Obies using languages: Ivan Aidun ’19

What languages do speak?

English, I sort of speak Spanish.


Do like learning languages?

Absolutely. I don’t know. It’s kind of fun to know a little bit about a language, a little bit about the culture a little bit about the people. It also makes you sound very sophisticated.


Do have any languages on the back burner?

I started learning a little bit of Farsi during Winter Term last year, via YouTube tutorials etc. And over the summer, just for fun, I started Turkish on Duolingo. Oh, and Catalan. I also started Catalan on Duolingo.


So you would describe yourself as a language enthusiast, right?

Yeah I think so. In as much as I like to pronounce languages. I kind of like to know a little bit about everything in general, but you know.


Do you think that Duolingo changed you learn languages and other people learn languages?

I guess that’s hard to say. I started using Duolingo to practice Spanish. It’s sort of difficult to say because I already knew more or less the Spanish I was learning, it’s just the practice, not learning new grammar. I could be that it’s about the similarities between English and Spanish. I found it’s different for when I was learning Turkish. It’s not like a classroom environment. I had to think really hard to learn anything at all. It’s a faster process. In that way, I think less of a learning tool and more of a practice tool.


What’s your major?



Do you think that your background in math informs your perspective on language?

Umm, I’m not sure. There’s a lot of mathematical, kind of computational approaches to understanding language and grammar, etc. I guess in a sense, the ability to interact with math is in and of itself a linguistic capability. You know? But in general, when I’m taking a language class, formulas aren’t really running around my head or something.


So you would say that you speak math?

I would say that I speak math, absolutely.

About Leo Schumann 15 Articles
Hello! I am Leo. I am interested in languages and linguistics. I study many language/linguistics related topics in the college. I am also an avid language-learner hobbyist; on my own, I have taught myself some North Frisian (Nordfriesisch/Nordfriisk) and basic Spanish. I have also taught ESOL and enjoy teaching others. I am currently teaching myself to read Mayan hieroglyphs. I am relatively comfortable speaking English, German, and Spanish.

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