Learning A Love Of Language With Steve Kaufmann


Hello, travel nerds, and welcome to the extra pack of peanuts travel podcast the show that teaches you how to travel more while spending less I'm your host, Travis Jerry joining me today as someone who's a retired diplomat who has fifty years of travel under his belt, and who speaks twenty languages Steve. Kauffman from link. Dot Com Steve Thanks for joining me and a huge welcome. To be here and we're just talking about this right before you hit record. It's easy to be blown away by this number. Right like twenty languages. People like Whoa that's insane, but that was not always the case for you. Let let's back it up a bit and kind of tell us what your language learning journey has been like. Okay well I grew up Montreal, but in the English speaking part of Montreal because in those days the two communities were kind of separate, which is not the case today, but it was in those days more than fifty years ago. And then I got interested in French. We'd had it in school I couldn't speak, but I got very interested. Interested in the culture in those days was Lat Nouvelle vague in all the movies, and so I ended up getting keen on franchise I hitch. Actually I worked on a boat to get across. Europe I ended up settling into France by studied for three years, and that Kinda got me into a situation where I transferred myself into someone fluent in. In another language, which is a a life changing experience so then when I joined the Canadian diplomatic service and they wanted someone to learn. Chinese I said I'm your man. I was confident that I could learn so then. I was sent to Hong Kong in man. Then and then I ended up going to Japan where I live for nine years. And then once you know you can do something fun to do it. And then I just did it. It with other languages as well and and particularly as as sixty eight. I had nine languages when I retired, and now I've learned another eleven since the age of sixty. Wow, so it was just something for you that you again. You didn't have any special skills as in a kid or a teenager right? Didn't it didn't speak French even at that point and it just you kind of the bug a little bit. What have you felt as far? Far, as you said once, you know, you can do it. You and you like it. You just start doing it. Have you felt that it becomes easier the more that you know? Is there like a bit of a tipping point? Maybe where it becomes harder, it becomes easier always easier and I think I had. It's possible that my situation was favourable. Because I was actually born in Sweden, and at the age of five. My family moved to Canada. I quickly forgot Swedish, but that was there in my brain when I was very young, and of course you, can you hear French around? Montreal and I think that the more flexible. Your brain is different sounds different ways of saying things those are those are. Positive but I was at this polyglot conference. Speakers of many languages probably Glide Conference in Montreal, and I was speaking to a group of six hundred people, and I said how many of you grew up in a lingual family, and hardly anybody put their hand up, so it's not a condition but anything that makes your brain more flexible if you only have one language, your brain is set up to deal with one set of sounds. One set of sort of ways of saying things, and as you find that there are other ways other sounds, your brain becomes more flexible, and so you're resist the new language less and less so I learn languages today at the age seventy four faster than I did when I

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