Good hello fellow challengers and welcome to the FAQ page. Here you will (hopefully) find answers to all your questions. If you don't, please message me on social media and ask right away! I'm always there to help you get rid of your questions. Questions concerning the indigenous version of this challenge can be found at the bottom of this page.
Just click on one of the questions below!
(For a longer version, please click here.)
Take a break from your daily study routine, leave your comfort zone and dabble in a language you have never studied before for one weekend only. It's not about who can study the most but to enjoy yourself, learn new things and dabble a bit. But here's the thing: Rather than deciding yourself what language you are going to study, you will get a randomly selected language assigned! Up!
Starting with the second version of the challenge, a so called "prep-phase" was introduced. It gives participants time to prepare themselves for the challenge weekend, meaning, they are allowed to gather resources and study material even before the challenge starts a week later. People with a non-Latin script language are also allowed to practice their new script so that they can advance to other things over the weekend and not just hang around the script all day.
The prep-phase spans seven additional days before the actual challenge. Remember that the "prep" in "prep-phase" stands for "preparation" - all serious studying is supposed to happen on the challenge weekend. Up!
Come back here anytime between the start of the prep-phase and the end of the challenge weekend to get your language. When you register for the Language Jam you will be given a temporary user name - you won't need a password, you won't need to confirm anything with your mail address - all you need is this random name to get your challenge language. Up!
The whitecard will allow you to get an alternative language in case you are absolutely unhappy with the first language that was chosen for you, or you just like to have something to choose from. You don't need to register again in order to use your whitecard; it will be available once you get your language for the challenge. If you use it is up to you. Up!
This highly depends on my work schedule and private life. I would love to host it all three or four months but twice a year is definitely more realistic and doable for me at the moment. It gives me enough time to work on things and people are less likely to get bored of it, because it is held any other weekend. Naturally, this might change over time. Up!
The pool of languages that are part of the challenge depends on the version of the actual Language Jam. Languages that have made an appearance so far (or, in case the next challenge is just around the corner, those that will be part of it) can be found here. Up!
Nowhere. The challenge is 100% free and it will stay that way. I want to make this language challenge accessible for everyone regardless of their financial status, so you will have free access to everything on this site, being printables, resources and my support! Up!
Just do it. Don't be afraid and embrace the unknown. I was pleasantly surprised of my challenge languages even though my first thought was "omg what" when I was given both Hungarian and Urdu. Look around on the website, join the community on IG, Twitter and Discord and if you have more questions, I'm always there to help. (: Up!
Organizing such a short challenge so that as many people as possible are able to participate is indeed a tricky task and I quickly realized that there will always be someone that cannot participate on whatever date will be chosen. This challenge does not span a whole month or even half a year and lives from its intensity of just one weekend. So in order to avoid single challenges all throughout the months, I had to choose a date. But worry not! There will be more Language Jams in the future and hopefully the next date will be more convenient for you! Up!
Don't worry about it too much and just join the fun! :) The language learning community is incredibly supportive and friendly and there is always room for a new language enthusiast! There will also be some help provided before the challenge starts, that is: a list with some links that might be useful for a start, printables to get everything in order, and more. Up!
How much time you spend with this challenge is totally up to you and heavily depends on your daily schedule as well as on your motivation and determination. If you are on semester break, on vacation or just have a weekend to kill, go for the full weekend. If you’re working nine-to-five but you still want to participate, one single day of the weekend, or just a few hours to dabble a bit might be suitable for you. It’s not about studying the longest, it’s about choosing what you are most comfortable with. Up!
The goal of this challenge is not to force you to learn a language that you do not feel comfortable with. Therefore every one of you is given a whitecard: If you feel like your challenge will be ruined by whatever language was given to you, you will be given an alternative language. You can then decide between either of them. Up!
I agree, there are quite a lot of languages out there, all of them beautiful and unique in their own way.
As I was searching for languages to add to the challenge, my topmost priority was that there would be at least some online resources available that people could start with. Looking for study material on your own is part of the challenge but, as a host, I wanted to make sure that there are at least some materials that could be found with a simple online search. I will try to add new languages over time and am always happy about suggestions, but please keep in mind that it might take some time for me to find and check out the material that is freely available online. Up!
I love dabbling but I was always in two minds about what language to dabble in next. Also, I always had that fixed list of languages in my mind that I'd never learn in my life. Or so I thought. But I realize that this is somehow quite a dull mindset because how should I know if I like a language if I don't give it any chance?
And to get rid of making a choice myself, I let the choice be made for me. Up!
The challenge as a whole will stay the way it always was but you might want to adapt your expectations when it comes to resource availability and study intensity.
This is obviously about indigenous languages, languages that have only few speakers and are by no means as present on the internet as "bigger" languages like Mandarin or Spanish. The material that you will find might be outdated, sparse and in most cases not nearly as neatly arranged as your usual study resources are. But that does not mean you cannot study your challenge languages as successfully. Maybe you won't be able to study all the way through the weekend because the material you have found is limited, but you could make up for it by diving a bit deeper into the culture that surrounds your challenge language! There's lots to explore! :) Up!
There will be 26 languages in the Indigenous Language Jam. That includes: Ainu, Bininj Kunwok, Cherokee, Cree, Faroese, Fijian, Guaraní, Inuktitut, Kurmanji Kurdish, Latvian, Lezgi, Low German, Manx, Maori, Mari, Navajo, Nepali, Northern Sami, Ojibwe, Quileute, Samoan, Scottish Gaelic, Sundanese, Yiddish, Yoruba, Zarma. Up!
As always, I will give you some links for a quick start but the material that is put on the website is by no means complete. There is much more to be found online, especially since I am looking for English resources only. Searching for language resources in other languages you can understand might be worth a shot. Especially when you already speak the official language of a country in which your challenge language is spoken. Up!
There are two possibilities: The first one is that your language will be a part of the second Indigenous Language Jam, and the other that I could not find enough English resources when I went through the language suggestions I got. If the latter case is true, I apologize for not being able to accept your suggestions, but since English is the greatest common divisor in this challenge, I cannot assume that the majority of participants speaks Spanish as well and are okay with a Spanish only resource. Up!
Yes, there was, but due to various reasons there won't be a second one any more. Or at least not in the forseeable future. I sincerely apologize to everyone whom I told otherwise and to all of you who have suggested languages and resources. The languages that were supposed to be part of the second indigenous challenge can be found in the resource section in between Language Jams, together with all the other languages that made an appearance so far.