I began learning English when I was 10, because I wanted to understand the lyrics to my favourite band’s songs. (Please, don’t ask which one. I was ten! It was the 90’s. Honestly, it’s embarrassing.)
Therefore, I started simply translating the songs with a dictionary. As you do, you know? It turns out, well… not so much. I’ll tell you: that endeavour led to much confusion! Direct translations oftentimes don’t make any sense and the mini dictionary’s word meanings were quite limited.
I continued on that way for a while; teaching myself through music, magazines, films, television and the beginnings of the internet, until I joined an actual English course. Due to having been self-taught for a few years, I was admitted as an advanced student. At the ripe old age of 14! When I turned 15, they invited me to take the teacher training course, which I accepted. However, I didn’t go on to start teaching yet, as it conflicted with my schooling.
In the next few years, I finished the course and kept on studying and practising by myself, immersing in all I could find in my dear second language. English became a tool through which I could access so much more of the things I cherished.
I rediscovered my love of reading and eventually writing, now in English. It again expanded my worldview, introducing me to different realities, fictional and otherwise.
I struggled a bit at university, when I realised the path I’d chosen out of love didn’t truly fit me. It would lead me to neither accomplishment nor happiness. Whilst taking some time off, I went back to my old friend for comfort. I read and wrote as much as I could. I devoured books and wrapped myself up in stories.
I thought, at the time that I was sinking; until I realised, that truly, I was only delving into what I truly love. That, perhaps, I didn’t need to figure out what my profession would be, what my passion was. It’d been constantly with me since I was 10: the language, the words, which opened new worlds, new meanings, ways of thinking, possibilities…
I went back to university to study English and have been working with it ever since. I’m an English teacher, translator and editor. I’m also an aspiring author.
I love the back and forth, the dynamic of a classroom. I love sharing my passion of English and perhaps planting that first seed of something that can grow and shape the life of a person. I adore working with words and stories; crafting and moulding them and bringing them into life, then honing and polishing them until they shine.
My youthful curiosity has led me on a decades-long journey, which is still unfolding. How could 10-year-old me have thought that a desire to understand some music would, in due course, evolve into a lifelong passion, a profession and, hopefully, in the near future, even a country relocation?
I suppose, one can never tell where the road will lead once you start on a learning adventure.
Now, enough about me! ;)
I also love to hear other people’s stories.
Tell me about your own language journey in the comments!
For more language content, check out these tags: english, esl