Hello and welcome to my profile! 😀
I am a very experienced polyglot and have been teaching myself languages autodidactically since I was 8 years old, so I have nearly 30 years experience in independent language learning. I have studied over 40 languages to date, of which I speak about 15 at an advanced level (virtually all Germanic and Romance languages and some others like Russian), about another 10 at intermediate level and the rest at beginner´s level, but I always try to get better and improve my skills and also regularly take up new languages. My current main focus is on European and Asian languages (esp. Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, the Slavonic languages, Farsi/Persian, Finnish and the Celtic, Finno-Ugric and Baltic languages), but not only.
As of spring 2016, I speak and/or have studied these languages (the levels are subject to change since I work on improving on them constantly and on a *daily* basis):
Native: English & Dutch
‘Second languages’(C2): German, French
C1-C2: Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian
B2-C1: Catalan, Danish, Afrikaans
B1-B2: Greek, Esperanto, Bulgarian, Polish, Czech, Indonesian, Malay, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Welsh , Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, Romanian
A2: Icelandic, Hebrew, Arabic, Finnish, Irish, Turkish, Persian (Farsi), Dari, Ukrainian, Hindi, Yiddish, Slovak, Hungarian, Luxembourgish
A1: Albanian, Old Norse, Tagalog (Filipino), Swahili, Balinese, Cantonese, Gaelic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Thai, Basque, Georgian, Slovene, Nepali , Vietnamese, Mongolian, Korean, Ladino, Urdu, Guaraní (Jopará) [<- thanks to duolingo!]
Passive knowledge: Latin, Old English
Apart from these languages, I dabbled with some others, notably Lakota and Ojibwe, but I can’t speak these to any decent level yet, but want to learn them properly in the future.
My aim is to achieve a level as high as possible in all of my languages eventually (at least a C-level), so that I can read comfortably without needing a dictionary. A practical ‘usage value’ of the languages I am learning is not important to me at all, because I only get to travel rarely these days.
I am a ´third-culture kid´, having grown up abroad bilingually with 2 native languages (English/Dutch) plus 2 second languages. I am from a working-class background. Born in the late 1970s, at a time long before the advent of the internet when it was not – comparatively – easy to find people with the same marginal interests, I spent an extremely lonely and isolated childhood and youth as a social outcast and never had any friends or just comrades to hang out with when I grew up. Never having had any of the ‘usual’ age-typical interests and growing up in an environment where absolutely no one understood my passion for teaching myself languages and for my other bookish interests, I have always been considered as a ‘freak’ and ‘weirdo’ and was bullied relentlessly for being ‘different’ throughout my entire time at school. Even so much so that I ended up becoming a school drop-out (!) because of it (with all the consequences this has had for my further life) when the bullying got completely out of control and nobody did anything about it.
Being the eternal ‘misfit’ , my background is not in languages and linguistics, but in both the arts and humanities and natural sciences. I have a Fine Arts qualification, as well as two degrees in Art History (with a specialism in modern architecture; both degrees with a ‘Distinction’) with Archaeology and Heritage Studies as minor subjects from a British university, as well as a qualification in the contemporary sciences. I work as a freelance illustrator, artisan/craftsperson, designer and, occasionally, also as a zero waste and environmental consultant and as a freelance writer. I am based in Europe. I consider my languages merely a tool and a means to an end to pursue all of my other interests, but don´t enjoy translating, analysing literature or discussing grammatical peculiarities, so studying languages or linguistics at university has never been an option for me. Languages are more of a way of life and a passion for me and something that I ‘live’ on a daily basis rather than a ‘science’ to be studied (hence the name ‘polyglottando’ for my blog, which implies the action of what a polyglot does 🙂 ).
I have very many and very varied interests, among other things environmentalism and political activism, world politics, art and crafts, architecture, books, the sciences and gardening to name but a few of my interests, and I am a vegan. I am also a great fan of the ‘Harry Potter’ books and collect them in all languages (in order to read them, not just as collector’s items!). As a committed environmentalist, I do not fly for reasons of climate change (!) and I don’t have a car, and I lead a ‘gadget-free’ lifestyle (no TV, no mobile or smart phone, no ipod, etc. – I don’t need these things 🙂 ). When I travel (not very often nowadays due to personal circumstances), I use the train, a coach or even a bike or I hike. 🙂
You can also follow me on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Polyglottando/843034165737625 and on twitter: polyglottando@polyglottando
If you want to send me a private message, you can contact me via the facebook page ‘polyglottando’.