Hi, I’m Ivy, and this is my first time here at the Polyglot Conference. As indicated in the title above, I feel I’d be an imposter if I claimed to be a polyglot when I’m actually more of a magpie whose shiny objects happen to be languages. In other words: I know a little bit of several languages, but I can’t claim to speak any fluently.
Some of my magpie-like language obsessions (introductory/beginner-level):
– Georgian: Hello fellow students of Georgian. It’s been nice taking lessons with you all here.
– … anything with a different alphabet than the one I’m currently writing in is likely something I’d like to learn
More focused studies:
– Korean: This is my main one. I’m at a level where I can almost convince myself to join a conversation group. Almost. Started learning because of the music, continued because I want to have enjoyable conversations with the 아줌마s and 할머니s I meet at the Korean Music Festivals in Los Angeles.
– Japanese: Took some classes in college. Started learning because it was rare to find a Japanese course elsewhere, continued because of the phenomenal teacher, kanji, and a general fascination with their geology, architecture, and public transport system. (currently on hiatus from this, and am probably very rusty)
– Spanish: Took it in high school. Started learning because it was the only second language option available at my school, stopped for several years after a bad experience in college due in large part to me being hard-of-hearing (this REALLY doesn’t match well in an immersion class with no written transcripts available). Re-started thanks to a friend teaching group lessons online, and my desire to be able to research the history/origins of dances (like Salsa, Mambo, Cumbia, …) from non-US sources.
– German: Just started! Started because I wanted to know enough to travel comfortably to Germany with my mom to visit a friend of hers someday, staying because my teacher is fantastic.
My question for you all: What was your initial “Oooo! Shiny! Must learn!” magpie moment/motivation for learning the languages you are learning/know, and what new motivations have kept you going?