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The Polyglot Within

I’ve recently resigned myself to working from home again, which means managing my own time (which I’m terrible at). However, it does mean that I will be dedicating myself to my Duolingo account.

Recently, I set myself a challenge- be able, by the time I am 30, to be linguistically capable of travelling anywhere in Europe and be understood. That means, objectively speaking, to know either the first language of a country, or something it is mutually intelligible with. All in all, I could probably do this by learning 12 languages to the degree to which I currently speak Spanish, i.e. a 20% score on Duolingo (I’m rusty; leave me alone).

To me, that sounds very doable. I have just under six and a half years to complete 15 topics’ worth of language learning in 12 languages. At an estimated average of four lessons per topic, two lessons per day, that’s actually doable in just under a year.

Okay, that’s not what I expected.

I was expecting, “Well, it’ll be hard, but by June 2020 you should just about be done”, not “In less than a year, all of Europe will be at your feet”.

I’ve never really understood why English-speakers don’t take more curiosity in languages, and now I’m absolutely confounded. I mean, I know I’m one of those moronic monolingual English, but I still have a decent smattering in five languages.

Okay, I’m going to put out a challenge to anyone: join me in learning an utterly obscene amount of languages. Duolingo currently has 13 languages available for English speakers, with eight more on the way. Let’s do this, learn more about language and interaction and open ourselves to interacting with a whole new bunch of people. Language is fantastic.

My duolingo achievements will be posted to Tumblr, not here. Follow me there if you want to challenge me.

About Big Rook

Chess coaching and events in the north-west of England

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