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Sharing my Love for Languages
Feb 21, 2022

Short videos to motivate and inspire

Hi everyone, my name is Sarina, I'm 18 years old, and I'm currently in my senior year at the Kantonsschule Kreuzlingen. I now manage the TikTok account of LENGO, where I try to motivate everyone who wants to learn a language to use the app. I've also established a small community on my account where I share tips on language learning, as well as insights into my thoughts and life. TikTok was considered an app where people only post nonsense for a long time. However, in my opinion, one can use it wisely and learn something while using it. That's precisely my goal. I want to inspire and motivate others with what I love and help them achieve their goals while achieving mine. I have many plans in terms of languages, and I look forward to implementing them as best I can in the future.


How I discovered my passion for languages

How I came to this passion remains a mystery. My parents are both monolingual. They both speak German - and Swiss German, although one does not consider that a language. My mother also speaks a little Italian, but that's all. So I grew up speaking Swiss, German, and German as I am from Switzerland and my father is from Germany. Back then, I was not too fond of languages because I thought it was useless. But as they say, time changes people…


The foreign languages I speak

Today it looks pretty different, and I am far from being monolingual. I would say that I speak four languages, and I am currently learning two others, apart from my mother tongue, German and Swiss German. I am fluent in English and French and have a very high level of Spanish and a good level of Italian. I recently started learning Portuguese and still need some practice in my speaking skills to say that I speak the language, although I understand almost everything. I also began Russian some time ago but then stopped again. It is more difficult because it does not belong to the same family I am familiar with, so the learning process may take longer. However, I can already read the alphabet and know some essential words and verbs.

English

So I started learning English in ninth grade and have been attending bilingual English-German classes for almost four years now since I'm doing a bilingual Matura. In my opinion, English is always the emergency solution, no matter where you are. If I don't know a word in a foreign language, I like to resort to English because someone will always understand it. What I like most about English is the many dialects from all over the world, revealing a rich culture and history. Furthermore, it also looks pretty academic because English is the language that dominates business, technology, science, and the Internet. Finally, English is a relatively easy language for people whose native language is German, as German and English belong to the same language family and share many similarities.

French

It is perhaps already known that I am a big fan of languages, but particularly of the French language. I started learning French in fifth grade but was so weak at first that I almost didn't make it to high school. In the middle of the ninth grade, and thus in the middle of my first year at high school, I became interested in fashion. I, therefore, watched many documentaries about fashion cultures all over the world. France was among them. I became very interested in the language, so I studied for the exams at school. Within a brief period, I was able to speak the language, and now, three years later, I speak French fluently and even want to study the language at university. I appreciate most about French because of its phonetics, which makes the language very elegant and melodic, keeping it unique and remarkable compared to other languages. Although I am more interested in linguistics and language studies, I am interested in French literature and its history. I find it fascinating, and one learns it differently in French than in any other foreign language. It is the language of art, fashion, and especially elegance and my favorite language by far as I also think it changes my personality.

Spanish

I started Spanish in tenth grade and can now speak it at an outstanding level. I learned Spanish mainly by having a teacher from Nicaragua, with whom I did a lot of conversational practice and learned a lot about Latin American culture. Spanish has played a vital role in helping me develop a passion for languages. Through Spanish, I discovered my talent because, at first, I tended to think that it wasn't an extraordinary strength that I had. However, when you hear statements like "You are by far the best non-native speaker I have ever taught" or " This is an absolute talent" from your Spanish teacher, you do scrutinize your abilities. These compliments give me much confidence in what I'm doing and motivate me to keep going. My fascination for Spanish is also powerful, as I find that the language is incredibly diverse and has many expressions, words, and accents that depend on the location. In my opinion, the linguistic diversity of Spanish, combined with a very poetic vocabulary at times, gives the language characteristics that set it apart from other languages. Being able to speak Spanish is a pleasure.


Italian

As part of my matura paper, which allowed me to participate in the Schweizer Jugend Forscht Competition, I taught myself Italian. I, therefore, came into contact with many different learning methods. The most important thing is to develop the ability to communicate in Italian. I learned Italian mainly because I spoke the language frequently, which allowed me to progress quickly. I want to show by learning Italian that it is possible to know another and new language without going to school if you are motivated and take the time to do it. Italian is the language of culture, great painters and writers, and a musical and accessible language. Every Italian word has some charm and sounds almost like singing, making the language easier and more enjoyable to speak. Moreover, the language is not only made up of words but also of many gestures, which makes it very unique as well as very beautiful.


Portuguese

Six months ago, I started learning Portuguese, and from that moment on, I have loved the language. Because I already speak other Romance languages, it is easy for me. I must say that Spanish has given me a significant advantage since I already understood most of the sentences from the beginning. In the beginning, I thought that Portuguese sounded a bit like Russian, but now that I can speak it a bit, I have got to know the language's sound system and found out that this is not the case at all. Portuguese has many nasal sounds, adding something unique to the language. Also, Portuguese has many different facets, making it such an interesting language, with a lot of elegance and elasticity. I like this language because it expresses many feelings and intentions and contains words I cannot translate into any other language. Its beauty is unique.

Other languages

I used to take Russian classes as well, but then I stopped. Now I want to learn this language again using LENGO. I would also like to learn other languages, such as Greek, Turkish, Arabic, Croatian, and Korean. I am aware that I will not be able to do this in as little time as two or three years, but one day I will be able to speak these languages as well for sure. However, at the same time, I would like to improve my language skills in the other languages because you have never finished learning a language. It's a constant process.

Sarina found a way to share her passion for language learning with others. Her tool of choice is creating short videos to share tips, motivate and inspire.

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