I’m Indonesian, and Indonesian Language (Bahasa Indonesia) is my mother tongue. When I was about 7 yo, my mom -who worked in a Japanese Restaurant for a while, prior to the marriage with my dad- showed me one book. It’s thick, blue-colored hard cover, with each page consisted of a kind of paper I’ve never seen before. What’s interesting is that it’s written all over the pages with japanese letters (kanji, hiragana, katakana).
To me it’s fascinating… I felt so curious to uncover it’s meanings, to be able to write Japanese in such fashion. I remember that my first japanese word for me is Sensei (Teacher; jp.). So almost everyday when I was in my 3rd or 4th grade I wrote” せんせい” at the board in my class. Ridiculous huh…
Year by year passed. I graduated from High School and while I still learning Japanese, I found myself indulged with some other languages, German (Deutsch) and French (Francais). I didn’t know what did I get into, but, I ended up taking Medical School instead of Linguistics.
The passion for studying language has never left me even for one second. I developed my Japanese well enough that I have 2 friends from Nagasaki University when they visited Jogjakarta. I also learn in a very small amount of time and focus, German. While almost concurrently, I spent a little time reading books about Russian language, and Mandarin, browsed the internet for French and Finnish (Suomi), and Welsch, and Celtic, etc.
Because I learned the languages almost at the same, I didn’t get anything. Well… perhaps a little, to the amount that I could recognize what language or accent is being said, when I hear foreigners speaks. This made me eventually able to recognize various sounds in Languages and dialects, and try to pronouce it with great accuracy. I remember Dani, a friend from Austria said that I speak German perfectly (in terms of accent).
I went to Nias Island for 3 months, for a project developed by the medical faculty. Even though I was afraid of what would happen, it turned out to be a very enjoyable journey. And besides having a new family there, I also studied their language at a significantly short time. They display a distinct grammar and phonology than some of the vernaculars (??) I know.
Now, even though I work as a product specialist in my academic division, learning language is still my passion. Galuh, a deaf friend of mine has just arrived from Australia, and seems that I would have to help her comprehending “linguistics” because her major is Sign Linguistic. So… besides learning sign linguistic, I now take a steady position on learning only… Thai Language and German (thanks to Seruni in German!). Since I know Pimsleur method of learning language, I feel a lot easier to learn languages. PS: I’m not promoting!