I speak 5 foreign languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian and Polish:
My level of English is excellent after living in Ireland for 5 years.
My level of Spanish is advanced: I was living and working in Spain for 6 months. During this time I considerably improved my knowledge of the language. I was almost fluent at the time when I left Spain. I learnt Spanish by living, talking and working as if I was in my home country in Germany. I learnt how to love the language, love the culture, the country Spain, the way people live and behave. I also learnt to dream in Spanish; as my Spanish teacher in Madrid said: "You have to live in Spanish, love and dream in Spanish!"
I learnt French at school, got an in-depth knowledge of the grammar and sometimes have an opportunity to talk in French to my colleagues at my workplace who are from France. I also like listening to French radio stations.
I started learning Italian with a book and a CD (from Berlitz). Later on I attended 2 evening courses- one for beginners in Italian and another one for intermediate learners. 1 year later I spent 8 days in different places in Italy. The main purpose was to practise the language in the country itself, but also to learn about the Italian culture, people and their habits and behaviour.
Polish is my 5th foreign language: I have basic knowledge so far and know standard sentences that I normally use when travelling to the country.
I like comparing languages: I see the differences and similarities in the words and like to analyse them. I have discovered that the similarities of words in several languages also depend on the region. For example "bottle" is "bouteille" in French, "botella" in Spanish, "bottiglia" and "butelka" in Polish. Although English is a Germanic language, French, Spanish and Italian all Romanic languages and Polish a Slavic language, the words is very similar because of the same region these languages are spoken. However, in German "bottle" means "Flasche" and in other Germanic languages they use a very similar word as well. So here we are in another region where a different word has developped.
I am interested in finding the characteristics of a language: Spanish has almost no words with double consonants, for the exeption of r / rr, l / ll which both change the pronounciation (rr is stronger than r, ll is pronounced like the Italian gl). Furthermore Spanish has the English th (written as z), very often the vocals "ue" in a row which are both clearly pronounced. All words starting with sc, sp, st start with an e first: Scotland -> Escocia, Italian "sperare" (to hope) -> esperar, station -> estación.
Italian has clear and easy rules regarding spelling / pronounciation and there's no exception. However, there are often double consonants. There are often vocals like "uo" in a row which are both clearly pronounced. The i is the mostly used letter in Italian, follow by the e. Some combinations of letters do not exist, like "cua" or "cha". There are no letters like j, k, w, x, y; j and y become i instead (except in foreign words), k becomes ch (kilo -> chilo), w is substituted by v instead and all the words that contain an x become s or ss instead, for example -> per essempio.
As a German teacher in Ireland, I also have the ability to compare German to English or other languages and make it as easy to understand for a non-German native speaker. I analyse the grammar and the differences in spelling and pronounciation.