Hi friends, hope we’re all keeping well.
I’ve recently been obsessed and fascinated with language learning on YouTube and blogs. I’m watching videos on the topic everyday, as well as practice 2 or 3 different languages daily (depending on the mood🙃).
One of my favourite types of videos and posts is people introducing the different languages they can speak, which most of the time is like 5 or more. I honestly think that’s hella impressive, and is another motivator for me to continue improving and practising my languages.
So, as this blog will slowly start to integrate more language learning content into it in the future, I figured I might as well make a post on all the languages I currently speak, am learning, or at least have experience with!
Since I was born and raised in Ireland, my native tongue is English. If I had to decide whether my accent was more ‘British’ or ‘American’, I would begrudgingly have to say British, since they’re literally right next door to us and a lot of the slang we use in our day-to-day life is derived from over there.
That being said, if anyone ever asks me where my accent is from exactly, I would say Dublin. Keep in mind there isn’t one ‘Irish’ accent in Ireland , but rather loads of them depending on where you’re from. There can be a southern Cork accent with its high pitches and shrill screams, the indecipherable Galway accent from the west, and of course the notorious Northern Irish accent that always makes the speaker sound like they’re angry. (Joking)
Therefore, I would consider myself a speaker of Dublin English, more than anything else probably.
What a big surprise, a lad from Ireland who can speak Irish? Who would have thought.
But in all seriousness, this one is quite unfortunate as even though it is the language I’ve learned the longest (after English), it is still probably the one I’m least proficient in. It’s extremely common to enter secondary school in Ireland and continue learning Irish (having learned it for 6+ years already), but then have it quickly outpaced by a foreign language like French or German after only 2 years.
The main culprit, in my earnest opinion, would probably be the way it’s taught in secondary school. You see, barely anyone in the country actually speaks Irish in day to day life, apart from a few communities in the west and north of Ireland. Even though all the road signs have Irish and a lot of the public transport announcements are in Irish, English is still by far the most dominant language.
And even though there were multiple times I became interested in Irish and wanted to learn to speak the language fluently, these times were all during holidays, when I was away from school. And every, single time I went back to school and started going to Irish class again, that interest and passion immediately fizzled out after a week at most.
I actually already made a post on this topic already, of how badly I feel the language is being taught in school, which you can find here.
Nevertheless, now that I’m free from the Irish course taught in school, I’ve been practising the language on my own for a small bit everyday. It might not be one of the most useful, most spoken languages out there, but it is the language of the country I was born and raised in, which is why I wish to at least improve in it.
Yes, for those who don’t know I’m actually half Chinese from my mother’s side. Ever since I was around like 6 or 7 (I honestly forgot when exactly), my mother had enrolled me in Chinese classes every Sunday for 2 hours, where I learned to speak, write, and read in Chinese. She made sure to bring me back to China and meet my family over there every year too. She basically didn’t want me to forget or disconnect from my Chinese roots while living in Ireland I suppose, and for that I’m honestly so grateful.
All the time, you hear of parents bringing their children to extracurricular foreign languages classes, but then have them drop out after only a year or 2 because the children simply can’t stand it, and don’t realise how useful it would be in the future.
I mean obviously, there were many times where I also became demotivated with learning Chinese, and begged my mum to not enrol me for another year. But I’m glad those pleas fell on deaf ears
It’s the language I speak at home, with most of my friends, and am most comfortable with aside from English. Funny enough, I’ve been told a lot of times that I don’t look like I can actually speak Mandarin, which has led to a few funny stories, but those are for another time😃
So, I learned German for 6 years in secondary school, and have continued learning it even after graduating from it last year. Funny enough, I originally chose French for my foreign language subject in my first year, but once again my Mum interfered and forced me to switch to German, as she deemed it the ‘more useful’ language in the future.
I actually even hated the language in my first two years, with my lowest ever exam result coming from my 1st year Christmas exam in German (which led to the most brutal Asian beating I ever experienced in my life).
But, and obviously kinda cliché, I swear the more I studied and learned about the German language, culture, and country, the more interested and obsessed I became with it.
It was this new, sudden passion for the subject that helped me score the top mark in my German class in 3rd year(and receive an award for it), and to continue maintaining it now during college. This was the language that made me become passionate for language learning as a whole, and helped me meet so many cool people from around the world. I plan to take the German C1 or C2 exam next year as well, and even the thought of moving to Germany for some time in the future is not completely off the table.
German is honestly a language that holds a pretty special place in my heart, and I look forward to continue studying and using it in the future.
Ah yes, the language of the land of the rising sun.
So, I picked up Japanese in my 5th year of secondary school, and have been pretty much self-studying it even until today.
There were a few reasons I decided to pick up the language.
The first being the beauty of the language. From the 3 different scripts the language has, to how it sounds and is spoken, Japanese has always stuck out to me as one of the ‘coolest’ languages to be able to speak and understand.
The second reason being my fascination with Japanese media. And no, that doesn’t only include anime. Like, Japanese music like J-Pop and J-Rock is by far my absolute favourite genre of music. I guess it goes back to how cool the language sounds, but I’ve honestly never been as fascinated with other foreign media as Japanese media.
Lastly, I so badly want to visit Japan, no matter how long it takes. The country, from literally everyone I’ve spoken to who has gone to Japan, is gorgeous. The cuisine, is next level. The cities, are breathtaking. Travelling to Japan is literally on my bucket list. And, similar to Germany, I wouldn’t even mind staying over for a few months/years if possible.
All these reasons and more are why I learn Japanese.
Actually also, since I’m already fluent in Mandarin and can read a lot of traditional Chinese, I felt I also had a massive advantage in learning Japanese kanji compared to other first time learners, which for those who don’t know is one of the most notoriously difficult parts of learning Japanese. But since kanji is literally derived from Chinese (the characters for ‘Kanji’ 漢字 literally mean ‘Chinese words’), I could already understand a stupid amount of words and meanings before even picking up hiragana or katakana (the other two Japanese scripts). A lot of the time I’m just learning two or three more different ways of saying a character, which is honestly completely fine.
This is the first language I began ‘self-studying’, and I’m honestly glad of the progress I’ve made so far. I’ll probably even sit a future JLPT exam, which is the test you need to pass in order to work in Japan
So, not much I can really say about this one since I just started learning it less than a month ago.
I even made a post on the reasons I wanted to pick up Russian just a few weeks ago.
But it basically all boiled down to wanting to pick up a new language to self-study, and eventually deciding with Russian.
Its a beautiful language as well, and I’m enjoying practicing my pronunciation so far.
Maybe I’ll make a follow up post on my Russian progress in the future, but for now anyway I’m really enjoying it
Well, those are all the languages I currently speak/am learning then. Oh, I guess you could also add a bit of Python and Java in there too since I learned them in college🙃
Oh, and be sure to let me know what languages you speak/are learning in the comments below too, I’m genuinely interested.
Cool, thanks for reading then and stay safe👋🏻