Hello, ciao, hola I'm Michaela from Prague (Czech Republic)

My name is Michaela and I’m Czech. I work in tourism, so now we are a little bit struggling, but for the rest it’s an amazing environment for using language skills.

I learnt English at school. I started with EN at the age of 7 in elementary school. It was the typical school language classes, so I basically learnt a lot of grammar, but I was always very shy to speak. When I was 13, I applied for Czech-Italian high school and this is how my love for Italian started. I studied intensively as we also had school subjects as chemistry, physics, history etc. in Italian.

I love books and one particular book was a reason for me to start to study Japanese. For my 14th birthday I got Memoirs of Geisha from Arthur Golden and I fell in love with it. In the text you could see some cultural things of Japan and also some Japanese words. They looked nice to me, so I started to search for more info about Japan and Japanese. Shortly after I subscribed for Japanese classes in Czech-Japanese Association in Prague. The lessons were in EN with an amazing Japanese sensei, so I was practicing EN too. I am still learning Japanese and I kind of feel still at the same level and I am not able to communicate in Japanese. It’s probably because I am really shy and afraid of making mistakes and maybe offending some Japanese speaker by using some incorrect words or so.

When I finished my high-school studies, I applied for Sinology, Japanology and Italianistics. I didn’t pass the exam for Sinology at all, I was the 2nd person under the acceptance line for the Japanese studies, so I was not accepted but I was accepted to Italianistics. And I think it was the correct destiny.

During my Italian studies I went 2x for Erasmus, once in Verona and once in Naples. I wanted to see the difference between north and south of Italy. I really enjoyed it and the second Erasmus (the Neapolitan one) even opened widely my eyes. I had Turkish flatmates for the first semester and Spanish flatmates for the second one. I started to be interested also in Turkish, but at the end I am still keeping it for the future. I learnt a few words and I am happy to be able to say hi and thank you :slight_smile: In future I want to study Turkish and be able to speak to my friends.

Since I was about 12 years old, I started to be interested in Spanish as there were a lot of soap operas in TV and Spanish just sounded so nice to me. But then I was focused on Italian for a big part of my life, so I never deeply studied Spanish. Now it’s been 2 years that I am actually attending some classes and I am moving with my knowledge, but very slowly. My struggle is this:
What if bcs of Spanish I will ruin my knowledge of Italian? It’s actually weird … everybody would expect that if you know Italian, it’s so easy for you to learn Spanish and Portuguese and maybe even French and Romanian, but my brain is somehow blocking the knowledge of Italian while speaking Spanish. Partially probably also bcs I am afraid to offend Spanish speakers by saying “aaah in Italian it is this, so it makes sense”. I did it a few times automatically and the people didn’t appreciate it :smiley:
So basically I understand about 75 % of Spanish content, but I am not able to reply fluently and correctly at the same time.

During my 30y life I studied English, Italian, Spanish, German (my level is probably A2), Portuguese probably A1, Japanese hardly N5, French A1, Russian which I started to study in Verona :smiley: probably level A2.

I went for 2 lessons of Chinese which I would love to learn, but I feel like I would have to be good in singing to learn the tones. The tones are my biggest fear and when the professor told me “well yeah, mmmm ok it will get better” with the face like … this is lost case, I stopped to go for the classes thinking that I am probably not good for it. Then I did like 2-3 lessons of Turkish, I studied Latin at the Uni, but I forgot it all. I would also love to learn Korean because of their lovely alphabet (I know it sounds crazy). Oh and I did one semester of Greek as I have some Greek friend. But I got somehow blocked.

Currently I am focused on Spanish and when I have time, I try to continue by myself with Japanese.
I hope I didn’t make you fall asleep with my monologue and if you read it all, I thank you for your time.

Michaela :slight_smile:


Hello Michaela,

I know exactly how you feel about the being shy part. It is a huge problem, I’m also struggling with, but lately I have been improving on this a little bit.

As for the Spanish learning, I’d say just go for it. I don’t think it would ruin your Italian.
I can only speak of my own experience, though. I learned French for 4 years in high school and reached and upper B2 level. When I started with Spanish 5 years ago, I found that it was rather easy, because of my previous knowledge in French and it didn’t mess with my French at all :wink:
Thanks to French I can also read most things in Italian and Portuguese, but as I never studied these languages and the pronunciation is different, I’m having a hard time understanding the spoken language and of course I can’t speak those languages myself. Anyway, what I want to say is, that knowledge in any romance language will make it easy for you to learn another romance language - at least, that’s my experience. :slight_smile:


Ahoj! Jak se mas? Dobry?
Quédate tranquila, @Michaela, tu español no se va a confundir con tu italiano. Los dos son muy similares, pero tú puedes manejar esa diferencia. Saludos desde Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Ahoj, mám se dobře. Děkuji
Gracias Matias :slight_smile: No entiendo por qué pero a veces me bloco y como si mi cabeza queria bloquear todo lo que ya sé en italiano para evitar de mesclar ambos idiomas y crear algo extraňo :smiley: A veces pienso que podría ser mejor tentar a aprender espaňol mediante italiano. Que por ejemplo podría leer las reglas gramaticales en italiano, entonces conectaría ambos idiomas. Si mi cabeza lo accepta y no hará desorden total :smiley:
?Qué idiomas estudias tu?

You are right, this is the amazing thing of romance languages. When I see them written, I basically don’t have any problems with understanding. Even French, when written, is fine. But when I hear French, it’s already a little bit complicated :smiley: In future I would like to start to study Portuguese again. This time probably more concentrated on the Brazilian version as it kind of sounds more attractive to me :smiley: But for now as last 10 years I was jumping from one language to another, I decided to concentrate mainly on Spanish, to maybe try to pass the exam of DELE and then I can concentrate more on other languages. Meanwhile anyway I can’t stop myself and I continue to see videos in other languages, check language youtubers and applications etc. and I have a small taste of mainly Japanese and some other languages, but I am still trying to focus every day mainly on Spanish.
How about you? What language(s) are you currently interested in?


That sounds like a good plan :slight_smile:

I’ve been studying Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic) for 5 years now and recently started to learn the jordanian dialect. I also started to brush up my French again about 1.5 months ago (used to be an upper B2 level, right now it’s more like B1), so those 2 languages are my main focus right now.

But this conference, along with the italki language challenge, is quite alluring to continue my other weak languages again, too (Spanish (A2-B1) and especially Russian (A1-A2), of which I have forgotten almost everything), and dabble a bit in new ones that I’ve been interested in for a long time (Thai, Icelandic, Irish Gaelic - to name those at the top of the list). I also want to take on Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek one day, but especially for the Egyptian I haven’t found much material and especially no teacher so far.

I know, I’m probably interested in too many languages and won’t likely get all of them to a good level of fluency, but at least I’d like to try. I just have to decide on when to start which language :joy::sweat_smile:


I was being concerned about my will to learn a lot of languages and constant switching between them. But then I just sat down and started to think about it - do I like it? Yes. Does it make me happy? yes … do I enjoy the process of learning and searching language and linguistic stuff? YES … So at the end, why to be stressed or concerned about it, if it’s something that makes me happy :slight_smile: Since that I am learning as much as I am able and when I feel like switching to some other language, I do so. I do it for my happiness :slight_smile:


Well, yes, I definitely enjoy it and I definitely enjoy every language I’m studying. I’m just concerned, that in studying too many of them at once, I won’t ever reach a decent level in any of them. But then again, I might be wrong and maybe some languages will benefit from each other, like French and Spanish, because they are both romance languages and therefore rather similar.

I’ve read about a book, that covers exactly these concerns, on one of the threads here ( https://www.amazon.com/How-become-fluent-multiple-languages-ebook/dp/B07NLL4Z7C ). I’ll definitely get this. Maybe, after reading it, I’ll be more convinced that this is the right way to go in the long run. Right now, I would definitely say it is the right thing to do and start studying and improving them all again, but then again I might just be a bit overmotivated by this conference :joy: and don’t know if I will still be thinking like this in a couple of weeks. I would really hate to take them all up again, just to realize it’s too much and then drop some or even all again because it’s too overwhelming. … Also, right now, thanks to Covid 19, I’ve got a lot of free time at my hands. Who knows if I’ll be able to keep up my motivation once I have to work full time again? … But I guess, I’ll never know if I don’t try, right? :sweat_smile:


Yes during this covid period I am also more “free” as I work in tourism and we have less and less bookings and hotels to apply, so while doing my job I am trying not to be stressed of potentially being fired and as “antistress” I am using the language related videos on Youtube and other similar stuff. It makes me more happy when I am learning something new. Otherwise I would be really depressed. From today we are even in lockdown again (to be honest basically nothing changed for me personally). I would say that all the online companies and app developers must be happy now :smiley: everyone is using more and more apps and websites and delivery.

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@Rina oh and thank you for the book suggestion. I am reading this one now https://www.amazon.com/Fluent-Forever-Learn-Language-Forget/dp/0385348118/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=forever+fluent&qid=1603372950&sr=8-1
It was translated in English and when I saw it in bookshop, I just had to take it :slight_smile: I also read this one previously:
which was quite interesting, but probably it was more a schematic list of things that I basically knew already. Anyway there were some nice ideas, so I can suggest it too.

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Thank you for the book recommendations. I actually already have Fluent Forever, just haven’t gotten around to read it yet. I will definitely have a look at the second book.
I also read Benny Lewis’ Fluent in 3 Months. Even if they all tell me things I already know, it is always a good motivation for me to read such books and in each of them I may find something I didn’t know before :slight_smile:


Airline industry it is for me, but also loooots of free time. I use it not just for language learning but also to do some more work with my horse :slight_smile: It gets my mind off things like nothing else :slight_smile:

Yes I think all those developers of apps must be making a fortune with this. :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

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I am thinking about buying that one too :slight_smile: But sometimes I am thinking “so instead of learning something, I am only reading about learning” :smiley:
But as you said - it gives you the motivation.

It’s really well written and he does mention a few things I wouldn’t have thought about before. I even thought about finding this in German for my fiance in hopes he might get his motivation back and we could continue studying Spanish together. :sweat_smile:

I’ve also read his “Language Hacking French”, but I do have to say, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the “Fluent in 3 Months”. It’s not bad, but it wasn’t as engaging while reading it. Maybe because I already know French and couldn’t learn much from this one…


Hello Michaela, I can teach you spanish for free, I am available and with enourmus desire to find some language exchange partners all over the world, as I decided to start travelling next year.