30 Day Challenge… April

30 days of studying a foreign language monthly


We are fast approaching the 8th month in my year of #thisis40 thirty day challenges.

Those of you who’ve been following along since the beginning know that I turned 40 in September of 2017. Eek! I can’t believe that we are well past the halfway mark of my 40th year!

Even though I had been pressing outside of my comfort zones since beginning this blog at the start of 2016, I felt like 40 was a pinnacle for further pushing. Instead of dipping my toes in the water’s edge, I’d move out into the deep.

The only way for me to learn who I truly am is through trial.

My September Challenge taught me to be even more mindful about the environment. That one person’s changes CAN and DO make an impact.

My October Challenge taught me how to center myself. It taught me new ways to deal with my anxiety and how to change my focus.

My November Challenge taught me to try new things.

My December Challenge taught me that there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Some days take a little more looking, but something can always be found.

My January Challenge taught me to be mindful about what I put into my body.

My February Challenge opened my mind to worlds unknown.

While I’m still in the process of my March Challenge, I have learned that my body is capable of so much more than I have given it credit for.

30 days of studying a foreign language monthly


30 Day Challenge…April.

So what challenge do I have in store for April?

30 days of practicing a foreign language

for 15 minutes per day.

Foreign Language.

Given that I hope to have a lot more travel in my future, I would like to become more fluent in some foreign languages.

Over time, I would like to learn multiple languages other than my native English.


For the month of April, I will be spending my 15 minutes a day learning Spanish.

I have specific reasons for starting with learning Spanish.

First and foremost, is that I took two years of it in high school.

Not that I’ve retained much of it.

However, if you’ve read about my past then you know that I graduated from Immokalee High School in Immokalee, Florida. I don’t know what the demographics were when I was in high school in the 90’s, but the main percentages from the 2014-2015 data that I found at U.S. News don’t sound far off: Hispanic 73%, Black 22%, White 3%.

Along with my classes, I picked up some other words here and there.

Mostly ones that I can’t repeat here.

One of my besties in my early teens was named Carlos. He was Cuban and lived nearby.  He taught me many inappropriate phrases. I can still remember some of them and some of our jokes. Sadly, he died in our early 20’s.


I’ve also chosen Spanish because Miss Sunshine is in her first year of study. Mr. D is in his 4th year of study and plans to continue with a 5th year during his last year of high school. At that point, his high school diploma will have a bilingual seal.

I figure that I will be able to bounce words and phrases off of them as I study.

My teens have recommended the DuoLingo app because that is what most of their teachers recommend. I will probably incorporate the usage of this and other study methods for a total of 15 minutes each day.

I’ve made the challenge 15 minutes of “foreign language” study in case you decide to join along and want to choose a different language.


Before Mr. D heads off to college, I would like to travel to a Spanish speaking country so that he can have real-life practice in using the language that he will have worked so hard to learn. Right now, I am thinking we will travel to Spain sometime next year. But we will see what the future holds.

Until then, I will be working on re-learning the Spanish that’s hidden in the recesses of my brain and forging ahead on learning all that I do not know.


Do you speak more than one language? What languages do you speak?

In any given moment we have two option: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety. - Abraham Maslow

Let your light shine!


39 thoughts on “30 Day Challenge… April

  1. I wouldn’t consider myself bilingual…entirely, but I do speak a bit of French. We have a wedding to attend in Florence, in June, so we are trying to learn a bit of Italian between now and then as well. If you make it to Spain, you may not want to come back. It’s absolutely fantastic! πŸ˜ƒ

    1. I think it’s wonderful to be able to speak any amount of language other than your native tongue. My oldest took three years of French. I think he’s more comfortable picking up words here and there than attempting to speak it. πŸ™‚
      Best of luck with learning the Italian. And Florence! How wonderfully lucky!!
      I’ve seen photos of Spain and it definitely increases my hope to travel there. πŸ™‚

    1. lol. I always say un pocquito. I’ve just downloaded DuoLingo. It looks like it has good potential. I didn’t test out of any lessons πŸ™ so I am definitely a beginner.

  2. Awesome! I’ll be studying along with you. I am not fluent in any other language, but have been studying French since the late 90’s. I have also managed to pick enough
    Spanish to say hello, goodbye, thank you, order food, find the bank, bathroom, taxi, and a hotel.

    You’re ahead already. Having had Spanish in school will probably be a huge help with the grammar rules. That’s where I struggle.

    1. That’s great Deborah!!
      I’m probably not much farther along than you on the Spanish. lol.
      Although I do remember some conjugation. For some reason I’ve always remembered “trabajar” means “to work” and “trabajando” is “working”.
      I downloaded the DuoLingo app and took the test to see if I was a “beginner”. Sadly, the answer is YES.

      1. French helps with Spanish b/c a lot of the words are similar for instance Travailler is the verb that means To work” in French.

        So after you master Spanish you can jump into French. My Spanish speaking friends that study French get it a lot faster than I do b/c the grammar and sentence structure is very similar.

        What’s sad is that after all these years of studying French I’m barely above a beginner! πŸ™

  3. Creo que es maravilloso que estΓ©s estudiando otro idioma y el espaΓ±ol sea el segundo idioma mΓ‘s hablado del mundo. Buena elecciΓ³n.

    1. Gracias. Espero que tenga Γ©xito.

      I’m very grateful for Google Translate while I learn. πŸ™‚

  4. I do follow your posts a little each month and knew you were doing the 30 day challenges – and just now fully realized the 40th bday connection – woo hoo – and welcome April…

    1. Thank you! It helps me to push my boundaries. πŸ™‚
      You have a fabulous day as well! <3

    1. Thanks! I will definitely do a follow-up at the end! I’ve downloaded the DuoLingo app and discovered that I am indeed a beginner. lol. πŸ™‚

  5. wow, this is an awesome challenge. Looking forward to following your progress! I have been thinking about this myself. We have friends that live in spain, would love to learn before eventually make it over there one day. I’ve tried a bit of italian over the years and would love to learn more too. Your challenges always inspire me!

    1. I’m hoping to have lots of progress to share! Fingers crossed. I’m REALLY hoping that it comes naturally for me. Ohhh….friends in Spain. I hope you make it over there and with lots of Spanish to share. πŸ˜‰ I think Italian is a beautiful language and would love to learn that as well. It mean so much that you find my challenges inspiring. Thanks a ton Dee!! xx

  6. Fun!!!
    My Spanish is malo. I can read it fairly well and understand most of what’s spoken, but to speak it? I barely try. Worse, it has many words similar to Italian, so I get confuso and end up saying I cook a lot, and I need a bigger pig. Sassy is proficient in Spanish, and her French is bad, whereas my French is good, so we teach one another in passing. It drives my husband crazy because languages are not his thing. Sometimes he doesn’t even know which language it is, and I tut him. He had THREE YEARS of French and a semester of Spanish. We’ll ask him, “Habla Espanol?” and he’ll say, “Do you even lift?”
    Oh the fun you will have πŸ˜€

    1. I think it will be a fun challenge. I took the test on DuoLingo. Unfortunately, I’m a beginner πŸ™ However, I do recognize a lot of the words and even know their meaning. It’s the putting them in a sentence in the proper order that I need to work on! Luckily, I have no other languages learned to compete with it..which is another reason why I chose it. Big Mr. and the Hubby knew enough French to ask get the point across in Paris, but are far from fluent. lol.

  7. 😊
    My mother tongue is German, but Iβ€˜m quite fluent in English too. Additionaly, I speak a little bit of French (and a few words in Spanish)

    1. That’s awesome! I amazed by anyone who can speak more than one language. I think it is quite spectacular and I’m always slightly envious of their capabilities. I’m hoping to remedy my shortcoming πŸ˜‰

      1. πŸ™‚ learning a foreigen language is a long process and requires a lot of practise. having an option to connect to already existing memories is definitely a good starting point. the more connection points you have, the easier it is to remember. thus it’s easier to learn a language, that is relative to a language, you already know, than to learn something completely new. i.e. for someone, how is able to communicate in Spanish ist easier to aquire i.e. French, Italian or Portugese capabilities than Chinese, Russian or Japanese.
        For me, I’ve had to learn French at school for a year (with very bad success, so I broke it up) and I’ve been several times in Spain for holiday as a kid.
        What’s your strategy for learning Spanish as an adult?

      2. I have a base of schooling. I also spent 5 years of school surrounded by people who spoke Spanish as a regular part of their conversations outside of the classroom. I’m hoping that it will come back somewhat.
        My daughter is in her first year of Spanish and I’m hoping that she can reteach me some basics and the middle son is in his 4th year so I can have him speak it. I’ve also heard that watching tv stations in Spanish is helpful.
        I will mostly using apps while I’m on vacation, but plan to add book learning when I return. Even still, I expect it to take a long time to be able to speak it in regular conversation.

      3. watching movies is, at least for me, a problem, because the voices are most often too low compared to the surrounding noises. Cartoon movies, or translated (synchronised) movies have a way better balance between voice volume and noise volume. So, I prefer documentations, talk shows or news magazines. And … podcasts produced by native speakers. At iTunes you can even find podcasts especially for adult learners of that specific language as a second or 3rd language. There are podcasts available for several starting levels. Unfortunately, you have to find out on your own, how good your current skills are. I’d recommend taking a classification test. The EU has created a system to measure the levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). To give you an orientation point: C2 = near native speaker; C1 = base level for a teacher
        A1, on the other hand, is the level a student reaches usually after learning a language for 1 year at the secondary school (age of about 13 = 6th grade).

      4. Thanks so much for all this great information. I’m definitely going to look into some of these during my journey. 😊

  8. I am a little to late in reading this post. but i guess i will definitely add it to my list of 30 days of challenges to try. Thanks for the idea and I hope you are doing well in achieving your goal.

    1. Thank you. I am achieving it. Not sure I’m learning as much as I’d hoped, but something is better than nothing! πŸ™‚
      I’m glad you liked the idea. Best of luck on your 30 day challenges.

  9. Wow, so much dedication to your monthly challenges! I hope April was good to you and I hope May is even better. Feel free to check out my blog!β˜ΊοΈπŸ’– β€”https://emilyryannblogblog.wordpress.com/

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