Posted in English as a Second Language, Japanese Language, linguistics

How many languages do you speak?

Being able to speak a language is subjective. I have many Japanese friends who speak beautiful English, but do not consider themselves to be English speakers. (This could just be Japanese humility though and not their true opinion: 本音 ほんねん vs. 建前. たてまえ

For example, I took a year of Latin and remember the basic sentence structure and vocabulary words. I do not, however, consider myself a Latin speaker. The same holds true for the other languages I have studied: Old English, Middle English, Spanish, American Sign Language, and Japanese Sign Language. 

On the other hand, I have studied the Japanese language for years and still have many limitations, but have a proficiency level enough to work, live, and get in and out of trouble in the language. I use Japanese daily, occasionally dream in it, and while I still have much to learn, I do consider myself a Japanese speaker.

What about you? How many languages do you speak? 

They are not languages, but I am fluent in Pig Latin and Gibberish, like native speaker level.


My name is Migita. It means right rice paddy. I’m a teacher who loves my family, gardening, and anything from A-Z & あ-ん. 右田です。教師です。 私の家族とガーデニングとA-Z&あ-んの何でも大好きです。

5 thoughts on “How many languages do you speak?

  1. Hello.

    Great post. Thank you.

    Speaking a foreign language is interesting. In my country, I have noticed that people who study Finnish, they have to study also spoken language that they can understand what everyman says. Problem with French is that there exists two French – written and spoken. Well, I know four languages and have a good knowledge of two other languages, than those four languages in which I blog.

    Stay safe and healthy!

    1. Thank you. Just like French, Japanese is quite different when it comes to writing and speaking. I still must study to gain confidence to write in Japanese. I love that you blog in multiple languages. It’s nice to meet a polyglot.

      1. I have been thinking that someday I will start learning Japanese. I know how my first name Matti is written in Japanese:


        Have a good day!

      2. That is correct! If I’m certified to teach Japanese as a Second Language and will be creating some free resources for those interested in learning the basics.

  2. Oh, thank you. It would be nice to see your free resources! BTW, if you check my posts and comments, then you will notice that I have comments from Japan. They are not many, but during many years!


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