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Eliza at Le mur des je t’aime, Montmartre, Paris, France

Though I was born in Chicago, I grew up in a Romanian bubble, consisting of my immediate family and my church. I spoke Romanian for the first 3-4 years of my life before I started school, but when I began preschool, I rapidly lost the language as I learned English. In 1st or 2nd grade a Romanian immigrant had come to my school and I was asked to come have a conversation with the new student, but to my disappointment I realized I could not.

However, I did not really begin to relearn the language until high school, when I started taking French. I was always interested in the language since when I was about 2 our plan was to move to Quebec, so my parents learned French (this never happened). This was the first time I had classroom instruction on how to learn a new language, and I realized that I could apply some of the methods into my study of Romanian! I began paying attention more in church, watching Romanian movies, like the classic Liceeni, and listening to Romanian music in order to build on what I had managed to gather up to that point. Learning French also helped me tremendously because I was able to learn, through French, various Romanian grammar concepts that were similar.

In my senior year of high school, I started learning Russian as well, both because I was interested in the language and because Romanian also draws some inspiration from Russian. Though learning French and Russian have helped my journey in Romanian, I also simply enjoy learning languages, and I have a talent for them, as others do physics. Learning other languages helps me feel more connected to the cultures associated with those languages, and I can better appreciate various facets of cultures. I also aspire to work as an immigration lawyer, so knowing multiple languages will help me better connect to my clients, and I am currently a French peer tutor at UIC, which helps me impart my love for the language!