I admit it, I'm a confirmed Francophile.
For me, it all started with a trip to Paris with my family, when I realized that when you stay in a neighborhood in another country, not everyone speaks English.
When I decided to return to that beautiful city for an extended stay, I knew I needed to be able to communicate in its equally beautiful language, so I set out to attain proficiency in French as an adult.
My main weapon in the war to win a new language? Meetup.com, where people use the Internet to create real-life gatherings around any and every possible interest. It also helped me meet amazing people when I actually visited the country. Now that I live here, Meetup has helped me connect with other French speakers, who hail from Senegal, France, Canada, Algeria, Tahiti--you name the Francophone place, and someone from there lives here (By the way, I'd love to set up a meeting time for Francophones in Sammamish and Issaquah, if you're interested).
Since moving here, I've met many residents who are multilingual for a variety of reasons, either they moved here from Sao Paolo to coach soccer, or they moved here from any country you can imagine to work at the huge variety of tech companies on the Eastside.
And the Eastside residents I know value speaking more than one language more than any people I've met in the US. Nearby we have French immersion schools, (public) Spanish immersion schools, and so many programs for kids it's heartening. I find that knowing at least a second language is paramount to feeling like a citizen of the world.
So I'm wondering, what languages do you speak aside from English, and how do you meet with like-minded people to keep your skills fresh?
Also, let us know if you want to start a language club in Sammamish or Issaquah, and connect with your neighbors here on Patch by telling what you'd like in the comments, and I can help you get together.