When You Realize You're a Language Person
Most polyglots will tell you they discovered their love and passion for language learning as kids. I remember feeling SO excited when I realized I could count to ten and say "I love you" in a dozen different languages. Learning about another culture and speaking another language does that to you. If you're a language nerd like me, when you're studying another language you are absolutely giddy when you get an opportunity to use your language skills.
Polyglot by Nature
Growing up, every time I met someone from a different country or region, I would ask them to teach me something and would tuck that little piece of knowledge somewhere in my brain. I continue to pick up bits and pieces of languages as I go. I know that languages are invaluable. Unexpected opportunities can occur as a direct result of your connection to other people's language and culture. Being a polyglot has enriched my life in more ways than I could count. It continues to make me open me up to the unfamiliar which helps me to learn from others.
When you're studying a second (or third, fourth etc.) language, you quickly realize that learning another language is a completely humbling experience. You will make mistakes. You do have to try. And you have to be brave because in order to get better, you'll have to keep trying, even when you feel uncomfortable.
Expect the Unexpected
Oh, but the connections you make while you're trying? The way someone lights up when they realize you can communicate with them in their mother tongue. It's priceless.
House Hunting on TV in Zagreb, Croatia & Philadelphia, PA
Speaking of unexpected opportunities, have you seen us on House Hunters International or Tiny House Hunting yet?
Leave a comment below if you have any questions for me and make sure you follow all of my multilingual adventures on Instagram & Facebook!
A polyglot (noun; adjective) is a person who is able to speak, read, or write a number of languages, someone who is multilingual.
Example using polyglot in a sentence: Before the web and social media, polyglots tended to be solitary creatures studying multiple languages on their own and pursuing what were often viewed as eccentric or inexplicable pursuits.
Do you know anyone who speaks multiple languages?
What language have you always wanted to learn?
Many people list travel as one of their top hobbies or as one of the items on their bucket list. Sometimes, it's just not possible to get overseas. Whether it's logistics, finances, or fear that is stopping you, here are some ways you can travel without actually leaving home:
1.) Google Earth - How many of you have searched for the Pyramids of Giza or the Eiffel Tower on Google Earth? If you haven't yet, you have to check it out. I love "strolling" the streets of London with the click of my mouse and looking up my old apartment in Trešnjevka, Zagreb, Croatia. It's an amazing way to actually SEE what many parts of the world actually look like.
2.) Restaurant Menus - Living in the digital age, we have access to REAL WORLD RESOURCES to use as language learning tools! If you would love to visit Zürich but can't fly over, search for the best cafes and restaurants in the Old Town (Altstadt) on Yelp. Once you find one you like, navigate to their website, and explore the menu! While you're at it, test your knowledge of the food vocabulary and if something on the menu sounds especially delicious, why not try to recreate it at home?
3.) Make International Friends Online - As children, we were taught not to speak with strangers but thanks to the Internet, we can interact with people from all over the world. I've mentioned before how Instagram is an amazing language learning tool (especially thanks to Instagram Stories!) but by searching a geotag, you can find users who have posted from that location and follow along their adventures. I like to comment on photos and videos and practice my language skills that way. You can get to know people and make some friends who actually live there or have visited the place you've always wanted to go.
4.) Skype Buddy - if you really want to visit but can't leave your country at the moment, find a Skype buddy to video chat with! You'll both be able to share your experiences while practicing your new language. If you don't know anyone who lives where you'd like to visit and you haven't been able to make a friend on Instagram, try out iTalki. You can start start a discussion and find a language partner from anywhere in the world.
5.) Music - Put some music on from the country you'd like to visit! You can do a quick Google search for the latest hits in whatever country you'd like to visit, you can stream a radio station directly from your phone or laptop, or search for a playlist on Spotify with the type of music you'd like to hear. Turn the music up, close your eyes, and imagine you are there! You'll be passively practicing your listening skills while enjoying the music of another culture. I transport myself to the seaside in Croatia by playing my favorite summer hits on YouTube, feel like I'm in a crowded cafe in Cairo with this playlist, and keep up with the latest news and music in Bavaria, Germany by streaming Bayern 3.
I absolutely love reading these types of posts so I thought I'd share what a typical day in the life of a full time language consultant looks like. I speak 7 languages fluently and on any given morning, I usually speak at least 5 by 8:00 AM. I randomly picked a date so here is what I did on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017:
6:00 AM: Wake up in my insanely comfortable Casper mattress. It is hard to get out of bed but I am so happy when I get to lie down in it again at the end of the day! I seriously cannot get enough of my bed. I have the sheets, pillows, and just ordered the duvet. My husband gets ready for work and because I work from home, I get to stay in bed and begin my day dealing with my morning phone tasks. I quickly check my texts and emails for anything urgent and then move on to posting my Instagram posts for the day. It seems like a lot of people go on Instagram as soon as they wake up because I find if I post before 7:00 AM, I get to interact with a lot more people! So, I like to live post depending on how I'm feeling that day to both of my accounts Philly Love List and Speak at Home Tonight. Instagram is my absolute favorite form of social media!
7:00 AM: Next up, I brush teeth, drink water, get dressed in something comfy, go outside for a quick walk around the block to "walk to work" since I actually work from home. Drink green smoothie that T-Slav blended before he left for work.
7:30 AM: As a consultant, I am a contractor and work with different corporations around the world providing global services. This means that I split my day up between different projects. Today, I'm working on a data migration project for the Global Subsidiary Management division of a large corporation. This includes a lot of information in a lot of different languages and when I come across a language I don't speak, like Chinese, I use Google Translate.
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Skype - German Lesson
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM: Skype - Croatian Lesson
11:00 - 12:00 PM: Make and eat lunch. Today I had some leftovers from Farmer's Kitchen (a kale salad and pulled Apricot pork) so I decided to sautée it all together and eat it warm. It was delish! I call my Mom while I'm at it and respond to texts. I use iMessaging, What's App, and Viber so I have three places to check messages. My Croatian group texts are on Viber and my German ones are on What's App and there are Polish and English (and sometimes a few other languages) going on in my iMessages.
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM: FaceTime with my sister, nephew, and niece. Being in the same time zone means I know exactly when naptime is. I then check Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat, lay out on my deck, and peek in on our greenhouse.
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM: Work on corporate project on my laptop inside.
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: I work on small tasks for my website. I added Google translate to the bottom of each page so you can now read in any language! Tomislav and I contribute to better Croatian translations when we can because right now it's not the best. I check in on a few freelance projects I have and respond to emails.
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM: Lesson planning and creating materials for my students to use. I create digital flashcards for my students using the words we used during our lesson so they can continue to practice them in their free time.
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM: Make dinner for hubby. Tonight we're having a "good girl/bad girl" salad that I made up with the last bits of what's in our fridge #eatathometonight :) I made it with spinach, bacon, asparagus (fried in the bacon fat), sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and shaved Parmesan with an aged balsamic vinaigrette.
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM: Hubby is home from work! We eat dinner together on our deck and check on our greenhouse. My husband is from Croatia and grew up gardening so our urban garden is a way for us to keep in touch with his family roots.
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM: Help Tomislav edit his essays for his MBA application.
7:00 PM: Tomislav and I go visit my Godmother at the hospital. Living abroad definitely taught me to be more direct and honest in every conversation. This is real life and unfortunately, things aren't always bright and rosy.
9:00 PM - 10:00 pm: Watch cooking Instagram stories in my Casper mattress (I know, I'm obsessed ) while T-Slav works because he has a big presentation to prepare for.
10:00 PM: Bed :)
Every day is a little bit different but for the most part I can create my own schedule. Most of my lessons are on Skype so I can be pretty location independent as long as I have a good Internet source.
Let me know what you think! If you work from home, what does your schedule look like? Do you find it distracting to switch between different tasks and activities? I would love to know!
Polish-American Polyglot, Language Expert, German Teacher, M.Ed., married to my dream guy, the Croatian Sensation. Let's connect!
I aim to provide as much free content as possible to help teach others around the world how to speak another language. I am trying out using affiliate links, which means that I may earn a tiny commission if you click on a link or make a purchase through a link posted here. All opinions and materials are my own, unless otherwise stated. If you use and like my materials, let me know! :)