Languages I'll try to learn something of this year: French, Latin, Mandarin, Classical Chinese, German, and now also Japanese and Yucatec Maya.
The first four are languages I like on their own, associated to cultures I have a lot of interest in. German and Japanese are mostly just for reading linguistics research on the previous four (there is plenty of good stuff on Romance languages and Latin in German, and on Classical Chinese in Japanese).
I've long wanted to learn a non-trivial amount of a South American indigenous language, but keep on not getting around it; maybe this will be the year. My interest in learning such a language mostly comes from some curiosity for what it's like to learn a minority language, and I'd like to make good use of my Spanish both to learn such a language and later on to produce resources others might find useful. I've been able to get a hold of two Yucatec Maya dictionaries (published in 1998 and 2009), but they're both basically long glossaries with no grammatical information other than word class, only one definition per word, and with no example sentences. If I could eventually get a hold of literature in the language, I think I could write something better relatively easily. I *think*. But maybe this is too ambitious (it probably won't be easy to get native speakers to check entries either, if I were to add example sentences), so at the very least, a dictionary with more grammatical information per entry would be desirable. I'd put it online for free too, of course. I also admit Yucatec Maya is kind of a random choice; I could've decided to learn Nahuatl or Quechua or something else instead.
If anybody was wondering about my Arabic, I've been feeling a bit less enthused about Standard Arabic lately, mostly because my plans for this year changed. However, now that I'm moving to Montreal, a city where I'm likely to come across Arabs more often than here in Vancouver, I wonder if I might finally find some encouragement within myself to learn a dialect instead. We'll see.
So, to start off the year on the right foot, I spent much of the morning of January 1st re-reading part of the beginning of the Zhuangzi, a book I like a lot (along with an English translation of course). I was happy to identify what is really an ancient Chinese equivalent of Horace's ars longa, vita brevis 'the art is long, life is short', right at the beginning of the third chapter of the Zhuangzi, a similarity I had missed in previous readings!
1 live TOP have shore, and know TOP not.have shore
'My life has a shore (a limit), but knowledge has none.'
I admit that sometimes I get pessimistic towards my language learning, particularly for French, as in spite of having studied it for so long I still find myself looking up somewhat basic words or collocations whenever I try to write anything. I sometimes have to write in French at my job, and every time I get a good reminder of how far I still have to go. So these sayings speak to me here.
When I speak French at meetups I just make up rewordings and circumlocutions of what I want to say, which is okay especially for that environment, but when writing in it at my job, I feel pressure to try to produce actual passable French. You see three stars in my profile but I'm only B2 (and not a solid B2 at that, really, although I justify it by thinking my passive skills are a lot better than the active ones). Yes, considering I'm moving to Montreal in 9 months, I know I should really just focus on French, but ehhh, I know myself and so I know I'll get inevitably distracted with Latin and Chinese.
From January to April, I'm taking a couple evening courses on some computer science topics, which I expect will consume a good deal of what would be my free time. But from May to mid-August I'll compensate for it by doing a "summer TAC" like the one I did in 2015 to some success.