I've often heard people (usually people I work with) express the fact that I'm gifted at languages. I am not (blog soon coming up about this!).
I have to work hard to learn a language. What makes it seem like I'm "gifted" is that I'm a language nerd. I love languages, I love words, I love discovering more about the culture, I love connecting with people on a whole other level.
The 1st thing I did was to learn the Greek alphabet before my trip to Greece (in 2020). When I got there, I mean the minute I got off the plane, I felt like I was 5 again, trying to read every word around me. It was like trying to figure out a puzzle and I loved it (I also quickly realized knowing the alphabet was not enough, but it was a step in the right direction).
My 2nd step was to ask for a menu in Greek, so I could compare it with the latin letters from the menu in English. I didn't look at everything but I'd choose something on the English menu and then found it on the Greek menu and tried to figure out how to say it. Food always motivates me ;-)
The 3rd step, which was not a conscious decision but random obervations, was to realize that I already knew some Greek words...just from speaking French and English. Check out these 2 examples:
This is a step, by the Parthenon. Check the 3rd words (in Greek and in English)
ΑΠΟΣΤΆΣΕΙΣ (reads : apostasies) means distance.
In English, an apostasies is someone who distances themselves from their religion.
(formal definition: 'a defection or revolt '- is the formal disaffiliation from, abandonment of, or renunciation of a religion by a person.)
And here, check out the 3rd word
ΠΙΣΊΝΑ (reads PISINA) means Swimming Pool in French (piscine) and Spanish (piscina).
I have a lot of other examples, but I'll spare you ;-)