Thank you very much for your very precise and interesting reply, Robin!

Indeed, that’s quite a wide range of language families! Did you move to China to learn the language without knowing anything when you landed? I’ve always been a bit jealous of those who dare take on such a challenge!

I completely understand why you started Portuguese then! I almost did the same with Italian since I already spoke French and Spanish (and a bit of Catalan) but I tried a method which didn’t work at all for me and since I was in China at the time I figured it’d be better to focus on my Mandarin.

You’re not the first person who says Turkish is fascinating but I’ve never understood what makes it so “original” since I haven’t dug in it at all. Is it the sentence structure?

As for myself, I’ve always had trouble keeping it short but I’ll give it a go!

I studied English and Spanish from middle school and took 6 years of Latin as extra, too — I was pretty much only physically present in class. But it was really Japanese that kicked off everything. I loved the sound of it so I started dabbling in high school. I took evening classes for 2 years, 1 of which I also took intermediate evening classes of Korean — since I studied it during the summer after meeting 2 Koreans and didn’t want to go through learning Hangeul again. After that, I did an internship in Catalunya where I leveled up my Spanish and picked up everyday Catalan. Then I came to Japan for an exchange program for 6 months before moving back to France and going to Shanghai for a 6-month internship the next year. Since 2015, I’ve been living and working in Japan. Throughout the years, I’ve traveled many times to Korea, where I feel the strongest attachment since my first trip there exactly a decade ago and where I had the most impactful experiences (I’ve written about it here, focusing on the traveling aspect more than language). I am also learning Burmese right now just for the pleasure of bothering my brother whose fiancee is from Myanmar and do part of my speech in Burmese next year!

I’ve dabbled in quite a few languages too, from Norwegian to Indonesian, Vietnamese, Portuguese, and Thai. My current dabble is German but I am amazed at its construction so I might dig deeper here.

The next challenge… well, that’s a complicated question! Before Covid-19, I was planning on going around Asia this year and dabble in each country’s language while working, but that’s obviously on hold for now. So the backup plan is to level-up my Burmese and read Korean books!

Ah… apparemment je n’arrive toujours pas à résumer mon parcours! 不好意思啊!

Written by

Polyglot speaking 6 languages. Writer. Helping the world to learn languages and become more understanding of others. Say hi → https://linktr.ee/MathiasBarra

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store