I grew up bilingual: German and Spanish are my native languages. So I already had a good start . The first foreign language I learned at school was English, when I was 11 years old. I remember our teacher being very, very strict! No mistakes allowed! And of course we hated it in that moment but then we were grateful to have learned all the past tenses by heart . swim, swam, swum, right?
Then came French… and I loved it! At that point, when I was 14-15 years old, I thought I was quite proficient… the first time I actually spoke to a native speaker was when I was 20 years old… and yeah, I couldn’t even order a croissant without having a panic attack . Où sont les toilettes ?
My passion for languages originated from the desire to communicate with other people in their native language. I remember when I went to China and was so lost (in translation ) that I even got sick with fever because I wasn’t able to understand one word! This for me, speaking a couple of languages, and being able to understand all Romance languages to some extent, was very difficult. After that I decided that the next time I go to China I’ll be at least A1 .
Languages meant entering a whole different world for me and being able to feel at ease in different situations.
My next language will hopefully be Quechua. Since I’m Peruvian I think it’s really important for me to learn this language and understand the different concepts that shape the Quechua culture. Since, as we know, language shapes the way we experience the world around us. Or is it the other way around?