Hi – Hola – Kamusta – Bonjour – 你好

Forgetting My First Language

I was born in the Philippines, but grew up in Australia. I have also lived in Bangladesh, Taiwan, Thailand, Chile and Ecuador. From when I was born, until I was 4 years old, my native language was Filipino (Tagalog). However, when my family moved to Australia, my parents and extended family forced me to only speak in English, and over time I forgot my Filipino as English was my main form of communication. So from about 4 years old to about 20 years old, I only spoke English.


French Classes in High School DID NOT WORK

I did have about 2 years of French during high school, but the teaching style was very poor, and the teacher was not even a native French speaker, so the classes were highly reliant on text books and basic vocabulary. By the end of it, I forgot all of my French, other than basic greetings like “Bonjour”.

Old, Traditional Methods of Language Learning

Only when I turned 20 did I realize that the world was actually a big place, and I discovered that I wanted to re-learn Filipino, and even delve into French again, and take it more seriously, and learn other languages. However, I resorted to the old, traditional methods of language learning like a private tutor for Filipino and community college classes for French. Learning was very slow, and boring, and I eventually forgot most of what I learned once I stopped attending the classes.

I tried immersion by living in Taiwan to learn Chinese, along with having a private tutor at the same time. But again, the learning did not stick, and again, I have forgotten most of what I learned.


Discovering Fun, New, Effective Methods of Learning Languages

Only when I began living in South America (in Chile and Ecuador), I started to experiment with self-study methods and innovative ways to learn largely on my own. I began trying to learn Spanish in a fun way, and in a way that leverages my brain and memory so that I would never forget any new words that I learned. I also discovered tools and resources to be more efficient with my learning so that I could learn the 20% of a language fast that would give me 80% of the results.


I began to get really excited about language learning again, and I began to create daily habits of learning, and I have grown to see my Spanish improve so much in such a short period of time, and for less money, and less strain. My new methods I developed and discovered actually were so great that I began using the method to teach Spaniards and Latin Americans how to learn English with my fun, efficient and effective methods.


How This Website Can Help You Be Fluent in Any Language

My goal with this website is to help you reach fluency in whatever language you want to learn, using unique, innovative and fun methods that they won’t teach you in traditional language schools. Unlike some other language learning blogs that use a fluffy and vague definition of “fluency”, I want to be clear with you and define fluency according to the language levels of the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFRL).

You probably want to be clear on your own goals and level of fluency for yourself too. That’s why I aim to reach the highers levels of fluency (B2, C1 and C2) in the languages that I learn, and I want to prove it to you. No fluff. No BS. I want to be fluent and to prove it. And that’s what I want for you too.


Why is the Blog Called Finer Shades of Meaning (or Finer Shades, for short)?

Because my goal for you and for me is to reach mastery and proficiency in a foreign language, according to the Common European Framework for Languages. At the C2 level, this means the following:

  • Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
  • Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
  • Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.

Therefore, our ultimate goal is to be able to communicate and understand finer shades of meaning when we talk with native speakers or watch or read materials in our target language. And when you can do that, then you have reached the C2 level, which is considered mastery or proficiency according to the CEFRL.


So join me as I reach B2, C1 and then C2 in the languages that I’m learning, while I give you tips to help you reach B2, C1 and C2 in whatever language you want to learn too!