Name: Julia Tadych (Dante Rocío)
Nationality or Ethnicity: Polish (Cosmopolitan)
Where do you live?: Inowrocław, Poland
Languages: Polish, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese.
Learning: Latin, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, ASL
Also, I can read in nine different alphabets (Latin, Cyrillic, Braille, Morse, Futhark, ASL, Arabic, Katakana, Hiragana).
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
Were we to discuss the first milestone of my whole linguistic adventure on both the personal and intellectual plane of interactions, I’d surely say that this unforgettable stage took place between the end of elementary school and the beginning of middle school, with English and French. Before that time I was just one of those numerous kids that have been studying English with average effect throughout all those years of early childhood, thinking I’ll get by without any other languages in the world, getting tad better in it though due to the preparation to the curatorial English contest for elementary schools in my last sixth grade. However, once I started middle school and my parents chose French for me as the second obligatory language there instead of German, my interest had been successfully piqued and I slowly started venturing into that language both in the class and on my own, going off the deep end in the second grade with the curatorial French contest preparation enhancing my skills quickly. Once that was off the list and reached a pretty high level, I directed my interest towards Spanish thanks to outside influences and my personal French teacher skilled also in that second Romance language and with her help I progressed quickly during those two next years (also in preparation to a Spanish contest by the by) in my first steps with Spanish, standing strong and almost on advanced level nowadays due to my personal commitment and side support of my new teacher in this field. Then eventually came all of a sudden a pull towards Italian and Portuguese on my own in the August of 2019 ongoing with rapid progress, Latin in the October of the same year, Russian during the first COVID-19 quarantine, Arabic in the June of 2020 (at first with a teacher) and Japanese in September (with a teacher still), all continuing their growth gradually through books mostly, with understanding, constant care even when there’s little time, discovering recently my passion for the Language itself deeply in all its shades to be a Linguist, and going forward with my devotion alongside with the topics that interest me and cooperate with every language I study as each and every one of them was chosen for the means of a specific dream or interest of mine (e.g. Russian to meet daily rural spirituality lying in the depths of Russian villages or Arabic to study Islam’s sweet wisdom, Quran reciting or playing violin in Arabic style one day).
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
Certainly Arabic and Japanese, additionally American Sign Language. Given that my first 5-6 languages are on a quite satisfying level to me with their quality and my fluency with them, I intend on focusing the most on the four other ones that are still crawling and need direct studying instead of learning just in practice like with e.g. English or Italian, to proceed forward and keep everything on more or less equal level of proficiency. Due to the fact I’m a person of many projects, passions, studied languages and ideas, it is difficult (especially in the present situation) to find more than one free hour a week alone or with a teacher to sit down properly to more complicated speeches and pay more attention to them, to comprehend their general picture and personality first of all so as to be able to continue with new material connecting all the facts together. Arabic and Japanese, as we know, belong to completely different language systems than the Indo-European family so common in our everyday linguistic thought set for the most of us and thus a new approach and connections between the synapses is suddenly required in all our ways in order to get closer to them when you start from Polish, English or French for example as your native language. Not only do the alphabets in the beginnings require more focus and time spent on getting it through to your system and memory but there also come pharyngealised consonants in pronunciation, diverse methods of putting in order certain parts of speech in a sentence, new particles or comprehension of creating clauses with an inventive and open mind… These are all complex issues new to my human comprehension that need more polishing and support than rash moments passing in the blink of an eye can provide, even more when I consider what plans I conjure for them for the next moments of my story.
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
First of all, what I’ve realised recently in the subject of what Language means to me, it is that what matters is quality over quantity, devotion over knowledge, still a lesson to be finished for me. When I’m up to the studying process and series of personal encounters with one specific human speech or a couple of them, I keep my eyes zeroed in on them rather than try chasing thoughts of what other linguistic systems I’d wish to enter next, not even mentioning counting how many of them would leave me satisfied. However, when I did have an occasion to ponder on it, I’ve made up my mind for the moment being that once I become stable in at least the majority of the languages I’m working on, I decide to start my adventure with Thai, Chinese, Irish and Tibetan. As you might see and guess already, most of those languages share the common trait of being strictly and closely connected to spirituality in various ways, showcases, and that is the first general reason I’m fixed on meeting them; they all flourish and continue to live through greater means of existence, thinking, their complexity and the stories of self-development they hold within their threshes, and I desire to walk in sync with them in existential and linguistic manners together. Chinese works its way through the depth of all the detailed words, symbols, meanings, its long history of tradition, patience and Lao Tsu’s flowery wisdom of strength it possesses impenetrably for our mind. Tibetan drives you towards letting go of your human self with no use of the word “I” and alphabet hanging like prayer bells flapping on air in red mountain wool. Irish invites to a breathtaking dance and swirling in a call of adventure to always be something more and stand bare in front of the ancient sea of the Emerald Land. And Thai walks lightly in baby blue inviting you to its serpentine alphabet of gloomy rainforests and fishermen’s villages in five intonations. Even if I were to abort the whole idea of studying any of those languages, they will catch me sooner or later, I’m sure of that, at least Chinese; I’m studying more or less Chinese medicine and I won’t go far without getting to know more about the specific nomenclature there is to operate with.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
*Burst of laughter*Well, that is certainly a question I would have never expected to deal with in a linguistic talk to be honest! What’s more, being an asexual person in a way due to my character and personal approaches makes it even tad harder to truly let that topic sink in and consider it authentically for the first time in my life in fact and without just standing stupefied! However, since we’re up to the task already and now that I think of it, I will declare that to me for the moment being there is certainly no other language as shaking and passionately luring in than Arabic. Due to my closer existential bond with the Language, with the help of deeper synesthetic experiences taking place in the back of my head, my beginner’s knowledge in this oriental speech stands as no obstacle to my wilder interactions in shortcuts of thought sets tinted with basic introduction. Guttural sounds and emanations, vocalisation with stronger breathing within phonetic details resembling that of a catatonically emotional confession, trembling and one’s vibrato held rich… The complete set those aspects make results in a dangerous and passionate fusion that succeeds in setting me aflame every time I have a chance to listen to Arabic, especially alongside with musical arrangements, and it gets my cells going berserk with my nervous system with how they vibrate, each in such condensed focus, and leaves in a catharsis of aesthetic arousals no one in my environment can comprehend. The purest sexuality is not being left excited by one’s nudity like a forbidden fruit or found in metaphors via allusions of one’s wild aphrodisiac breath or resembling it phones/melody during intercourse in the bed; it is the moment of philias and events that leave you finitely burnt from the inside, reforming you and leaving you anew for burning again, and humans aren’t its source, they’re just its vessel. Just like poems kiss knowing no lips in flesh will be able to replace them for you. The same goes with the choice of a human language till we’re still here.
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
Certainly the greatest pleasure of them all from being dipped in so many languages is, in my case, without a doubt, the still ongoing extension of my conscience, identity and sensitivity. Every beginning warrior is taught that their weapon must be the very extension of their arm if not the whole body and mind. When you’re a Linguist with a capital “L” at the beginning, beyond mere scientific knowledge and ability of analysis, it is the Language as of whole that must turn out sooner or later your very extension. Its penetration surely has not omitted me on its path and words can’t express my gratitude for this fortunate turn of events; having met and drawn so many connections between myriads of similarities between specific speeches, ways of presenting them, seeing them and how they interact with all the other planes of existence, I’ve grown to see images and smokes of words’ hues, forms, and sounds, to exist more clearly in the sensations of our conscience and aesthetic allegories in greater pondering that they are able to provide you with, and to use all those lessons and private experiences to expand my capability of sheer understanding, listening, feeling, putting Poetry into words, and interacting with the world. It can be noted especially in my moments of ecstasy, be it positive or negative; whether I’m furious on the inside or openly thrilled, I lose control over all the languages I know and start rambling incoherently in almost every one of them at once and I don’t even feel confused, quite on the contrary, I feel ecstatic and powerful, more myself than being trapped in my native language only. Furthermore, even mannerisms and culture a certain language holds within itself and emanates with independently (that you can never put away whilst interacting with it no matter how much you want it) permeate you and act as some sort of a parent raising you and your thought set and that is also another fascinating process that should be certainly mentioned. I wouldn’t be what, where and who I am today without the Language coursing through my veins, approaches, and volatile interpretations of anything I face that serve as redemption.
6. Some people say the world is really just going to have a few languages left in a 100 years, do you think this is really true?
With the help of the first linguistic knowledge I’ve acquired in the last few weeks apart from my own wonder, I believe firmly there is no way that will happen (unless some higher force from above decides it will take place by all means necessary). Given that we have more than about 6.5 million languages in the world (dialects included of course), how like water they can pass through any obstacle and hide in any place they take as their abode unknown to us, unconquerable by our global civilisation and our linguistic processes of facilitating communication between us to the level of our speech’s lack of class anymore at times, languages that can’t be destroyed or disturbed by the “gringos” with how complex they’ve grown throughout all the years of their existence so far, the task of indirect diminishing the number of all the speeches we have seems to be as incredibly difficult as taking out the famous Excalibur out of its stone sheath. Languages work like ideas; they can’t be killed or quenched, they will always find a way to function and overtake new minds and hearts, and even if they do happen to die out due to our actions or laziness to learn new ways of expression (instead of killing them with English or genocides for example), they will always emerge in a new form like a soul reincarnating. I fear imagining even how would the humanity look like and what processes it would take to lead to that situation of only a few languages existing and what consequences would that entail…
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
Out of all the possible pieces of advice one could give in studying multiple languages, what I find the most important is that you should never force yourself to learn a certain language unless you feel it yourself. If you desire yourself truly to penetrate any specific language, you will find a way to develop it no matter what circumstances you’re in and there will occur a possibility of using it. If you feel repulsed, you will never stop your inner battle with it nor will you use it concretely even if you study for hours or find it really practical and urgent to learn it. Don’t focus on the number of languages you want to learn but on the quality and uniqueness each and every one of them has, especially if you do that not to feel worse from those who speak 15, 27 or 59 of them for example. Your value lies in your sole person, not your skills or knowledge, you’re not your thoughts, feelings or abilities. Practice them in accord with your own being, as often and as much as it feels fitting to your inner feeling, not chasing proficiency in the blink of an eye, in topics that cooperate with them (e.g. Spanish in the company of Poetry as their energies fit one another). Meet the Language directly, as a person it is, letting it change you and speak to you, treat it not as your tool to reach some goal but as the goal in itself. And at last; may it serve you as a source of wisdom, freedom and happiness. Let it breathe. Let it flow. Let it be fragile and audacious in its imperfection.