I have lines in France, the Azores, Portugal, Australia, Ireland, and England. Further back into my noble lines, I hit most of Europe.
Because of the wide range of countries, I’ve had to learn the basics of a couple of languages. I’ve learned a little French and a little more Portuguese. I know some Spanish which has come in handy in interpreting both the Portuguese and French. In Hawaiian Catholic Church records, I had to pick up some Latin. In the pre-state Hawaiian records, I had to learn a bit of Hawaiian. And when I worked on my brother-in-law’s La Grange (de la Grange) line in Schenectady and Albany, New York ca 1700, I suddenly had to cram on Dutch. That’s six languages just to get through the family history!
I would not say I am proficient in any. I’m probably best at Portuguese. I can now “read” genealogy books and pick out the salient information. I muddle through the best I can.
How many languages do you know? How many have you had to learn in order to do your family tree?
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com