Who am I?
Welcome to The Book-Bound Polyglot! My name is Rachel, I’m 26 years old, and I currently live in California. I like learning languages, and my goal is simple: to learn as many languages as I can before I drop dead (hopefully a long time from now). I write about languages and language learning both here and at FluentU.
My aim with this blog is to provide support and information for the language learners who are more comfortable with books and the internet than with people. There are plenty of us, but I’ve noticed that the online polyglot community is rife with people-lovers and talkers who insist that talking and socializing are the only ways to go when learning a language. Learning from books, learning for sake of reading, or even learning for the sake of learning are not stuffy and dead concepts. Languages are interesting creatures in and of themselves, and there are plenty of aspects of study that are rewarding and fulfilling. Practicing languages is great and friendships are (of course) wonderful, but if marching up to a native speaker on the street isn’t your style, you’re not alone!
That being said, this blog talks about language learning in general, particularly the more passive-style study techniques, like reading and listening, because that is what I spend my free time doing. Additionally, I want to discuss issues concerning education (mostly as it pertains to language acquisition), some linguistics, and just general notes on how I’ve been studying.
Determining which languages one “speaks” is no easy feat, particularly since I find it difficult to find language partners where I’ve lived in the past and online.
English is my native language, and I know French and Spanish very well. I can read virtually anything in those two, and in general fiction there will only be one to two words a page that I don’t recognize. I also have a very high level of comprehension in both, though slang and regional accents can trip me up. I can listen to news and most radio pretty effortlessly, but my speech tends to lag behind (though I would say that I do speak both) due to my preference for passive study methods. I know Italian well, but less well than French and Spanish. I can read fiction in Italian and understand most, and I can understand spoken Italian pretty well. However, my speaking ability is a little raw 🙂 I studied Dutch actively from Fall 2015 until February 2016, and I have an intermediate level.
Right now, I’m playing around with lots of languages and trying to decide which one to focus on next.