I was born and spent my first 17 years in Vienna, Austria. My mother tongue was, of course, German, and my foreign languages consisted of two years of French and six years of Latin. No English!
When I joined the American branch of my family in Philadelphia, Pa., at the age of 17, it didn’t take me too long to realize that I could not expect to ask any local gal for a date in German. So I had a powerful incentive to crash-learn the “new” language of English as fast as I could.