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Interpreter as a career.
Devoted my life to linguistics and learning new languages.
I've listed my languages in the order I learned them.
I have a major in German, French, Italian and Spanish from University of Florida, as well as a PhD in linguistic studies.
Each language has taken me ~ 6 to 10 months to become fluent. (8 hr day/5 day week studies)
I tend to learn languages related to each other, from certain places, or that other friends speak or are learning.
I also learn languages in "sets", normally by geographical location or language family.
Native language. This was where my linguistics journey started.
Second language. I started learning it at elementary school.
Third language. I learned Spanish between second grade and fifth grade.
Fourth language. Started German as a hobby around seventh grade.
Fifth language. I started Italian at the end of eighth grade.
Sixth language. Now at my sixth language, I learned Portuguese in ninth grade.
Seventh language. I started language tutoring for high school credits, and a Korean boy taught me his language as a gift to me.
Eighth language. I was fascinated by Korean, and started Japanese in eleventh grade.
Ninth language. My linguistics career had officially started. I had been hired as a Spanish translator for some new immigrants. I started learning Arabic at the end of twelfth grade.
Tenth language. Started Russian for fun at the beginning of university.
Eleventh language. Started after Russian for university honors. This was my hardest so far.
Twelfth language. I had lots of fun with Mandarin, so I opted to learn this right after, in my second year of university.
Thirteenth language. I had an amazing professor this year, and passed my Esperanto exams with a 100%: In a solid six months!
Fourteenth language. I loved learning Esperanto, and wanted to do more constructed languages.
Fifteenth language. I had visited Sweden at the end of university, and decided to start learning Nordic languages.
Sixteenth language. Continuing the Nordic set. By this time I had been offered a scholarship at the University of South Carolina. I declined, opting to stay in Sweden to learn more Nordic languages.
Seventeenth language. This was my third language in the Nordic family.
Eighteenth language. I decided to learn Finnish before starting Nynorsk Norwegian. Loved it.
Nineteenth language. After learning the Nynorsk dialect, I decided to return home to the USA.
Twentieth language. After returning home, I realized I had forgotten an important Scandinavian language: Icelandic!
Twenty-first language. Now fluent in twenty languages, I started my favorite language of them all: Latin!
Twenty-second language. I was hired by LanguageLine, an interpreting company, to interpret for a living. One of my colleagues was Hungarian, and he taught me his native language. This took about eleven months, one of my longest.
Twenty-third language. I loved Hungarian, and started Polish.
Twenty-fourth language. I went to Romania for vacation, heard the natives speak, and decided on the spot that I must learn Romanian.
Twenty-fourth language. Learned Greenlandic for fun, and because one of my recent clients spoke Danish, so I decided to learn the other "dialects" of Danish!
Twenty-fifth language. I certainly loved doing Greenlandic, and of course we cannot forget about Faroese!
Twenty-sixth language. I came across some Cyrillic text on the web, and realized I had not learned any Cyrillic languages since Russian!
Twenty-seventh language. Continuing the Cyrillic journey.
Twenty-eighth language. I was reading a news article about the Bosnian crisis, and decided it would be good to learn some languages from war-torn places. This started a long series of learning many languages from war-torn places.
Twenty-ninth language. This was my second language from the Balkan area, and I found out that Albania and Bosnia were having very similar crises.
Thirtieth language. Opted to learn this language after reading about Abkhazia, another wartorn location.
Thirty-first language. I wanted to take a break from reading about wars, so I settled with the beautiful language of Turkish.
Thirty-second language. I traveled to Southeast Asia to visit some friends, and decided to start learning Austroasiatic, Austronesian, and other Southeast Asian languages. I started with Vietnamese.
Thirty-third language. This was the language I chose to do after Vietnamese, from the neighboring country of Cambodia.
Thirty-fourth language. The next language in my Southeast Asian set, from the communist country of Laos.
Thirty-fifth language. I started learning some Austronesian languages.
Thirty-sixth language. I started Tagalog after Indonesian, as part of the Austronesian set.
Thirty-seventh language. After finishing Malay, I decided I was done with Austronesian languages.
Thirty-eighth language. I then started my Indian set, beginning with learning Punjabi.
Thirty-ninth language. I quickly learned the differences between Eastern and Western Punjabi languages, and was ready to continue.
Fortieth language. Tamil was my next language in the Indian set.
Forty-first language. I had now reached forty languages, a huge accomplishment, but I was not done yet. I started learning Bengali.
Forty-second language. This was my next language in the Indian set.
Forty-third language. I had decided to save Hindi for the end of my Indian set, which I had now reached.
Forty-fourth language. Nepali was my fastest language ever, having had learned it in merely four months.
Forty-fifth language. It was now time for me to start moving west.
Forty-sixth language. After having learned Hebrew, I figured it was quite important to also know Yiddish.
Forty-seventh language. Started learning Persian while on a family trip in Iran.
Forty-eighth language. I started my Turkic set. This was the first of the four main Turkic languages I wanted to learn (other than Turkish, which I already knew).
Forty-ninth language. I learned Kyrgyz, which was my third language in the Turkic set (including Turkish).
Fiftieth language. I honestly do not know how I forgot to learn Dutch. Anyways, I figured it was good timing, since this was my big fifty!