We love to talk to our students, so we met with French and English language student, Veronika, to discuss language learning tips, busy working schedules, and goals for the future.
Veronika, can you tell me about yourself? Where do you live and for how long? What languages do you speak?
Hi! I have been living in Belgium for just over 20 years, I came here when I was only 14. Now I am fluent in 3 languages: Russian (of course), Dutch and English. I can, if it is necessary, speak in French.
Which languages did you learn in the last 2 years?
For the last 2 years I’ve been actively learning English and French. I’ve taken 2 Lingoda Half Marathons: one in French, the other in English. I plan to take part in such marathons in the future, they really did take my language to another level.
Why did you need to learn English and French?
In Belgium, people can generally speak the three official languages (Dutch, French and German) plus compulsory English in school. So, in order to get a good job, you need to know at least three languages. So I set a goal, I learned English and French as quickly as possible and then found the job of my dreams.
How did learning two new languages change your life?
Languages gave me confidence in myself and the fear that I would lose my job went away. The more languages I know, the more in demand I’ll be! I am now able to talk to managers and directors with confidence, not like before.
Was it hard to live in one language, work in another and learn a third?
It was very hard at first because languages I was always confused and my brain was lazy! For example, when I was very tired, I would start speaking one language and then unconsciously switch to another. Sometimes noticing when it was too late.
Did you experience any funny situations when confusing languages?
Yes, one day I didn’t get enough sleep and went to a meeting. It was held in English and I was asked a question and I answered it. The only problem was I answered it, very seriously, in Russian. At first I did not understand why they all looked at me like that. Then I realised!
Is it difficult to fit your studies into a busy work-family-blog schedule?
The main thing is to have a goal.
We have 24 hours a day, 7-8 of which we sleep, a maximum of 7-8 hours at work + 2 hours for commuting = 18 hours. 24 – 18 = 6 hours of rest per day during the week. If you multiply 6×5 = 35 free hours per week.
If you have a lesson at least once every 2 days and the practise every day for 5-10 minutes, there will still be a lot of free time left!
What are your goals now?
I want to continue blogging in 2 languages (Russian and Dutch). I also want to improve my English language skills and to keep practising not forget my French knowledge.
In general, my goal, with the help of you and my blog, is to motivate people to learn languages. Because then, all doors will open themselves.
If you’d like to join Veronika and start your language learning journey, visit the Lingoda website and sign up for your trial today. Fancy a challenge? Join the Lingoda Language Marathon and you could earn up to 100% of your money back!