Love Sackies’ Love Affair With Spanish

Follow your calling. That’s what Love Sackie decided to do when Spanish became the center of her entire life. Check out the rest of the interview, to find out more about Love Sackie’s love affair with the Spanish language, how she learned it and is using her passion to inspire language diversity. 
BGLL: Thank you so much for sharing your language learning journey with us. Tell us about yourself and what you do.

Love: Gracias a ti for giving me the chance to share my story. My name is Love Sackie and I’m Liberian-American. I’m currently located between Florida & Dominican Republic. My native language is English. I have a bachelor’s in Spanish and had the opportunity to earn it while studying abroad at Ulatina in Heredia, Costa Rica and Montclair State University in NJ.. 

Professionally, I just recently got into teaching, so I’ll be entering the classroom this upcoming school year. I am super excited to get back with making a difference amongst the youth in our community.

Another venture that is close to my heart that I’ll be launching soon is The Love Sackie, Inc. It has all of my lifestyle passions in one - I create customized plans for adults, like young professionals & travel enthusiasts who want to speak Spanish. Another part of it is that like every woman, I adore the beauty industry, so I provide limited & trusted beauty care products that I use on myself.

BGLL: How did you learn Spanish?

Love: My language journey started as a BS degree pursuit, that turned into me graduating with a Foreign Language degree. I have always had love for the Spanish language due to all the diversity within the city I grew up in, and partially because in the US it’s a requirement to study a language in primary school. I did well in Spanish, I thought it was just because I wanted a good grade, but it clearly turned out to be more than that. In college, there’s also a language requirement to graduate. Being that my love of the Spanish language blossomed, of course, I chose Spanish again. I soon caught on that Spanish was really my favorite subject, so I made it my major. That was when it started getting real, it wasn't just counting, “uno, dos, tres…”, it was learning a new entire language on a collegiate level. I struggled at first to fit in with my peers and learn in a relevant way. But once I started getting more comfortable, I found the ultimate learning hack which eventually led to a degree in Spanish with extended coursework in business administration.

I realized that it wasn't just the books that helped me to pick up the [Spanish] language but the people, the culture the food and the music. That's why I make sure I input that part of the focus in my online courses.

BGLL: Are you learning any other languages?

Love: It's been a little bit of a hobby because learning Spanish has opened up the vocabulary of many other romance languages but I’m learning Portugués now & I’m loving it!! Portugués with a side of French. I say with a side because I’m not doing it intensely as I am Portuguese, mainly just French phrases for now but I see it coming. I realized I could somewhat understand Portugués, by connecting with the word “negra” on Instagram which can mean black woman in Spanish but also in Portuguese. I would follow different Brazilian black women on IG and they post in Portuguese. While I’m scrolling, I’ll read and be like, is this in Spanish because I am understanding this? But certain words would be spelled completely differently, so I would just fill in the blanks with the context. I had a similar experience with learning French that I did with Portuguese. Though it didn't come as easy as Portuguese did, I can read it. I’m still working on my accent though.

BGLL: What was the hardest thing about learning Spanish?

Love: The hardest struggle for learning a language for me was not speaking it like I'm speaking English. I don’t like to speak like a child per se, but it’s where everyone starts. I also had to be able to think in another language, write, and chat, so once I’m in my zone, it's hard to snap back to English.

BGLL: Were you ever shy about speaking Spanish?

Love: I'm not a shy person but I do get this question frequently from a lot of students. I never paid attention to it, but looking back I think feeling shy can be a lack of confidence to speak. For me, I couldn’t express what was going on in my head, for example, all the conjugations, etc., because I was overthinking it.  I knew enough Spanish to communicate, but I would hold back and not try to dive in, as in speak with an accent or I would only use the present tense which is easier. I had to go with it and trust my instincts and just speak. 

BGLL: Which of your foreign languages is/are your favorite and why?

Love: My favorite foreign language is Spanish of course! I owe so many of my International experiences and thanks to this language for the doors it opened for me. If I had to think of one thing that sets me apart and makes me unique, is that I'm a bilingual black girl, and soon to be polyglot. I’m someone who identifies as 100% Black & proud- from a small inner-city & I can speak another language fluently. To me that alone can inspire others who may have thought it was taboo, and that's why I study & teach foreign languages. 

BGLL: What are 3 tips you would share with those wanting to learn another language?

Love: Find your reason why. If you’re going to do it, there has to be a driving force behind why you are willing to put your time and energy into learning. Next, be respectful of the culture that comes with the language. Also, become friends with a native speaker in your target language. 

BGLL: How can we keep up with you on social (social media)?

My official Instagram is @holalovesackie, all of my links to find me are always posted there. Let's Get Connected ! 
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