Learning languages is something that just happened to me. I won't say that I did not like it, but I also did not have to make great efforts, maybe because it happened anyway and I loved it anyway. Born in the Dalmatian hinterland I got the present of being raised with the Croatian language, which is one of the worlds most difficult language to speak, and I admit, I do not speak it perfectly, but at least many of my Croatian skills come intuitively.
At the age of five, I started learning German like a computer. That is why I know how amazing the brain of a child is. For two months I was observing my surroundings in western Germany and did not speak out a single word. Then I tried a first sentence. And the day after, it all came out, one I admitted that I did speak German. Two months for a child to learn the foundations of a language without a school.
In school I of course learned English and French, my progress depending on teachers and my love for pop-culture. My English went well because it proved to be useful. It wasn't until university, that my French actually improved due to the many books on East Asian Art History published in French.
At university I had picked Modern Sinology and East Asian Art History and mastered in both in early 2011. I was lucky to have learned Standard Chinese with some of the nicest and strictest teachers I could have met in life. During university again it happened, that I learned Brazilian Portuguese and right after graduating I moved over to Sao Paulo. Within some years I managed to publish my first book in Portuguese and later also published a volume on poetry in the language my soul was speaking by then.
I never called myself a polyglot and never really wanted to show off because I always felt that these skills were normal, just happened and not really a big deal. But the world always tries to show me otherwise. Well then!