My native language is English, I studied French and German at secondary school, and Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese and linguistics at universities in the UK, Taiwan and Japan. I’ve also taken short courses in Welsh and Irish, and in Scottish Gaelic and Irish songs. I’ve taught myself a few other languages as well.
Here’s a summary of my current language knowledge:
- Fluent: English, French and Welsh
- Fairly fluent: Irish, Mandarin Chinese, Scottish Gaelic, Japanese and Spanish
- Intermediate: German, Manx, Esperanto, Swedish, Czech, Russian, Danish, Dutch
- Beginner: Breton, British Sign Language, Cantonese, Cornish, Faroese, Icelandic, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Romanian, Scots, Taiwanese and Finnish
I know odd bits and pieces of several other languages, but not enough to have more than a very basic conversation.
Since 2007 I’ve sung in various choirs in Brighton, London and Bangor, and attended singing courses and workshops in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall and the Isle of Man. I’ve learnt songs in many languages.
Current language use
The languages I speak most often are English, French and Welsh. I sometimes have opportunities to use my other languages as well. I go to a French conversation group every week. I regularly speak Welsh with friends at the folk music sessions I go to. I use my Irish in Ireland, and speak Scottish Gaelic when I visit Scotland, and Manx when I visit the Isle of Man. Apart from that most of my language use involves listening and reading.
Ultimately I’d love to be fluent in all the languages I’ve studied or dabbled with, and in many others. I know that this is perhaps overly ambitious so am concentrating on maintaining and improving the ones I already know reasonably well.
Since April 2017 I have been using Duolingo and other language learning apps every day. I’ve completed courses in Swedish, Russian, Danish, Esperanto, Czech and Spanish, and learnt some (more) Japanese, Scottish Gaelic, Dutch, Romanian, Finnish, Slovenian, Slovak, Icelandic, Cornish, Faroese and Dutch.