Hi all! I'm adelante
, a native English speaker from the USA. I've studied Spanish and Portuguese intensively and have dabbled in several others as a beginner, including French, Arabic, Japanese, and Ancient Greek.
My first love is Spanish, largely for personal and historical reasons. My father's family emigrated from Cuba to the USA in the 60s, eventually settling in Florida, which is where I was raised. Although we only spoke English at home, I was exposed to spoken Spanish on a near-daily basis, whether at family gatherings, in school, or in the neighborhood. This early linguistic and cultural exposure undoubtedly primed me for learning the language.
I first formally studied Spanish in high school. After four years, I had learned enough to achieve the maximum score on the Advanced Placement Spanish exam, which I found only moderately difficult. I had probably reached a solid, well-rounded B1.
Then Portuguese caught my fancy. I got to about A2/B1 after a couple of disjointed years of coursework with instructors who spoke different dialects (European and Brazilian). Learning Portuguese after Spanish was both easier and harder than expected -- let's just say that I rapidly acquired a third language, "Portuñol," before acquiring Portuguese.
It has been interesting to read about synergy and interference in language learning in these forums and beyond.
Sometime last year, after a very long hiatus from any language study, I found this forum. I became fascinated as I read about the progress people were making in their target languages and the methods they were using. It motivated me to try to regain and even surpass the ground I'd lost in Spanish over the years. I started exposing myself to large amounts of interesting native material, steadily increasing my output in the form of weekly lessons and language exchanges, and studying specific grammatical points as needed. It wasn't easy at first, but I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it came back. After a few months of daily effort, I realized that I was easily understanding native TL content that would have been difficult for me even at my peak proficiency levels in high school. Now, almost half a year into what I like to call my "Spanish Renaissance," I am committed to achieving an advanced level of proficiency in the language.
Thanks to everyone here for sharing your passions for language learning, and thanks to the volunteers who make this forum possible. You've inspired me to resume a wonderful journey and to start participating in this community. ¡Adelante!