linguistics 言語学

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.

Total post: 36


2020-04-02 at 3:31 pm


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!

    2020-04-02 at 4:50 pm

    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.

      2020-04-02 at 5:32 pm

      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!

      2020-04-02 at 5:54 pm

      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.

2020-04-02 at 6:32 pm

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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