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Interview: Conor Clyne (Ireland/ UK)

Let's meet Conor Clyne from Ireland/ UK

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I am a qualified lawyer by profession, a traveler by passion and speak English, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, as well as, currently learning Romanian, Catalan, and Ukrainian. 

Why do you think languages are important to you?

Languages are an essential medium by which to build stronger relationships, especially when traveling. Moreover, they have also been beneficial in almost all jobs that I have held.

Which language are you learning and how do you learn?

I am focusing on improving my Russian, Romanian, and Ukrainian for the moment. I usually take a class via Skype every two weeks in these languages. Moreover, I have been spending a lot of time in Ukraine and Moldova in the last year so I am often exposed to all three languages in real life as well as on TV and in newspapers. 

Could you tell us which language is the most challenging for you to learn and why?

All languages present their own challenges. I just started with Ukrainian. While I have a little problem with the sounds and the alphabet (there are just a few differences from Russian), Ukrainian vocabulary is a lot closer to Belorussian and Polish (two languages that I don’t speak) than Russian. 

Which language is the least challenging for you to learn and why?

Catalan is a romance language and I find understanding the language easier as I already speak several other languages from the same family group. 

What is the next language for you to learn and why?

I grew up in Ireland and don’t speak the national language, Irish, even after having classes at school for 12 years. I return usually for just one week a year and so my exposure to the language is minimal. As a hyperpolyglot, I find this a great pity as I believe in eventually mastering all languages that I start learning one day. I plan to make Irish my twelfth language and to start on it in 2015. 

What is your advice to other language learners?

Articulate early on why you want to learn a new language as I found it difficult to maintain the necessary interest and motivation for learning a language without first establishing why I am investing so much time (and money) in learning it. 

If you have any questions or opinions for Conor Clyne, leave your comments below.

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