“I wanna know a lot of languages. Where do I start?”

Knowing a lot of languages is cool. Yet, you have to start somewhere and in this post I’m going to talk about how I started and where I advice you start learning languages if you don’t know that many yet and you want that. The short answer to this all is… Esperanto. For the long answer, read on.

So, it happened a couple of years ago. Five, to be exact. There were a couple of events that led me up to it: I saw an advertisement about an Esperanto meeting, I saw it being talked about on TV, I had heard it being mentioned some time ago. So, one sunny (or not: I don’t remember) spring day I googled Esperanto. At first, I would just read about it. Then I would start browsing pages and pages until I came across one recommending a piece of software called La Kurso De Esperanto. I downloaded it. I started the first lesson and it seemed easy. “Why not?”, I thought and I decided to give it twelve days. This led up to a story which I have told already. I want to tell another part of the story now.

Some time had passed. I liked Esperanto. I had really picked it up quite fast. It was easy, fun, and I could speak it. Also, I had always wanted to learn some other languages. So, on September nexy year I started learning French. This is another story I have told as well. Then this also motivated me to learn Russian better. I also took a course on the Internet in German. A bit later, by when, I had learned about Michel Thomas, I did his German courses as well. My German still is pretty poor, though, and I lack vocabulary. Then, I also did Michel Thomas’ Italian course. Even the Polish one. Got a little Japanese course as well (prior to having listened to JapanesePod101 as well which I did not find very helpful because I didn’t know the basics). Then I learnt some tiny amount of Mandarin Chinese. Currently I’m very intensively learning European Portuguese…

Now, I still think that all of this wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t learnt Esperanto. I remember dreaming I’d speak many languages when I was a child but later, as most people, I just wouldn’t learn anything. Now, though, I like linguistics and I kinda like languages. What’s more, I know that I can and I am capable to learn them if I want to. It’s just a matter of practice (well, like most of the other things in life).

So, if you are in a similar situation where you would perhaps like to know some languages and you don’t know where to start, start with Esperanto. Another advice I can give you and I have stressed a lot of times already is don’t give up. Especially if you’re learning your first language on your own, it might seem hard at times and it might seem like you’re not going to make it. At those times, just keep at it. I was in the same situation. I made it. A lot of other people have too. So will you if you keep at it. And if you do, this might very well just be the beginning.

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