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-Sofiia, B.S. in Marketing, 2023

I speak three languages fluently, and am looking forward to learning more!  I’m from Kyiv, in Ukraine. My family talks in Russian, which was the primary language in the Soviet Union that Ukraine once was part of. I also speak Ukrainian, since this is the language of my motherland and I studied Ukrainian for 11 years in school.  I’m also fluent in English because I started taking classes at the age of 4. When I was in high school I learned German but I forgot all of it, so I only know some words and simple sentences in it. I want to take up Spanish, I feel like it’s very interesting and useful. I’m part Jewish, so it would be cool to learn some Hebrew. I’ve learnt a few words in it from my granddad, but those words are mostly swears! ? I feel like languages are my thing, they inspire me and help a lot in communicating! I remember when I was on my way home for winter break and I was looking for the security in the O’Hare airport. I came up to a man and asked him where it was in English. He replied to me in Ukrainian, because he noticed the passport in my hand! I was taken aback, so it was hard to quickly respond. Anyway, it was pleasant to meet someone who shares my language and my culture so spontaneously.

When I came to UIC my attitude towards language really changed since before UIC I didn’t actually realize how cool it is to know three languages. I took it for granted since back home many of my friends are also capable of speaking the same languages as I do. I’ve also made some friends from different countries, such as Kazakhstan and Russia. We all share the culture and Russian language in a particular way, but we still have different experiences to learn from each other. As I am a marketing major, I think speaking many languages will help me communicate well with future employers and clients.