The first foreign language I studied was French, which I learnt it at secondary school between the ages of 11 and 18 (1981-1988). It was a compulsory subject for the first three years and I chose to continue studying it thereafter because I enjoyed it, found it interesting and was quite good at it. Outside class I practiced my French by listening to French language radio and reading French books.
My first visit to France was a school trip to St Omer way back in 1981. Even though we were there for only a very brief time - less than a day - it whetted my appetite for foreign travel. Since then I've been on quite a few trips to France ranging in length from a few days to several months.
Between school and university I spent three months working on a couple of farms in southern France. This helped me to become fairly fluent in French and to acquire a rich farming-related vocabulary.
My French has also been useful on holidays in Turkey, Sicily, Morocco and Portugal. French is widely used as a second language in Morocco and in the other countries quite a few people speak French in places frequented by tourists.
In September 2009 I joined a French conversation group in Bangor that meets once a week and have been going to it ever since. My spoken French has improved a lot as a result.
I can still speak French fairly fluently and can also read it fairly well. My written French is decidedly rusty though.
Welsh, French, German, Italian, Icelandic, Japanese, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Korean, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Esperanto, Hungarian, Turkish, Arabic, Czech, Irish (Gaelic), Latin, Manx (Gaelic), Russian, Urdu, British Sign Language (BSL), Hindi, Breton