Caslon11000 saidI have studied Latin, French, German, Russian (came in handy for my grad research), and Old, Middle, and Modern (duh) English, and Sign English.
Wow, nice selection.
I took Latin, French, and German in high school, then spent a few years living in Germany, Austria, France, and Quebec... of course my Latin's a bit rusty now.
My Spanish is okay, but when I try to speak it, I end up with more of an Interlingua - a blend of modern Romance languages which Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan speakers understand. *shrug* I guess I need to spend more time in a Spanish-speaking country.
I'm currently living in the Middle East, but my Arabic is absolute crap. Everyone sees my blue eyes and immediately starts speaking English. *sigh* Eh, temperature in Abu Dhabi is around 130 degrees right now, so I'm back in the States for a spell.
In any case, the secret for accents seems to be this: learn one accent, and then go someplace else that speaks the same language with a different accent. My German accent sounds standard German with a bit of an American accent. East Germans pick up on the fact that I'm American; however, when I'm in Austria, they hear the German before they hear anything else. Similarly, when I'm in Quebec, people hear the Parisian in my accent before they hear the American. A German friend of mine studied in Ireland, so she ended up speaking with a beautiful Irish accent. Someone from Dublin could have told that she wasn't Irish, but for my British friends and me, she sounded more Irish than anything else.
Of course, I'm a language teacher. The big open secret is just how many male language teachers are queer; when I was doing my student teaching, there were 15 teachers in my department. The ten women were straight, but three of the five men were queer. When I studied in Paris, well... they American guys there... heh. Stories. Lots of 'em.