How to fall in love with a language

My Relationship Status

A few weeks ago, I invited some friends to my apartment to play a game of Risk. 

It was cold and rainy outside, so I felt that playing the exciting strategy-based board game would be a great way to spend the evening with friends. 

The first to arrive was my friend, Alessandro. Upon entering, he noticed a Hungarian book lying on my table. He laughed. “Hungarian now?” he asked, smiling. I nodded. 

You see, Alessandro is very familiar with my passion for languages. Every time I begin a new one, he absolutely has to know why—or at least come up with his own theories on the matter.

“I’ve been to Budapest with you—you must be after a girl!”

I had seen that coming from a mile away. Indeed, the women in Hungary are beautiful, but much to Alessandro’s eventual surprise, I did not embark on my Hungarian journey out of love for another. 

Well, not exactly.
I am in love, but first, not with an Hungarian girl, as Alessandro had surmised.
I’m also in love with the entirety of the Hungarian language. 

“Really?,” you might ask. “You’re in love with a language? What does that have to do with anything?”

It’s an odd thought, I admit. But it makes a lot more sense than you might think.

When you’re in love with a person, you devote a considerable portion of your life to them. You spend time getting to know their personalities, dreams and quirks. You sacrifice your time and effort to create experiences with them, experiences that you hope may last a lifetime.

Love is neither easy, nor difficult. It is, however, always a challenge. As much as you and your significant other may share laughter and good times together, rough patches are just as likely, if not inevitable. You may fight, or argue. You may do things that damage the relationship, or even cause the relationship to come to a halt for a time, or forever. 

If a relationship between two people is to last, then their love will inevitably follow such a cycle. The good will give way to not-so-good, and back again. Such an ebb and flow is entirely natural, and must be accepted as part of the process.

Love of a language follows much of this same pattern. Your attraction to a language is an essential part of your learning, and effort must be expended to develop and maintain such an attraction over time, lest a rough patch cause a breakup.

Just like in real relationships, every good language learning adventure should start with a spark. Indeed, you must build a strong attraction from the outset if you are to have any hope of successfully “marrying” the language over the long term. 

To show you how to build such a spark between you and your target language, let me tell you a love story: 

Love at First Sight

The first time I ever visited Hungary was in 2007. Budapest, its capital, was the last city to visit on an Eastern-European tour that included Prague and Krakow. 

The beauty of Budapest was astonishing. The large city, divided into two halves by the Danube river, has an elegance that betrays its urbanity. Indeed, the city is riddled with fascinating contradictions that kept me endlessly interested. 

One half, Buda, is mostly a residential area, lush and green. The other, Pest, is busy and raucous, full of all sorts of restaurants and bars. 

As a young tourist, Pest was the more attractive side. Most nights, the whole area was flush with parties and young people, celebrating until the early morning hours. 

There’s one night in Pest that I personally will never forget. 

That evening, my friends and I decide to check out a club a fair distance away from the city center. 

Going to an unfamiliar club is always a game of chance. You never know what to expect until you actually get there. 

Once I arrived at this club, however, I immediately took a liking to it. 

The venue, large and spacious, had two rooms for dancing–each attached to a huge patio outside. Loudspeakers were pumping rock music ad infinitum. 

We hit the dance floor immediately. 

Before I could even get into a groove, someone grabbed me by the hand and pulled me aside. 

It was a girl. She wanted to dance. 

And dance she did.

Usually in clubs like this, selecting someone to dance with is usually a sign that the person is looking for something a bit more...intimate. 

But not here. Not with this girl. 

She just wanted to dance. To share a spontaneous, human moment as we smiled and twirled around each other on the dance floor. 

And then, as soon as she had appeared, she was gone. 

To my surprise, I was immediately approached by another girl, and the ritual began anew. 

As I danced, I took a look around.

Everyone—and I mean everyone—was dancing. There were no wallflowers here. 

Every person in the venue seemed to move in unison, as if we had renounced our individuality and become one huge, harmonious dancer. 

It was a beautifully intoxicating moment that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. 

Later on, exhausted by all the dancing, I went out to the patio to get some fresh air. 

Another girl—this one stunningly beautiful—approached me. She just came right up to me, looked at me straight in the eyes, and kissed me. 

“Wow”, I thought to myself. I was so taken aback by the gesture that the only word I could get out was “Why?”. 

“Because you glow”. The answer floated off her tongue, in perfect, pristine English. 

Needless to say, such a thing had never happened to me before. This trip to Hungary was shaping up to be one unforgettable experience on top of the last. 

Throughout my travels, I’ve found that every country possesses its own, unique “mentality”. I see this mentality not only in the overt—the food, the language, the art, and so on—but the subtle as well. In Hungary, I could see this mentality in the rhythm of the dancers, and the small acts of courtship between men and women. I could even see it in the eyes of the woman who could find it in herself to walk right up and kiss me. 

Seeing all of this seemingly hidden beauty revealed to me over the course of that magical night unleashed a desire to me to experience more of it. A spark had brought light where I never knew there was darkness.

I was infatuated with the small taste I had had of Hungary. And I knew then that one day I would come back, wanting to savor it all. And learning the Hungarian language would have to be a big part of that. 

I love languages, don’t get me wrong. But I always consider them as a tool to live a better life. So when I decided to learn Hungarian, I didn’t decide it because the language is beautiful. Yes, I liked the way it sounds, but the reason is because I imagine myself using it to discover and become part of a new world.

Approach Love with an Open Heart and Mind

Even though I did not begin learning Hungarian on that fateful night, I did make a promise to myself that I would eventually do so.

Even as infatuated as I was with the Hungarian people and culture at the time, making that decision was not one that I took lightly. 

After all, Hungarian was then (and still is now) a language that many purport to be the hardest in all the world.

That’s a fact that would have dissuaded most people from taking up the task.

Think back to your love life again. If you’re single, and you see an attractive man or woman out on the street, it is all too easy to tell yourself “That person is so beautiful. Surely I couldn’t ever be good enough for them”.

And even worse, if you don’t have that thought independently, other (terrible) people might chime in and tell you that the object of your affection is essentially too good for you. 

This type of fatalist prejudgment has stopped countless potential relationships before they even had a chance to start both for you, and many others. 

The problem is that these thoughts exist only in your mind. They are a figment of your imagination, yet you believe them to be real. It is the belief in such illusions that keep you from such potential romantic adventures, whether it be with a person or the foreign language you’ve always dreamed of learning.

When I first “met” Hungarian, I could have let these mental deceptions stop me in my tracks. Luckily, however, I had experience on my side, so I knew better than to be deceived by my own doubts, or those of others. 

What I did know was this: There is no such thing as a language that is impossible to learn, or a person that is impossible to talk to, to at least try and see if the spark is there. 

And knowing that, I had known that learning Hungarian would be absolutely possible for me, whenever I chose to make an effort and just approach.

Why?

Because I’ve fallen in love before. Both with people, and languages. I’m intimately familiar with the sacrifices that need to be made to build a healthy relationship between myself and another, and to keep that relationship growing and evolving in a positive direction over time. 

Once you’ve been in a relationship once, you know you have what it takes to do it again, and likely make it better than your last. 

And so I banished the assumptions of others from my mind, and kept my own counsel.

And now that I’m learning Hungarian (and quite enjoying it), I’m glad I did. 

If you want to learn a distant language, as Hungarian was to my native Italian, I suggest you do the same.

Rid yourself of assumptions and prejudices that discourage you from undertaking a goal that is meaningful to you. 

If the language you’d love to learn has scared off all comers, take it as their unwillingness to test the limits of their own personal power, and your willingness to succeed where others have failed. 

And don’t ever play in the shallow, apparently “easier” end of the language pool just because you’re scared to dive into the deep end. If you take on a closer language only as a “proxy” for the one you’d really like to learn, you’ll be more likely to not learn either language at all. 

To know a language, and to know what it will take you to learn it, you need to approach it with an open mind. Don’t be dissuaded by appearances, or the distance between you and the object of your affection.

You have what it takes to “make the first move”, so it is always up to you to make an effort to get to know a language on your own terms, before you decide whether or not to pursue a relationship. 

There is simply no other way. 

Know Why You’re Together in the First Place

Once you know for yourself what needs to be done before reaching the language you love, you’ll need to figure out your deepest, most compelling reasons for embarking on your relationship with that language. 

As badly as I wanted to learn Hungarian in 2007, it was the lack of a compelling “why” that kept me from starting the language for another eight years. 

You see, I was infatuated with Hungarian back then. But infatuation is not love. Not really. 

Love requires a courtship. Both players in the game must become simultaneously the lover and the loved, birthing a willingness to both give and receive. 

Once that happens, love may begin. 

But in 2007, even after my marvelous experience in Pest, I knew that the moment hadn’t come yet. I felt ready for Hungarian, but did not feel like Hungarian was ready for me: the “why” that needed to bring us together had not yet materialized.

Continuing ahead without the why would not have resulted in a true, lasting romance. Instead, Hungarian and I would have started strong, but fizzled out fast, like a summer fling. 

Once you get rid of false assumptions (and protect yourself from them going forward), you need to dig deep within yourself to discover why you and your chosen language need to stay together for the long haul, no matter what challenges may arise. 

If you’re reading this article and find yourself currently why-less, all is not lost. 

You can still find your why. You can still fall in love, and make it last.

You just need to let your emotions guide you.

You need to make the language real to you, instead of just words on a page or sounds in an audio file, you need to make it tangible.

So go. Visit the country.

If you can’t do that, then connect with a living, breathing, native speaker of your language in person, right where you live. 

If you can’t do that, then look for the same people, but online. Making a real, human connection no longer requires physical proximity (though of course it helps!)

Learn about this person, or people, that you interact with. Learn about their hopes and dreams, and how who they are is connected to where they’re from and the language they speak.

If there’s a spark to be found, you’ll find it. If not, you can begin the process anew with another language, and other people. 

Imagination is also a key component of developing this spark as well. 

Think about who you would like to become by joining together with your chosen language. Imagine all of the things you’ll be able to do after a few months of study, with only a half-hour or so invested each and every day. 

When I was looking for my Hungarian “why”, the good experience I had in the past helped quite a lot. However, I was even more driven by the mere thought of how much more deeply I could interact with the cities, the people, the culture, and the country of Hungary, just through learning the language. 

This “potentiality” is what I return to when I stumble on the path to Hungarian mastery. I know what I want to do, so therefore I know what I must do. I don’t need to ask myself why I’m learning Hungarian, because the reasons why are strong, beautiful images, woven into the fabric of my mind. 

Plan Your Future Together, and Show Your Love Daily

I officially started Hungarian on November 4, 2015. 

That was the date I had set to start, and once I began, I knew there would be no looking back. 

All relationships have a beginning, a date to be celebrated as an anniversary for weeks, months, and even years to come.

If you want to start your language relationship off on the right foot, I recommend you set that date right now

Once that’s settled, the second decision to establish long-, mid-, and short-term goals, imagining the trip backwards—from final destination to starting point. 

For example, my long term goal is to reach fluency in Hungarian in 2 years.

My short term goal is to reach basic fluency in 1 year.

My first short term goal is to complete Assimil Hungarian with Ease in 4 months. 

Logically, this means that I have until February 4th to complete that course. 

Once that course is completed, I’ll have taken my first short-term step towards my mid- and long-term goals.  

After that, I will take things further and constantly and consistently adapt my learning routine according how proficient I am in the language. 

The key here is this: Once you know how distant your target language is from your native one, you can easily see how much time you’ll need to dedicate to studying a language in order to reach a certain level. 

To achieve my goals in Hungarian, I sit down every Sunday and make my plan. Every day gets a 30 to 60 minute block of time for language learning. Once that time block is set, I give myself no choice but to follow through and learn at that time. 

Planning beforehand in this way allows me to organize and manage my time and energy.

Without this plan, my language learning would be at the mercy of my time and energy “in the moment”. If I didn’t know exactly when I should be learning, then I would have to make that decision based upon how I felt or how much time I felt I “had”. If I were tired or busy, language learning would inevitably fall by the wayside. 

Know How You’ll Maintain Love’s Spark

Once I had dropped my assumptions about Hungarian, found my why, and made my plan to learn it, all that remained was to decide how to do it

Luckily for me, I knew how to do it before I even started. 

This is because I have a wealth of language learning experience behind me, and that experience has led me to create my own, personal language learning method—one that is designed around precisely my needs and personality as a learner. 

The method I am using for Hungarian is the same one that I’ve used to learn nearly a dozen others. It is centered around a technique I call bilingual translation. This technique brings me immense joy as a learner, and many students of mine have learned to love it as well.

As much as bilingual translation helps me, it, like any method, is not one-size-fits-all.

Every language has idiosyncrasies that must be adapted to, and Hungarian is chock full of them. 

To address these unique challenges inherent within Hungarian, I am spending quite a bit of time with them, feeling out every linguistic “knot”, and gradually unraveling them, turn by turn. 

Luckily, knowing other languages gives me many vantage points from which to observe these difficulties, and so overcoming each one is easier than it would have been had I remained a monolingual speaker of Italian before tackling Hungarian. 

If you’re only starting your language journey, then of course you won’t have this experience to lean on. 

That’s okay. I only started with one language too.

The point I’m trying to make here is that regardless of where you start, experience will always make the road ahead easier than the road behind. And that’s a comforting thought.

Conclusion

Learning a language is like embarking on a romantic relationship. Your relationship with your language will require time, energy, compromise, and sacrifice in order to survive in the long-term, just as any human relationship will. Just as these elements are essential to any healthy relationship, the spark of love is the most essential element of all.

Without the spark, the fire of love cannot ignite. Without the fire of love, there is nothing for the would-be lovers to tend, maintain, and make grow over time. 

 If you want to learn a language, particularly one that is distant from your own, you need to find your spark. Once you take the steps to approach the language on your own terms, you need to put in the work to ensure that a spark is there.

If the spark is there, then you’ll know you and your language will be able to create a fire worth tending to. Then, all you need to do is plan to ensure that you’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that that fire, that love, burns bright every single day, and for as long as you can maintain it. 

 These are the steps I took to fall in love with the Hungarian language. I’m now head-over-heels, and I know for certain that Hungarian and I have a bright future together.

If you want such a love story for yourself, follow the steps I have described above, and get ready for the romantic adventure of a lifetime.

Just remember, as famed author Gary Chapman once said: 

 "Love is a choice we make every day”

Written by Luca Lampariello

Fa leszek, ha fának vagy virága,
ha harmat vagy, én virág leszek.
Harmat leszek, ha te naposugár vagy,
csak hogy lényeink egyesüljenek.
Ha, leányka, te vagy a mennyorszag:
Akkor én csillaggá változom.
Ha, leányka, te vagy a pokol hogy
egyesüljünk, én elkárhozom.

Petőfi Sándor

I will be a tree, if you are the tree's flower
If you are dew, I will be a flower.
I will be dew, if you are a ray of sunlight
Just so our beings unite.
If, little lass, you are heaven,
then I will change into a star.
If, little lass, you are hell, so that
we unite, I will be damned.

  • Dorothée says:

    Hi!
    I like the way you talk about learning a language. It’s very true what you say about being in touch with real people speaking the language you’re learning keeps your motivation at the top, and gives a reason to learn, more than just the fact you like how it sounds or you’re interested in the country.

    I have a serious crush on Icelandic. It’s been a step forward, two steps back for years, but I always come back to it. In this metapher, I feel like a serial language cheater XD (because I put it aside to learn Japanese or Spanish, even a bit of Hungarian too…)

    I met Hungarian girls when I was on erasmus exchange and I went to visit one of them in Budapest for New Year’s Eve. (I personally liked more the old historical Buda.) I wanted to see how Hungarian sounds/looks like and I took interest. It’s a very attractive language, sounds like “nothing known on earth” (Slowenians told me that, I think they know what they were talking about^^) yeah, I think I’ve got a crush on Hungarian too… But it will have to wait…

    Thank you for sharing your language learning experience.
    I wish you to live happily ever after with Hungarian!

    • Luca Lampariello says:

      Thanks for the nice message Dorothée 🙂 Yeah, I think that people are key to pushing you into the arms of any language 🙂 L

    • Luca Lampariello says:

      Thanks for the nice words Dorothée. Yes, I think that while one might like a language per se (how it sounds, etc..), what really makes the difference in the short as well as in the long run is the human factor. Without that, you might learn to speak the language, “know it”, but not develop a deep feeling for it, which is the way one truly acquires language.

  • Israel says:

    Szia Luca!

    Olvastam a törtenetedet és felismertem magamat benne!

    2007-ben látogattam először Pestre. Bele szerettem a városba és döntöttem oda költözöm és megtanulom a magyar nyelvet. Addig mindig otthon tanultam nyelveket de kesőbb oda utaztam ahol beszélik a cél nyelvem. 2009-ben költöztem Magyarországra. Sose jártam suliba. Voltak spanyolul beszélő magyar barátaim és raadasul vettem meg egy könyvet is (Routledge Hungarian An Essential Grammar). Pesten laktam 2 éve.

    Most már értem 90%-át az általános beszélgeteseknek (filmeket és más nehéz temákat még mindig kihivasnak tartok). Beszélem a nyelvet és megertetem magamat masokkal).A hab a tortan egy szép magyar lány aki most a kedvenc feleségem.

    Ne felejts el élvezni az utad a magyar barátnőddel.

    Visited Budapest in 2007. Fell in love with the city and decided I had to live there and learn the language. Until that time I had always studied at home in my country and later on visited the country where that language was spoken. So I moved to Hungary in 2009. Didn’t attend any school. Made some Hungarian friends who spoke a bit of Spanish and bought Routledge Hungarian An Essential Grammar. Lived there for two years.

    Nowadays I understand 90% of normal conversations (movies in their entirety and other difficult subjects are still a challenge). Can speak the language and make myself understood in the majority of situations and got in the pack my Hungarian girl who became my wife.

    Don’t forget to enjoy the path with your Hungarian girlfriend!

    • Luca Lampariello says:

      Hi Israel, thanks for swinging by. Did you also buy simple books to learn the language (for example, books like “The little prince” to start acquiring vocabulary or most of what you know comes from conversations and interaction with native speakers? Just curious because I am thinking of buying some simple books in Hungarian once I finish ASSIMIL

      • Israel says:

        Hi Luca,
        Yes that’s my way of learning. I never went for an Assimil-like course but instead hard grammar and reading materials. In my case I bought some books of diverse Hungarian poets (Petőfi, Ady Endre, József Attila, Szekely János and others) and read all that I came across with. You know in Budapest you can get these brochures with night life information (Pesti Est and similar). Those were useful for me. Also in that time I bought books that I couldn’t even understand. The point was to aim for a higher level. Not reading for pleasure but to learn.

        For me it is always important to read about things that interest me. As you know for sure, despite what we read we’ll always step into the most usual words in a given language. So to build specific vocabulary I’ll target specific books.

        To speak Hungarian perfectly is really, really, really complicated. A task of a life I’d say (harder than other languages). But the language is quite logical so when you “get it” it becomes easier in some ways.

        Moreover because of my religion I had a lot of contents (which I know “by heart” in my mothertongue) available in multiple languages so I always could turn to them to build specific and basic vocabulary.

        Don’t think of it as any sort of religious spam but you can look at the magazine Awake in jw . org in English or Italian and check the corresponding Hungarian issue. Pick the articles you like and build your vocabulary.

        Üdvözllek

        • Boci Cipi says:

          Your hungarian isn’t bad, and I don’t want to criticize you, but you wrote, that ‘she’s my favourite wife now’. It’s just a funny misunderstanding.

  • Romy says:

    Hey Luca :), its so exciting to be reading your articles again, they are always of exceptional quality! Ive learned so much from just the last two you have written recently!

    My question is this: I have been studying German for 2 years, and started Romanian a few months ago. I am seriously debating whether to start something else alongside Romanian, which I really love, but I find it so difficult to choose which! I feel like I am in love with French, Russian and Chinese! Yesterday I decided on French, since it was all I thought about yesterday, then in the evening I spent two hours chatting with a lovely Chinese girl, and all I can think about now is Chinese lol.

    Has this happened to you? What are your thoughts?

    • Luca Lampariello says:

      Hi Romy, first of all, thanks for the lovely words, glad you appreciate what I am doing 🙂

      I am putting together something special to address all the issues that you have raised. If you are subscribed to the mailing list, you will receive something today about it 🙂

      My suggestion is this:

      Go for the language that you really want to learn.

      Ask yourself why you want to learn a language. The reason, or the reasons must be solid, compelling, real and intrinsic. Chatting with a lovely girl or lovely guy is not enough to make you opt for one or the other. The choice – and it is a crucial step – has come from within, not without. So take some time to think about why you would want to choose one instead of the other, ponder, and after a few days, make your choice, go for one, and don’t look back.

      Having said that, let me give you another piece of advice.

      My suggestion (as you will see soon in a very detailed way) is not to go for two “close” languages until you have reached solid fluency in one of them. If you learn 2 close languages from the beginning, or if one is still not solid, you might risk confusing them for quite some time. I am not saying it will happen for sure, but there is a high risk of this happening.

      That’s it for now 🙂

      Have a great day!

      Luca

    • Luca Lampariello says:

      Hi Romy, first of all, thanks for the lovely words, glad you appreciate what I am doing 🙂

      I am putting together something special to address all the issues that you have raised. If you are subscribed to the mailing list, you will receive something today about it 🙂

      My suggestion is this:

      Go for the language that you really want to learn.

      Ask yourself why you want to learn a language. The reason, or the reasons must be solid, compelling, real andintrinsic. Chatting with a lovely girl or lovely guy is not enough to make you opt for one or the other. The choice – and it is a crucial step – has come from within, not without. So take some time to think about why you would want to choose one instead of the other, ponder, and after a few days, make your choice, go for one, and don’t look back.

      Having said that, let me give you another piece of advice.

      My suggestion (as you will see soon in a very detailed way) is not to go for two “close” languages until you have reached solid fluency in one of them. If you learn 2 close languages from the beginning, or if one is still not solid, you might risk confusing them for quite some time. I am not saying it will happen for sure, but there is a high risk of this happening.

      That’s it for now 🙂

      Have a great day!

      Luca

  • Steve says:

    Congrats on your new language adventure. Great article & glad you’re back online too!

  • va ko says:

    Hey Luca, who is the girl on the pictures?

  • […] że można kochać język przeczytałam po raz pierwszy u ulubionego blogera językowego: jak pokochać język [wpis po angielsku] i od razu mi się spodobało). Istotnym powodem do nauki języka są uczucia, […]

  • Paolo Di Bello says:

    Complimenti per l’articolo il tuo inglese got improved so much, sei in grado di argomentare molto bene rispetto a me. Per quanto riguarda il mio inglese è buono e conosco molti vocaboli però non riesco molto a livello pratico, infatti metto sempre i sottotitoli in inglese quando vedo i video e non so se la mia pronuncia è buona perché non trovo nessuno con qui provare a parlare. Cosa posso fare per migliorare il mio inglese?

    • Luca Lampariello says:

      Grazie del commento Paolo.

      La maniera migliore e più rapida di migliorare il tuo inglese è di entrare in contatto con madrelingua e cominciare uno scambio, prima su Skype, e poi nella vita reale. Non c’è tecnologia che possa reggere il confronto con l’interazione umana in un ambiente naturale.

      Ci sono innumerevoli siti che offrono la possibilità di scambio iinguistico, come:

      https://www.conversationexchange.com/index.php?lg=it

      http://www.italki.com

      Perciò investi tempo nel costruirti un profilo e poi contatta più persone possibile (evitando di copiare e incollare i messaggi, saper attrarre una persona per uno scambio linguistico richiede un minimo di strategia e la qualità del profilo e dei messaggi che spedisci è importante).

      Buona giornata!

      Luca

  • Ula says:

    It’s very hard to find somebody to speak with. I have huge problem with my confidence so maybey here somebody respond to request. I have been learning English about a year by myself and now I want to take another step and …….speak 🙂

    • Vojtech Mikes says:

      Hi, for me is the same problem to find someone to speak with. I am learning english for a while. I am from Czech Republic. It is fun to learn English.

    • Luca Lampariello says:

      Hi Ula, there are plenty of websites where you can find people to talk to.

      For example:

      https://sharedlingo.com/app

      or

      http://www.conversationexchange.com/

      The real problem is not to find a person, but to find the RIGHT person to talk to.

      Also, you said you don’t feel confident when you speak English.

      Confidence is something you build, it is not something you were born with.

      The more you do it, the more confident you will get.

      So start now, don’t think about it, take the plunge, take action.

      I am sure in no time you will get the confidence that doesn’t seem within reach. It is, and it is easier than you think 🙂

      Luca

    • Anthony Larsen says:

      There’s a really awesome phone app called HelloTalk. It connects you with native speakers which you can talk with and/or instant message with. You should check it out. It’s available for Android and I-phone. I highly recommend it.

  • Aaron Benarroch says:

    Hey Luca,
    it’s always great to read your posts.
    One thing I struggle with: keeping up the languages I already know. And I’m not at all a polyglot, with merely English, French, Italian and Catalan. Over the last years, I threw myself on new linguistic endeavours, only to find out that if I wanted to prevent my “old languages” from fading away, I had to stop any recent adventure and focus on them. I try to use every possible resource around me in the most rational way (books, movies, conversation with native speakers, etc.) but as you write in this post, a day has no more than 24 hours. Having a monolingual job, being engaged with a monolingual partner, living in a monolingual area, how can one overcome the
    inevitable maintenance costs and learn a brand new language?
    Cheers mate,
    Aaron

  • Maddie says:

    Your writing is intoxicating…. I can’t wait to read the book.

  • […] appropriately, on Valentine’s Day, I read this rather romantic article, called How to fall in love with a language, written by polyglot Luca […]

  • A. Hunyadi says:

    Szerbusz Luca!

    Hogyan megy tanulni a magyar nyelv?

    I apologize for my Hungarian – you’re probably better at it than I am!! My Mother is from Budapest, Father from Szeged. I never formally learned Magyar, but I understand most when spoken to, and try to speak & write whenever I have the chance.

    I have signed up with your site, and look forward to visiting your latest blog entries. You’re inspiring me to master my Mother’s Tongue, and perhaps other languages as well.

    Őszinte tisztelettel,
    A. Hunyadi

  • Raymond Brown says:

    Love for the language is always my driving force. Its always something that develops naturally though. Either I meet someone from the country, or take a interest in the music or culture somehow, or hear the language and get completely enamored with how beautiful it sounds. Its never a love that is forced for me. It naturally takes root and I do things to build upon that initial attraction so that the love gets stronger and stronger over time. If I try to create a love for the language solely for a utilitarian purpose it doesn’t usually work out. “Love is not love if it is mingled with regards that stand aloof from the entire point.” -Right? Every language can be useful so it is usually turns out to be a win-win situation anyway.

  • Raymond Brown says:

    Is there a way I can share this article on facebook? Am I missing the link?

  • Fabiola n says:

    Hola Lucas, soy Fabiola de Chile. Me encanta tu pasión por las lenguas y me gustaría ponerme en contacto contigo.. ya que en Chile existen mucho jóvenes a quienes me interesa hacer llegar tu historia. Es posible escribirte ? a que correo ? De antemano, muchas gracias ! Fabiola

  • Kimberly Balogo says:

    hallo Luca, wie geht’s? i saw u in an easygerman video episode and there you introduce ur website so i had came across here. I am learning deutsch for now because i want to work in Germany! Vielen Dank fur ihnen helfen. -kim from Philippines

  • Vidaa Joon says:

    Divertimento per te schat! Hujambo weisst du what je wil es egentlig…meg! Io falo laghbagh sex tane dil… aa vite eshge man ol. M-auzi? I bukur xhan im mainu pyar ho gya alhabib çox gözelsin zo bahooshi… eğer yeh forstår tuei atashi no bog. Ever voel che non save kafi nyelv? Khodavand altid meer berakah be aap dé. Pax si love i bhu.

  • Aleksandra Ivanova says:

    Hey Luca! The article is awesome, I feel the same about starting learning the language. Having such a point of view on this, I’ve succeed with several ones. But here I come with a question: there’s a lack of a real, human connection, which you were talking about, between me and Swedish. I am going to study there, but looking deep inside of me, I must admit that I am not that career-sticked one, rather by-people-inspired one. I need a spark from the mentality of a country, I am sensitive and communicative, vital, briefly say. And the way Swedes do communicate pushes me over. I gave it number of tries to fall in love with Sweden, but the fact Swedes are reserved and distant and do not strive to support the conversation makes my weak spark to the language to ebb. Do you see any way for my spark flare up? You speak the language, maybe there’s some inside tip on this!

    – Alexnadra

  • sylvain Lelarge says:

    Cher Luca, merci d’avoir partagé avec nous. Je suis moi aussi amoureux de cette merveilleuse langue (et marié à une Hongroise) et jouis énormément de sa découverte quotidienne. Szép napot kivanlak! Sylvain (prof de français, vivant aux Pays-Bas et modestement polyglotte).
    PS: si jamais tu ne l’as pas encore découvert toi-même, je peux chaudement te recommander la grammaire (+ livre d’exercices) suivante: ‘Gyakorló magyar nyelvtan’ de Szita Szilvia et Görbe Tamás (Akadémiai kiadó). Il est absolument complet, amusant, passionnant même. Je voudrais avoir quelque chose de cette qualité pour mes autres langues!

  • […] I want to use Luca Lampariello’s metaphor of love relationship (check out the article, it’s amazing), I would say I was tempted by Japanese for about three years. Each anime, manga, […]

  • >