My Languages

Foreign languages are something that I enjoy. I speak a few and none of them perfectly but I enjoy them nonetheless. English is my native language, Spanish was the next language that I learned to speak fairly well and then Portuguese followed a few years later. German has been a pet project of mine for the past couple of years. I’ve also dabbled a bit in French, Italian, Mandarin, Arabic, Afrikaans, Dutch, Danish and Russian.


28 Responses

  1. I agree with many of the things you mention in your English video about learning languages, and I share your enthusiasm for speaking a foreign language.

    I started learning Mandarin Chinese at age 18, lived and traveled in Taiwan and China, then moved to Taiwan for the long-term in 2001, when I was 32. I speak and read Mandarin in my work every day, and have done translation and interpreting off and on for years.

    I speak a bit of Spanish (I’m from Arizona, and will guess that we are from approximately the same region in the US), and do what I can to improve my Taiwanese (aka Minnan, a local dialect in Taiwan spoken by 80% if its inhabitants).

    I’ll post a link to your blog on my blog, The Lingua Franca. I write mainly about issues related to learning Chinese and about cross-cultural communications in business in the Greater China area. If I can help you find the answers to any questions about learning Mandarin, let me know.


    Truett Black

  2. Cara, seu português é muito bom, seu sotaque é quase nativo. Se você morasse no Brasil, com certeza depois de certo tempo iam pensar que você é brasileiro. Eu vi sua entrevista no blog do Steve Kaufmann, muito legal! Meu nome é Mairo, sou tutor de português no LingQ, e também tenho um blog em Já coloquei seu blog no meu RSS Reader, vou começar a acompanhar. Falow!

    • Invest in your Portuguese and people will believe you’re a native! You need just a little bit more fluency (may be you were nervous in front of the webcam), but your accent is very good.

      Your website is great. I’m also trying to be a polyglot. Besides Portuguese, my native language, I speak Spanish, French and currently I’m studying Russian. Русский язык очен трудный, но очен красивий и интересний. English is my second language.


      • I study at university. I’m about to become an interpreter/translator. My mother tongue is Russian. I learn English and Chinese.

  3. Olavo de Carvalho deve ser o maior e melhor filósofo e cientista politico de língua portuguesa

  4. […] primarily by The Linguist Blogger’s YouTube videos where he demonstrates his Spanish and Portuguese abilities, I created a short video on YouTube, […]

  5. There is only one thing that I disagree with… I think you implied that it is more beneficial for Americans to learn Spanish rather than languages like French and German, unless people travel to Europe often. The thing is though, that it’s so easy now to find awesome people to meet online and then speak on microphone for free and have conversations and learn that way. It can open up doors for you and allow you to meet and talk to people who speak almost any language you want to learn. I think, depending on a person’s interests, this is much more beneficial to certain individuals than learning Spanish and speaking it with neighbors, etc, if this is not the language you truly desire to learn and find interesting…

  6. Andrea: You are right! If someone is interested enough in French, or Faroese even, to learn the language then I think that person should go for it. I do, however, stand by my original comment. All things being equal, it is better to learn a language that you can use often than one you will barely touch. It is only a suggestion but I think it is based on sound logic.

  7. By the way you speak very well. Parabens!!!

  8. como mejorar y aprender ingles.Hablo español nativamente y quiero mejor mi ingles.Podria tener charlas contigo para intercambiar idiomas? gracias

  9. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  10. Interesting post, definately food for thought hehe

  11. Can’t comment on the portuguese, but you speak spanish really well! Not the dreaded american accent.

    Been thinking about learning portuguese myself, but i’m afraid i’ll mix the two up.

  12. Muuuuito bom o seu domínio da língua portuguesa! Tem muitos momentos em que parece ser um perfeito brasileiro…
    Estou aprendendo alemão(98% online e grátis), espero que eu consiga pelo menos me comunicar tão bem quanto você.
    P.S.: Se quiser praticar um pouco de português é só me avisar…

  13. Filh de loira , m’agrada que jamai pus de veire quauqu’un que sap tant e mai de lengas .

    Caramba, me agrada ver alguém que fala varios idiomas.

    Sei estat enchantat de l’auvir.
    Am fost încantat sa-l aud.
    Fiquei encantado ao ouvir.
    J’ai été enchanté de l’entendre.
    I enjoyed listen him.

  14. Hola amigo. Soy americano y hablo espanol. Todo lo que puedo decir es que tu hablas espanol y portugues MUY BIEN!! Suenas colombiano cuando hablas espanol. Sigue trabajando duro.

    Kenny, NJ

  15. Vi teu vídeo em Português. A maioria das palavras tu pronuncia como no Brasil, já algumas poucas, pronuncia como o Português de Portugual. Mas no geral diria que tu fala bem. Não tem como realmente testar as tuas habilidades, pois como tu sabe, com 3.000 palavras tu é fluente no idioma, mas infelizmente, um grande vocabulário continua desconhecido. For example, I think I can communicate in English, but, unfortunately, there are a lot of words that I don’t know yet. In my opinion, I can express my ideas and make myself understood, but my vocabulary isn’t big enough. If you read some website, you can get the meaning of most of things, a few words you will not understand, but.. as long as you understand the context perfectly, it’s ok. I’m planning to stay 6 months in some English speaking country, to develop my abilities, speak more fluently, and get more words in my active vocabulary, which isn’t as big as my passive one. Então, continue estudando, no geral tu fala bem, teu sotaque é bem melhor do que a maioria dos americanos, que pronunciam o R como no Inglês, e vá adquirindo mais vocabulário. Boa sorte!

  16. I enjoyed watching the videos. Spanish is probably the easiest to learn.

  17. Hola amigo, acaba de visitar tu blog y me quede impresionado de lo bien que hablas Espanol, buen trabajo, a mi tambien me interesan las los idiomas, mi primer idioma es espanol, tambien hablo Ingles pero a diferencia tuya se muy poquito portugues el cual vendria siendo mi tercer idioma, en el futuro me gustaria aprender otros idiomas como Italiano, Aleman o Ruso pero por ahora son solo proyectos, buenn trabajo, te admiro mucho

  18. I do agree that learning a language you will use surely beats the hell out of learning one you will never use again. In high school, I took American Sign Language. Wanna know how many times I’ve touched it since? ZERO!! However, choosing between a language “that would be useful” and a language you would be passionate about, definitely choose the one which you’d have a passion for! Guess what? You will still probably get more use out of it. See, learning a language that you don’t really care about is an absolute waste of time. If you don’t care for the language, then you probably don’t care enough to learn the language with any real competency, thus no use will come of it. If, however, you learn a language you have a passion for, you are MUCH more likely to use it, mainly because you’ve actually taken the time to learn it. So, you probably think that this contradicts my opening sentence, right? Wrong, because learning that language that you would use was probably the one you had a passion for, whereas learning the one that you will never use again was the one that you would have never cared to learn, or learned very little of (you know, the “useful” on).

    The reason WHY you would almost never use it again, is just different from what you probably thought .

  19. I am not many language speaker but I know to speak English, Serb, Croat, Macedonian, some German and a little lemba Romania. I am interested in Spanish and have made a travel on holiday to Spain. Spanish sounds easy. Many words similiar to lemba Romania. I see you not mention Gregg Cox on your blog. I had a visit with him in Belgrade. He speaks the languages well and is not a brag person. He said to me languages are a tool for friends, business and fun. I think we all think like this. I hope to lean Spanish now and I like your video. I have not interest in the Portugal language, but it sounds nice.

  20. Cara. Muito legal seu vídeo. Acho que você não se perderia caso você visitasse o Brasil. Por outro lado, eu luto todos os dias pra aprender seu idioma nativo (inglês). Tou lendo bastante blogs em inglês e estudando a gramática nos meus módulos do cursinho. Além do mais, ainda tou com uma conta no e isso também tem me ajudado bastante. Tenho uma certa dificuldade de falar algumas palavras em inglês por falta de costume mesmo. Acho que meu sotaque português é um pouco “carregado”, se é que você me entende.
    Eu adoro os EUA e o Canadá. Estou praticando bastante pois sonho em comprar uma casa em Kissimmee ou Celebration na Flórida, pertinho de Orlando. É um lindo lugar para se viver.
    Ah, muito compreensível seu português para quem estuda há apenas 4 anos. Espero que consigas aprimorar ainda mais!
    Até mais.

  21. Famous best selling author and scientist Jared Diamond says he speaks 12 (more recently) 13 languages. In an Amazon book review, M. Eichenlaub writes:

    “Incidentally, as a speaker (or writer/reader) of twelve languages (I once got to ask him [Diamond] what they are. They’re English, Latin, French, Greek, German, Spanish, Russian, Finnish, Fore (a New Guinea language) New Melanesian, Indonesian, and Italian, in the order learned).” Source:

    Do you believe it?

    • I think it’s definitely possible.

      • I know it’s possible but how rare is it? Also how do you read this claim. Does it suggest fluency? I know almost everyone took languages in school and passed tests but due to lack of everyday use, soon forgets almost everything. How does one realistically keep up with 13 languages except as remembering some words? I mean, I know some Arabic words, but would never dare to claim I speak it.

    • Advertising usually includes what most of us would call lies, or at the very least stretching the truth. Do they suggest fluency? It looks like it.

      How rare is it to keep up thirteen languages? It’s quite rare but, again, possible. If you enjoy speaking multiple languages and have a lifestyle that encourages or necessitates speaking multiple languages then you are probably going to speak multiple languages, even as many as thirteen. If you have a very monolingual lifestyle then even keeping up one or two foreign languages is going to be tough.

  22. Thank you again for responding.

    Unfortunately, this claim is not made in advertising, but an often cited “biographical fact” spoken when Dr. Diamond is being publicly introduced (say when getting an honorary degree) or said by him directly when he’s interviewed by the media.

    How many specific cases of 13 language capacity do you know of? Do you know of any literature that cites these cases that you could recommend?

    • There was a Canadian program that aired a while back that you will most likely be interested in. The information there should point you in the direction you need to go to answer your questions:

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