Hello and welcome to my new blog ‘Polyglot in training’!
My name’s Ethan and I’m from England. I’ve always had this strange interest in words and grammar; something about language just appeals to me and ever since I was little it’s just sort of been how I’m able to understand the world. I always wanted to know why such and such language spells words like this, or what these weird little symbols do in such and such language. But, until I was about 16, leaving secondary school, the only language I could speak was English. It seemed like a shame because while I was at school, sure, they tried to teach us French but at a painfully slow pace – in retrospect, that was probably why the course never moved beyond counting and introducing ourselves. In terms of language learning, that’s all well and good, but when that makes up your entire French education for the whole year, suddenly something seems fishy.
French is now my second language and I’m improving my skills everyday. Living in the South-East of England, it’s not exactly easy to come across foreign language speakers and English just seems to dominate down here so it wasn’t until I found the only way I was going to learn was by hiring a private teacher that I actually made any progress. I’m 18 now and I’ve been speaking French for about two years. Between visits to France and talking to friends over Skype, I’ve developed my own little techniques for tackling the giant horned monster that is language learning, and this is what I want to share with you guys and the inspiration for this blog. I’m very much a believer of the philosophy that you need to use a language actively from day one and you’ll only make as much progress as effort you put into the task.
England, for the most, remains decidedly monolingual and I can only seem to blame this on the idea that we Brits have this arrogance about us that since everyone else ‘seems’ to speak English, that gives us a free pass to not bother, locking us out of the great, wide, multicultural world of adventure which lies just beyond the horizon. And that, right there, is my motivation for wanting to become a polyglot. I am setting out to learn as much as I can about foreign cultures, peoples, and all of the grammatical and linguistic quirks I can busy myself with along the way. I’ll also share any advice and tips I can give based on my own experiences.
Stick with me, guys. It’s gonna be a hell of a ride.