Language Light Bulbs

The other day, my friend told me that, statistically, once you learn around seven languages, you can learn any language you want. You break through the language barrier or something and it becomes easy.

He took this as a challenge. I find it awesome, but I know I don’t have it in me.

I’m fluent in English (lol) and am learning Spanish. As that same friend who is also learning Spanish told me, we are verging on the “functionally fluent” point, if we learn to use everything we know. But that’s it for me. I can say “thanks” in German and French… but that doesn’t count for much… or anything really.

Let’s go back a few years. I was first introduced to Spanish as a nine-weeks class in 7th grade. Then came 8th grade and I got it for the whole year. Along came high school and I landed in the hardest teacher’s Spanish class who actually expected me to learn. Somehow, I managed to get that teacher all three years of Spanish in high school. Looking back, I could not be more thankful. I’ve gone back and forth between wanting to take the classes, get the grade, and get out and wanting to actually learn how to speak Spanish. Now, I’m finally in it for the long haul. With a trip to Mexico only a month and a half away (eep!), I’m rolling my Spanish every chance I get.

Since I got to the point of realizing “hey, I actually can learn another language!”, other ideas have popped their ways into my head. I remember that tough high school teacher saying that Italian was so similar to Spanish that you could practically get by in Italy with nothing but a fluent Spanish background. So, maybe this is taking the easy way out, but I started to wonder, could I learn Italian?

This is me getting some gumption I never imagined I’d have. I mean, yeah, languages are cool. But could I know two, let alone three? The answer is, probably not. Actually, the answer is heck yes I could. However, the reality is, I probably won’t. But hey, we’ll see where  life takes me.

Any advice?


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