JUDr. Oldřich Ševčík
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Language abilities-ability to use foreign languages
Concerning foreign languages and concerning my ability to use foreign languages, I have to note, that foreign languages are my hobby. Yet, I must admit, that it is not, as I would wish or as I would imagine it to be, but perhaps, I will improve, as the time goes by, at least I work on it all the time. I do not remember not attending any language school and not taking any language courses. In other words, I always attend some language school and I always take some language.
English language is by far my strongest language, even though not the most beloved. I like all the foreign languages, which I have learned or, which I learn. Of all the languages, I have learned, I used English language the most, after all, if for no other reason, than that I have lived for over ten years in the United States. Of course, I follow movies in English, without reading the subtitles. I watch various lectures in the internet in English. Yet, as it is, when I need to translate some difficult, official text (especially a long one) I prefere to ask for help experts, well learned English scholars. It is also for the reason, that to translate for example a long, many pages long text from one language into another language takes a huge amount of time and energy.
To make myself to be understood with a client over the telephone, when he or she is supposed to come and then, when he or she comes, to understand, what the matter is, my English is sufficient, or at least, I dare to say.
I keep myself occupied with English a lot and it is needed to comprehend, that for a Czech, it is very difficult to speak English, which would be understood for a native speaker and which does not seem to be funny for a native speaker. Czech language has a completely different structure from English and completely different pronunciation. A Czech can speak much easier in a different tongue, such as (for example), in Italian or Spanish, than English.
Other languages-German, Italian, Spanish, French
Furthermore, I have learned in my life and I still learn German, Italian, Spanish and French. Of all these languages is German probably the language, which I know the most. For this reason, I like to travel to German-speaking countries, for example to Austria and there mostly to Vienna. Italian I have learned for years and I can say, that I make myslelf understood and I understand something. When I lived in the US, I learned Spanish a lot and I used to speak Spanish a lot. When I was in the Army (US Army), there were many Portoricans and I used to speak a lot Spanish with them. There were also Mexicans, either born in the US, or immigrants and other and other Latin Americans, such as Panamanians, Peruans, Colombians and others and others. French I have been learning for couple of years and it is my second or third time, when I learn French, but my French is not too good. Still, I would not get completely lost in Paris and I would be able to buy a lunch, a train ticket. I would be (and I am) able to talk to a front desk clerk in Paris and get a room. When I went to Monte Carlo (Monaco), I was able to make myself understood, as well as on the isle of Elba (Italy) and on Corsica (France).
Of course, when something more serious occurs, more difficult, I call on the experts, professionals, native speakers, who, as the case might be, go over the whole of text and correct it. It holds for all my languages, with the exception of English, in which I write short articles and short stories. I do not let native speakers correct my written works in English at all, with the exception of long, legal, official texts.
In the future, I would like to continue working on my languages and to improve them. In older days, I was capable of speaking quite well in Russian and Polish, but today, it is much worse.