My best friend Tatiana Regan always had a real flair for languages and when we studied French and Spanish at school she would always be the one that I would ask to help me out with my homework. Tatiana went on to study both French and Spanish at university, incredible when you think about it. Many people who speak a number of languages do so because their parents speak different languages so they had it from being a child, not in the case of Tatiana. As if this wasn’t enough, after completing college she went on to do a masters in modern languages. Tatiana currently speaks a total of 5 languages, English, French, Spanish, Farsi and Arabic, not to mention the fact that she can ‘get by’ in Russian and German. What she has done is astonishing and here is how she achieved it.
It may sound obvious but she put in a great deal of hard work to make sure that the natural gift which she had for languages could be used to the best of its ability. Natural flair only gets you so far and the rest of it you must work hard on. Even when we first started studying French and Spanish she would always stay up late practicing her pronunciation and she even made pen-pals with people in both France and Spain so that she would be able to practice. Naturally to study a masters in anything requires hard work and this is how she managed to crack French and Spanish.
To be completely honest Tatiana probably could have moved seamlessly from French and Spanish to Italian and German, but she wanted to try something a little different and it was Farsi that she set her sights on. She began to learn a little bit of Farsi whilst studying for her masters, as you do!! Following her masters completion she decided to give life a try and headed out to Iran for a year, during this year she practiced her Farsi relentlessly. She told me that the reason why she went to Iran was purely to learn and immerse herself in both the language and the culture. It was also here were she began to learn bits and pieces of Arabic, which she would then go on to learn in later life.
Something that always confuses me about Tatiana’s ability to speak so many languages is how on Earth she is all to stay on top of them and keep on practicing. The secret for Tatiana is to use the app HelloTalk which is a language based social media app where you can speak with people from all over the world. Without this app she tells me that she would more than likely lose a lot of language very quickly indeed.
And so that is how Tatiana Regan became a polyglot, pretty impressive and very inspirational.