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Interview with

Karolina Hojdys

Name: Karolina Hojdys
Nationality or Ethnicity: Polish
Where do you live?: United Kingdom
Languages: Polish and Silesian (native), French, Italian, Russian, German, English

Member since:


1) What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?

In parallel with most non Anglo-Saxon countries, in Poland, by default, English is usually a second language choice. As a teenager, I quickly realised that I managed to prepare for my first Cambridge English exam in a comparably short period of time, which gave me enough confidence to pursue further language choices down the line. In high school, my second foreign language choice was French. My desire to study it further could have easily vanished at that point, but the intention was reignited à nouveau - first in my second year of university and then at the Sorbonne in Paris. Subsequently, French paved its way to Italian, Polish to Russian, and then unexpectedly, German came along.

2) Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?

Currently, I live and breathe German while keeping up with Italian. Any type of pressure would kill all the fun, which is the principal reason why I like practicing languages in the first place. Therefore, whenever I feel I'd like to spend more time studying one over the other, I simply do so.

3) What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?

Time will tell, but probably either Portuguese or Spanish.

4) So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language

For the time being, I really like the sound of Portuguese. It's been my experience so far that, by virtue of understanding and speaking the language, it loses some of its mystery and appeal. Once a certain level is attained, it's time to move on to the next language. The journey rather than the destination makes it all exciting, but with fluency, the excitement sadly wears off a bit.

5) What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?

It's all about the people—being able to establish the connection on a deeper level and make new friends in the process is the ultimate joy. In Europe, we are very lucky to be able to experience a wide array of languages. The ability to speak multiple languages while travelling gives it a very different dimension and makes all the difference when experiencing different cultures.

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?

Possibly this applies more so to the regional dialects, but perhaps new ones would emerge in due course. Nature likes balance; therefore, I would have imagined that ultimately it would even itself out.

7) What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?

Follow your heart; if any language grabs your attention for a reason that is only clear to you, then embark on this journey against all odds. There's never been such a wealth of resources as there currently are, and the opportunities for exploring life through the lens of language learning are endless, so first and foremost, have fun with it and enjoy it to the fullest.

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