About Me

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Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Bálint and I’m eighteen years old. I was born in Budapest, in Hungary, to Hungarian and Greek parents. Currently I live in the United Kingdom, where I’m also enrolled in secondary education. This blog has been created in order to express my passion of learning foreign languages to a greater audience, as well as to pave my path towards becoming a polyglot.

For some the word ‘polyglot’ may sound a bit too confusing. In reality, the word means nothing more complicated than a person who is capable of communicating in numerous languages with a reasonable level of fluency. Yes, this is it, this is my dream. I am not special or incredibly talented, I struggle with languages just as much as anyone else would. But I do believe my enthusiasm and determination to achieve this uncommon goal makes a difference.

I’ve been interested in languages since a very early age. My mother and grandparents often talked to me in Greek, sang lullabies in their native tongue and got me involved in several cultural aspects of the Greek community. By the age of five, I had a clear image in my head about the concept of having different languages in the world, which are spoken by different cultures and in different ways.

At the age of ten (which corresponds to Grade 3 of the Hungarian educational system), I was introduced to English in the framework of a compulsory school subject. This is when I began to explore how languages differ in terms of grammar, vocabulary and phonology. Despite having gained a lot of experience from these early struggles, I left primary school with very little knowledge of English.

Simultaneously, I began my Greek language lessons at the Greek community of Budapest. As a result of the the basic education I received, I am now able to spontaneously read and write Modern Greek, understand simplified written text and say basic sentences with quite accurate pronunciation.

After moving to the UK in 2009, my knowledge of English saw a rapid development, just as expected. In my school I studied German, although I could not go any further than learning to read, count and say basic sentences before I left for another school the next year. Although I was at first disappointed that the new school only offered French, I soon became enthusiastic about this and other Romance languages. As a result of my great interest, I obtained my General Certificate of Secondary Education in French one year in advance, achieving an A* grade overall.

In these years I also had an interest in constructed languages and their structure. This triggered the initiation of my own conlanging project, which I call Neo-Ugric. It was also the reason why I eventually began to study Esperanto and Elefen in an autodidact manner. By now, I am able to communicate in both languages using a simple, but adequate vocabulary, despite not having many opportunities to do so.

Since Grade 4 of the Hungarian primary school I have been studying Modern Hebrew, which was the second foreign language taught at my school. After moving to England I decided to carry on with my studies and work towards a new goal, such as completing a GCSE in the subject. I received private tuition once a fortnight for a few years, although the majority of my learning took place at home. Now I can read and write Hebrew, although my communication skills in the language are still at a very low level.

Throughout the years I have also developed a great interest in Italian. The fact that I live in a city with one of the largest Italian populations in the United Kingdom may have had an impact on me, but so has my love of the country and its culture. With the help of a high-spirited nun and some resources on the internet, I got intensely involved in the grammar and phonology of the Italian language. Since then, I often try and find opportunities to have very basic conversations in the language, thus improving my abilities at a quick rate.

I have also learnt to read and write in several other languages that use the Latin alphabet, including Swedish, Polish, Czech, Spanish, Romanian, Finnish and Estonian. This was then extended by becoming literate in some languages that use other writing systems (in addition to Greek and Hebrew). These include Georgian, Korean, Russian and the Old Hungarian Runic script, although I have recently started to study the Amharic (Ge’ez) writing system as well. Unfortunately, my knowledge in these languages ranges from a few basic sentences to nothing.

To be honest I did not expect this introductory “paragraph” to end up being so long, so sorry about that. In that very unlikely case that you are still reading this, I recommend you to read some articles on the blog itself! You will see summaries of my “projects”, quotes from my idols and many other things which I haven’t published just yet… Anyway, thanks for skimming through my life story, now you are officially one of my loyal readers.

Have a nice day!

Bálint

22 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Pingback: Pinch, punch, first post on the blog! | I wish to be a polyglot!

    • Ευχαριστώ πολύ! You can’t imagine how happy I am right now: the first ever comment on the blog came from the person who perhaps inspires me the most. I’ve recently considered writing an article about you, so I think I will put that as my main priority. Thank you again!

  2. Hi Bálint!
    I don’t kow if you remember me, I’m one of your Hungarian classmates from Scheiber. I’m writing in English, because it’s funnier than using my language. My name is Hanna. We weren’t friends, so you don’t have to talk to me, or even answer my comment. But I have to tell you, that I was impressed by your English. It’s very good!:-) I hope you are fine, and you can learn all the languages you want.
    Thank you for sharing your blog, I have also read some of your articles. I’m planning to do the intermediate exam of English, and I think reading your blog will be a good practice.

    Have a nice day and enjoy the summer holiday!

    Hanna

    • Szia Hanna! I’m glad you read through my blog and decided to write a comment! Thank you for the wishes, I wish you the exact same success in the future. To be honest, I’m very surprised because I couldn’t find a single mistake in your message. It is a good idea to complete an intermediate exam, you will definiely make use of it in Hungary, or abroad! Again, thanks for the comment, have a nice holiday!

  3. Pingback: My adventures in 10 languages | I wish to be a polyglot!

  4. Balint,

    Thanks for following my blog (www.mypolyglotworld.wordpress.com). It’s nice to find another polyglot enthusiast. I wish I would have started at a young age like you (I’m 27 now). I don’t know if I’ll ever pursue learning Modern Greek, but I will at least learn biblical (ancinet) Greek for school, as I’m a Bible student (I’ve already had a couple semesters of Greek). My focus on Greek, however, is more geared toward simply reading and translating, not speaking or writing.

    I look forward to reading through the articles on your site!

    • Drew, thank you for your comment! I was happy to find a similar-themed blog which could serve as my main source of motivation… and perhaps inspiration, but don’t worry, I’m not planning on stealing your articles! If you are already familiar enough with the Ancient Greek orthography, I definitely recommend learning the differences so that you can confidently read any text in Modern Greek as well – regardless of whether you have any intention of learning the language or not. It could be amazing to interpret a version of the Holy Book from the era in which the effect of multiple translations was not yet an issue. I wish I had the time and the energy to work towards achieving this goal, but I doubt I will ever find myself studying a dead language. Anyway, good luck with your studies, and please keep updating your blog!

      • Thanks Balint. You seem to be well-advanced in your language studies (at least more-so than me). Your site it definitely an encouragement to me. I was actually speaking with some friends, and your encouragement has influenced me as well, and I think I will eventually learn modern Greek. I’ll also probably learn modern Hebrew someday. I figure, since I’m learning ancient/biblical Greek and Hebrew, I might as well take advantage of that learning and work toward the modern versions of those languages. It will probably be a few years until I start on modern Greek and Hebrew though.

        Say, about how many hours a day do you spend on language study? How many languages do you study at once? Thanks.

      • I apologise for being late (very late), but I don’t think your comment ever appeared on my dashboard before today. Well-advanced in my language studies? Thank you, but I doubt this is true. You may think I am one of those superintelligent young adults who have enough determination to spend long hours every single day learning foreign languages. But the reality is that I’m not. Currently, I am focusing on Greek, although “focusing on it” means nothing more than spending an hour or so almost every day studying. Besides this, I often look at my Hebrew notes and go through some vocabulary, but I don’t really seem to be progressing with that at the moment. I know, it is horrible that I am unable to focus on one language at a time, but it is part of the truth that I have not practised any Greek in the past four years and this summer seems to be the most appropriate time for this. Again, I do recommend the modern equivalents of these languages, even if you decide not to go further than learning a few basic sentences. Don’t forget, you have a great advantage already!

  5. Pingback: It’s all Greek to me! | I wish to be a polyglot!

    • Muchas gracias por tus amables palabras! Provided that I ever get around to learning Spanish, I will definitely make use of your website. Thank you!

  6. Γεια σου Balint! Κι εγω ειμαι 16 και λατρευω τις γλωσσες, αν και σιγουρα δεν ξερω τοσες οσο εσυ 😛
    Μ αρεσει πολυ το μλπογκ σου! Keep it up! 😀
    σορι που γραφω ελληνικα… απλα ειναι τοσο σπανιο να βρεις καποιον να μας καταλαβαινει χΔ
    φιλια

  7. Hi Bálint!
    I came across your blog through Interpals and all I can say is “Wow”…you have a great blog here and you are amazing, being a polyglot and all (I’m just Bilingual) so Keep it up. 🙂

  8. Hey Bálint – came across your site today while searching for fellow language bloggers. Nice work! I was hoping to get in touch with you about a possible collaboration with TakeLessons. I couldn’t find your email address… would you mind shooting me an email? Thanks so much!

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