How many languages do you speak?

When I say I’m a translator the usual response is how many languages do you speak. Well of course I do speak some languages to a greater or lesser extent but as a translator my job is not to speak languages but to read a text written in one language and write it in another, always my own, English. That is not to say I don’t enjoy speaking other languages, because nothing gives me greater pleasure. Often the highlight of a trip abroad is the opportunity it has afforded to converse with people in different languages. So how many languages do I speak? Well, English usually, French when I’m in France, Spanish when I’m in Spain, and a little German or Russian when the opportunity arises.

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