Confessions of a language freak

Posted on November 4, 2008 by

languagesGrowing up in this complexed modern society, I’d been speaking English and Mandarin since I was a kid. It was never a bed of roses, I remembered struggling between the two- which to work harder on, which I preferred and I never understood why I had to learn to be bilingual. Now life has taken a 180degrees turn, maybe after all the travelling, it’s become more of an interest…


It all started with my interest in the language of love – Francais. C’mon, every girl has had that love-lorned affair with this universal sexy language, it’s like your lust for Jean Reno. So I twisted my tongue and jaw to fit the raunchy French accent for years, aceing my language classes, but alas, hearing myself speak French was like scratching the chalkboard with my long fingernails -painful. My unquenchable thirst for French came to a reluctant end. These days, I can  barely struggle with ‘Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir?’…


The passionate language with lotsa tongue-rolling (rrrrrr) and exaggerated mouth action.The first Spanish word I’d ever learned was ‘hijo de puta‘ (son of a bitch) much to the amusement of my amigos espanoles. The Spanish have this strong sense of pride in their country, everything from their well-loved Jamon (cured ham) to the botellon (alcoholic parties along the streets) and blood-splashing bullfights -I had to see it for myself! True to their words, it is amazingly
beautiful, culturally rich and a culinary heaven that has unknowingly captured my heart. I began my journey along the Spanish path, annoying bartenders with my broken Spanish and conjuring laughter with the funny sentences I put together. But I’m proud to say, after numerous monologues with the heavily-accented Andalusians in Southern Spain, I’ve painstakingly conquered this language- I catch their jokes, and I occasionally curse in Spanish now…


Nobody around me understands why I would wanna learn the ancient Arabic language. It’s a whole new world of characters, unknown to the imperialistic western world, and everyone associates it unfortunately with the terrorists.. I’d beg to differ! I’ve always had this thing for arabic scents, colours, and atmosphere. Living in Granada made me see
many sides of the Moroccan world that were so mystical and alluring. From then on, I made my way through Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt.. all of which have distinct flares of arabic culture. It’s the way they speak that intrigue me – thou as a feminist, I disagree with the muslim idea towards women. I started picking up the Arabic language from a charming Algerian teacher in Spain, but still have yet to advance my level..
I think I should continue learning Arabic, oh maybe start on Italiano! aye!!

What shalt thou do without beautiful languages?!



About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is the co-founder of WildJunket. As a professional travel writer with a special interest in offgrid destinations and adventure travel, she scours through the world in search for a slice of undiscovered paradise. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, swam with sealions in the Galapagos and built a school in Tanzania.

5 Responses to “Confessions of a language freak”

  1. Heidi October 16, 2009 4:52 pm

    Languages are a great thing to know and gives the poss to talk everywhere with people, to learn about their way of thinking and seeing the world. It opens the mind. I speak Italian, German and English, Spanish I have to ‘return in’, learned some Greek, Turkish by passing long times in the countries, Swedish and French in school. It gives me the poss to read nearly everywhere and associate the meanings. Go on with learning – it gives a great challenge in life!

  2. Giuseppe Rosewell June 23, 2011 10:08 am

    Interesting view point! I would never assume that.

  3. Tova March 25, 2012 9:44 am

    Me gusta mucho aprender español :) espero que pueda usarlo un día… ojalá me vaya a Chile el proximo año :D


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