A dream just twenty thousand words away

Whenever I listen to a language that is strange to me, I’m dying of curiosity. What are they saying? How does this language work? Does it resemble any other language I know? What does the world look and sound like, through the words of this language?

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.”
-Ludwig Wittgenstein

This blog is about my love for languages. To be honest, I would like to learn all the languages in the world. But at least, to begin with, it would be cool to one day have mastered the seven languages I have given a go so far. A general rule of thumb says that you need to know 2000–3000 words of a language to be able to express and understand most of things. So I have just around twenty thousand words to learn. Not that much, is it? (Yeah, grammar and all that… minor details, eh?)

The seven languages I’ve learnt or attempted to learn so far are:

IMG_3318Finnish, my mother tongue; English, Swedish, French, German, Japanese and Russian. Some of these I can actually speak and understand, some have been just short acquaintances of which I’ve already forgotten most.

It is my dream to really learn all of these – if not fluently, at least so that I could actually communicate. The problem is, it takes a lot of work to learn a language, and the project is easily forgotten under other tasks. What I need is goals and a way to track my progress.

So I ended up creating a blog. It might not help me learn the languages, but I hope telling others about my project will help me set the goals and motivate me to work towards them. I’m also hoping to find other language lovers all over the world. It’s also the first step towards better skills in one of my six foreign languages. English is perhaps the strongest one for me, but it’s far from perfect, so writing a blog in English can’t do any harm!

If you are also interested in learning languages, please feel free to leave a comment.

This blog will contain my experiences with different learning methods and my feelings and thoughts about the languages, share some real-life experiences of actually using them – and, hopefully, it will also follow my progress. Maybe a year from now, I will be just a bit more fluent in Russian or French, or perhaps German or Japanese…

May the journey begin!

belgiaI want to be able to travel the world and speak with people in their own language. Me in Belgium, 2010