really helped me focus on steady progress, especially when learning more than one language at once.

Thought this might be a good place for people to share their goals.

For me, I’d love to be at these stages by the end of 2022:

Mandarin - Remain consolidated as I presume I’ll be out of China for the vast portion of 2022. Keep taking Flexi Classes and using it whenever I can in my day-to-day life so that my level doesn’t drop off!

Italian - Start to have comfortable conversations in all tenses. I can have basic conversations now but always hit a brick wall at some stage. I’d like to break through that and become conversationally fluent. I also plan to give half of my wedding speech in Italian which I need to start working on soon!

Japanese - Be able to have basic conversations. Japanese for me is more a distraction and a bit of fun so I’m putting little pressure on myself but want to make progress. Right now I can do very basic things but would struggle in any conversation. I’d like to push that forward and actually be able to reply to questions rather than stare blankly!

Korean - Same as Japanese.

I also plan to dip my toe into Russian but I will leave the goal as to simply be able to read the Cyrillic alphabet with ease.

Would love to see what other are planning for the year.


It sounds like you have a good plan for the year ahead Max. Good luck!

Ok, so I have two concrete language goals for 2022:

Mandarin - Keep studying regularly and aim for HSK 3 towards the end of the year. I’d like to feel comfortable with some basic Q&As in conversation, but will be happy enough with learning more characters for reading/writing as that what I like the most about Mandarin.
Italian - Take B2 level / CELI 3 during the year. I’ve been at the same level for several years so it’s time to push myself a bit with aiming for an examination.

I think more generally I want to practice listening. I find my listening comprehension is very hit-or-miss in any language, so I have to learn to concentrate more on what is being said and understand it quicker, even if I’m to able to answer immediately.


Vietnamese: stop using English at work with Vietnamese colleagues and be able to make it through a whole meeting in Vietnamese. Not sure if I will get there but I will definitely try!

Mandarin: Learn more current internet slang. I realized all the cool words I learned and use are now several years out of date. I need to update.

Japanese: Understand how those three alphabets work.

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@Andreas-Mandarin-HSK_6 - you realise that your German internet slang will also be several years out of date too, don’t you?! It’s what happens now we are no longer teenagers! :rofl:

I think you’ll nail the Japanese alphabet point pretty quickly. :+1:

Good luck!

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Haha very true :smiley:
But I want to look cool when speaking to students. The other day after I told a student about a very cool way of saying something, a teacher privately told me that nobody says that anymore :exploding_head::exploding_head::exploding_head:

Do people in English still LOL?

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“you realise that your German internet slang will also be several years out of date too, don’t you?! It’s what happens now we are no longer teenagers!”

Never a truer word spoken! I discovered this as a Marketer also. I knew all the trends before because I used them day to day. Now it’s a different world, I need to learn to keep up.

The same applies with language.

If it helps @Andreas-Mandarin-HSK_6 - this email I sign up is superb. Written by a guy called Andrew who I’ve spoken to a few times.

He sends an email every Saturday morning with new Mandarin buzzwords. I used it to create our 2nd blog about Chinese Slang

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Couple of examples here for anyone who doesn’t wish to read the links


I have a slightly odd set of goals! These are things that I am interested in/enjoy so they seem like good ways in to learning more Mandarin…
(1) Learn to talk about food - to be able to order a meal and ask questions in a supermarket. (I love Chinese food. And I’m in London with lots of wonderful Chinese restaurants and supermarkets quite nearby. This will probably be my main opportunity to talk Mandarin this year!)
(2) Learn some children’s songs/nursery rhymes. (I still remember Italian children’s songs from more than 30 years ago, the last time I learnt a new language. So this seems like a way of learning new grammar, vocab etc that will be fun and will stick.)
(3) Learn Chinese names for acupuncture points. (After a couple of weeks of flexi-classes, some of the point names are starting to make sense to me and some of the characters are starting to look familiar.)


Those are great goals—very personalized and meaningful.

Although, I do I think that ordering food in Chinese is infinitely harder than it is in Italian or other European languages and that you need a fair amount of language and cultural background to make sense of the menus.

A long time ago (approximately around the HSK 2 level), when I was temporarily working in Beijing, I always struggled with (1) ordering the right amount for one person (I almost always overordered) and (2) guessing what a meal was (without a dictionary or Internet, as I only had a Chinese phone with Chinese input provided by a fake friend).

For example, I would dutifully learn the characters for chicken (鸡) and fish (鱼) but then bump into a menu full of 鸡 and 鱼 combinations (should I order 柠檬鸡爪, 党参红枣鸡, 香酥鸡条 or perhaps 鱼香茄子)? I still remember that epic comprehension fail when I asked the waitress for recommendations and then just sat there uncomfortably, unable to list my allergies to any ingredient she mentioned. I ended up pointing to a random line in the menu and said "这个鸡“.

There is a reason why most starving foreigners sooner or later give up and just order at McDonald’s, regardless of their dietary preferences.


Love these. Language is all about making personal strides.

I often see people setting goals that are only score/exam based but I think it’s important to add those personal touches to goals also.

For me language is all about the conversations I have, rather than a score on a piece of paper.

Good luck Kathryn


Haha - wow! So many languages everyone, very impressive.

I set myself a target last year of “be HSK 5 level” at the end of 2021 which I think I have achieved - I am nowhere near the end of HSK 5, but I am definitely past HSK 4. I would love to set myself “be HSK 6 level” as a target for end of 2022, but I’m not really sure how much effort that will take. Looking at the vocab lists only, I still have about 800 words left in HSK 5 and 3000 in HSK 6 (:open_mouth: ). Grammar wise it’s a little difficult to know as I follow a different syllabus in Taiwan. I guess I can still aim for HSK 6 level, even if it doesn’t go to plan :smiley:

I was looking at my Hack Chinese and I have gone from around 1000ish to 4000ish words in the last year which is pretty impressive.


Also - 100% agree on menus being very difficult/complex, my friends are like “oh Chloe you speak Chinese, what does this menu say” and I feel like a fraud every time when I can barely get past what meat the food has in it… :smile_cat:

I was friends with one of the ambassadors in TW who had done intensive language training to prepare for the role, and he said he had 1 hour a week that focused only on food/menus - it’s such an extensive topic!


My experience here is a bit different than anyone else I think.

I used to set goals just like this several years ago and they were easy to follow/reach because I was at university and my schedule as well as lifestyle was very structured.

Later on due to financial issues I had to stop going to uni for a year and find a job, everything changed so I was more disorganised and couldn’t reach any goals I set for the year. Studying wasn’t fun anymore and pushing it became sort of a burden for a while, which made me feel bad and impacted my mental health (I guess I put too much pressure on myself to keep making progress).

I stopped studying any language for the year, and when I found joy in studying them again, I completely ditched the goals and the pressure that comes with it. Now I just enjoy learning, when I want, how I want and at my own pace.

Progress looks different for everyone and I learned that setting goals was just not for me :muscle:

I still really enjoy reading everyone’s goals for 2022, so thank you very much for sharing!

If you don’t have any goals set for the new year, just know that it is absolutely fine and it doesn’t make you a less serious student.

Happy 2022!


Very well said, this was my mantra when I first moved to China. Go as far as you can and just enjoy it!

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This is the detective work about Hanzi that I love extremely :star_struck: - and I would take the risk to simply order. Or maybe not? :see_no_evil:
About chicken, I would be a little bit afraid of getting all parts of it or the famous feet:
But immediately I am happy and proud to recognize the lemon in 柠檬鸡爪, (a breakfast word) but at a second look the last sign really doesn’t look very appealing. It could be the feet.
党参红枣鸡: Here I see the dates, red dates? I have dates for breakfast, that’s why I have learnt the word already. Could be my choice therefore.
香酥鸡条: I know 香from bananas and soap, *good smelling), but 条looks best. It is something long and sounds like bits of 鸡。
The fish plus something unknown is too scary even if it has a 香。 :grin:
So, I would like to order the 香酥鸡条, please. The 酥 doesn’t look too bad, reminds me of the 酸奶. (My breakfast)


Back to the topic:
My “goal” is simply to go on like last year.
English: Since last January I have had a perfect language exchange partner. Weekly on Skype. We correct each other, also write emails and became true online friends. All typical season themes will repeat now and I hope to be able to use learnt things in the second round.

Mandarin: Hackchinese works perfectly for me. Now I want to do the same with my sentence flashcards. From now on I want to speak aloud always when I am practising Chinese. And also want to find some routine to listen to former lesson audios of LTL and my textbooks.

French: I like to do the stories in Duolingo. I am waiting for “better” times. Then I will regularly go to the near supermarché (across the border) again. I can’t wait to see the long shelves of cheese and fish. When choir rehearsals start again I will talk French with one of the singers again.

Italian: We often go to campsites in Italy or Croatia. Each time my Italian gets better. I used to know a lot of Italian musicians when I was a student.
I am very interested in writings. Now and then I go on with learning to read Arab and Korean. I can decipher Russian and Greek already. The next holidays or people I meet will decide what I learn next. I have a new young piano student who speaks Arab, in my holidays in Greece I had my daily training with a quite old waiter who liked to be my teacher.


@Ben-Mandarin-HSK_5 - I can really identify with this! I spent some time in Japan a few years ago and felt very proud when I reached the point of being able to go into a restaurant and book a table in advance. But then I fell down when it came to understanding the menu as I only knew the words for fish or meat, nothing else, so in the end would either end up ordering a set menu or pointing at one of the nice plastic meals in the window. (Great invention, by the way, and an art form in itself!)

Separately, but in the same vein, I spent a short amount of time in Shanghai during my masters at university. I went to a noodle restaurant on my own one evening and proudly ordered (by pointing at pictures) only to be totally thrown when a separate dish of liquid appeared with my noodles. My approximately three phrases of Mandarin certainly didn’t stretch to asking what to do with the liquid. Was it a sauce? Or a finger bowl? I still don’t know. But the noodles were nice! However, I never did go to McDonald’s. I was saved by that great invention: the Chinese buffet, followed quickly after by instant noodles. Otherwise I’d have had no chance.


I agree @Max. I have personal language goals which are unrelated to examinations, but I admit that I do tend to use examinations are markers. I feel a bit more motivated with the structure of following a course book with an examination at the end of it, even though there is zero reason to put myself through the pressure of taking an exam. It’s quite difficult to break that school mindset.


And that’s the beauty of goals - whatever works for each person.

Good luck this year Vicki!


I also like to do examinations @Vicki-Mandarin-HSK_2 . The month before the next one I will again prepare for it with surgical precision. :wink: The rest of the year learning languages is like playing games, or solving riddles. It is the perfect distraction from stress in my daily life. And there is quite a lot of stress with covid in my professional life, and with my ill and old parents.