I was able to maintain relative fluency only in three languages at a time. Switching between more languages is not practical for me. Now I use only four natural languages on a weekly basis. But at various times, I was fluent in five in total.

Я тебе кохаю. Я тебя люблю. Te quiero. Ich liebe dich. I love you.

Before I was five, I spoke mainly my first native Ukrainian (Українська). Then, I lived in a Russian-speaking city and went to a Russian (Русский) school. By age twelve, I spoke a street dialect of Spanish (Español),  while living in Latin America. My attempt to revive it and learn standard Castellano fifteen years later was not successful. Now, living in Southern California, I hope to pick up more of it again. I started using German (Hochdeutsch) in 1999, and became fully fluent by age twenty-eight, and my decent English fluency came around 2010. I studied English in schools previously, but the challenge was to unlearn the wrong stuff I acquired elsewhere and to deal with the referential cultural archness of U.S. English.

In general, most difficult in operating multiple languages are these three aspects:

  1. separating the languages clearly in the mind, provided it is difficult to know for me, which language I am currently using - it takes a few seconds to realize;
  2. switching between thinking modes of approaching live and expressing thoughts base on different concepts of classification of matter and various societal traditions;
  3. dedicating time for regular immersion.


In the past, I tried to learn French, Chinese, and Japanese -  to read poetry in original and to improve my calligraphic stroke, but I did not give myself enough time to achieve much at all. I am also very attracted to Sanskrit, Thai, and Arabic, but life is too short for all languages I want to know well.


Lena Nechet, artist - Fine art, media productions, language.
San Diego, California , USA , LenaNechet.com
Art@LenaNechet.com 323-686-1771
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