Nà totally made my day recently by telling me I write Italian very well and asking if I had studied it at University! I was very flattered, but no, I only studied it for two years at evening classes at the Institute for Applied Language Studies, in Edinburgh. I have worked hard extra to that in learning grammar at home and reading a lot in Italian. It helps that I enjoy a lot of Italian writers, especially Italo Calvino and Alessandro Barrico. I also read the Italian magazine Focus, which is a wonderfully bizarre magazine, full of articles about weird things. I watch a fair number of Italian films too (the Italian Film Festival starts this weekend!!!). I've found Italian much easier to learn than either German or French, both of which I studied at school. I learnt French for five years at school and have done little with it since, though I did a year of evening classes and sometimes read in French as well as watching a fair number of French films. My real problem with French is that I can't hear it very well! German I studied for three years in school but have always used it since, I've visited Germany more often than any other country and have several German friends, some of whom I even speak German with! German is hard work though, all those long words and endless sentences with the verbs at the end.... I use both German and Italian for work sometimes. I can understand Spanish quite well because its very similar to Italian, but I can't speak it, mostly for exactly the same reason.... I can speak a few phrases of Polish, as I was on an archeology dig over there once. I keep meaning to learn a bit more as there are so many Polish people over here now, but its a very difficult language and I don't expect to get beyond the very basics. Gaelic is a language so strange and incomprehensible (to make the present tense you use the future tense - how weird is that!) that I don't think I'll ever get past Hello, a fact not helped that whenever we visit 'Gaelic speaking' areas of Scotland, we never find anyone who speaks the language! I learnt some Chichewa when I was in Malawi and still occasionally come out with the odd 'pepani' (sorry) or zikomo (excuse me, thankyou).
So what languages do you speak and how do you use them?