When I was in high school, I remember feeling a bit of a social outcast. Perhaps it is a phase we all go through, or so was I told by then. All my classmates were interested in going out, clubbing, dating, luckily sport practicing…and that was pretty much it. There was one student who was the bookworm, she would be passionate about all subjects, equally, and that was it. It seemed like there were two possible categories. However, I considered myself different.
Since a very young age I have been interested in languages. Probably because I would listen to my parents speaking German and American English at home all day – my father was born in Kentucky, US, and my mother is from Geneva, Switzerland
(I am sort of the perfect cheeseburger). Therefore, German became my second tongue. I learned it practically as I learned English, very naturally, even though I had no formal studies of it.
At high school, I took French classes and apart from the above mentioned bookworm, nobody else was interested. It seemed that they were taking French just to avoid Latin (one subject was mandatory). I couldn’t believe it, everything was so interesting to me… but I wasn’t a nerdy kind of student. I just thought of a language as a new world to discover, a separate reality I could dwell into for a couple of hours, or every time I’d open a French book. I became so interested in French that I decided it was time to take advantage of all possible resources. One of my online friends (however lame it might be, the only friends I had by then were online buddies interested in languages, who might as well have been bots) recommended French classes in Houston. I felt for the first time I was in my element. Lessons were conducted by a native French speaking teacher who would give us a real insight into the cultural background of the language apart from the technical aspects of it. Besides, listening to a native helped improve my pronunciation a lot, and I can say I met my real friends there. For the first time in my life I had found people like me, whose one and only interest were languages. I became really close with one of them especially, her name was Hanna, and her father was from Germany so we had a similar background. She talked me into taking Italian lessons in Boston, which I am doing now. Thanks to the amazing group of people I met and the new teaching methods, languages are now even easier for me to learn.