My name is Joe, I’m from California and I love languages!
Growing up in California, I spent a lot of time “learning” Spanish. Really, it was mostly spent trying to understand what in the world “subjunctive” really is. Is that even an English word? Why can’t something just be “perfect”? Who decided to make it “imperfect”? What the freak is a “preterite”?
From 2005-2007 I lived in Mongolia. Crazy right?! I learned Mongolian, which sounds like a fight breaking out between a drunken Russian and an angry German. While there, I had a lot of fun making friends and experiencing their unique culture. I spent a ton of time immersed in the language and it really paid off. While there, I also dabbled in Kazakh, Turkish, and Mongolian Sign Language, just for fun.
In 2008 I started learning Mandarin Chinese, which is way different from Mongolian and a great challenge that continues until today.
Also in 2008, I met the woman of my dreams, and got married two years later. Her native language is French. I need to impress her family, so I started learning French. I’ve never “studied” French a day in my life, but hearing her speak at home has given me an almost completely native environment to grow with. Oh, and she also has a ton of Italian relatives, so Italian is on the menu as well.
I’ve taught English for 5 years all across the world and I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter which language you’re learning, everyone needs help.