Italian guy speaking 9 languages! (+2) [Polyglot Language Snapshot]
October 21, 2019
And now let’s speak German! German is the 2nd language that I have learnt, I studied it at school, I was 14 or 15 when I started in a high school for foreign languages in Milan it was great, I mean, I liked German from the beginning and I went on studying it at University and I graduated as a translator and interpreter with German as my first foreign language and even today it’s the language that I know best I also lived in Germany for a total one and a half years in Heidelberg, and I had a great time there well, that’s obvious, right? Life as a student… a lot of fun, in the pubs and so on German is also the only language in which at some point I have had this experience… …this special feeling of being able to speak the foreign language pretty much as well as your mothertongue my mother tongue being obviously Italian Unfortunately this is no longer the case… That would be nice! But… it used to be like that, around 15 years ago I’ve now been over 15 years away from Germany I got the feeling that maybe my vocabulary has somewhat shrunk in the meantime But yeah, this is not a problem, I love German and… maybe it’s time to switch to Portuguese! So now we’ll speak Portuguese I speak Portuguese because… I just love this language! I speak with a Portugal accent, I studied in Germany, at the University of Heidelberg where I attended a very good course which lasted 5 months I had a teacher who was born in Mozambique and brought up in Portugal so that’s why today I speak like this. I like this accent very much. I also know the Brazilian accent but I’m not able to use it to talk that way (it would be nice though!) Well, what else can I say? I also like Portugal’s literature, its culture I read José Saramago, Fernando Pessoa, I absolutely love them Unfortunately I do not have many chances to practice it I have never lived in Portugal. The longest time that I spent there was three weeks during an advanced learner course in Porto (in 2013). I think that’s all, I think we can switch language now! Now we will speak some French! For me, French has a special story a strange story, because actually I used to dislike it, I used to hate it, to tell the truth… but suddenly I found myself in a French speaking city or more precisely, where the majority of the people speak French and for the first 2 or 3 years I pretty much refused to speak it, and to learn it but then, by listening, reading and interacting with the people all the time this changed completely, and today I absolutely love it! I try to use it as much as possible, to avoid speaking English whenever possible and since I have learned it only here in Brussels, I tend to speak like the Belgians do so for example I say “septante” (70) and “nonante” (90) instead of “soissant-dix” and “quatre-vingt-dix” or “Brusselles” instead of “Bruxelles” French is also the only language that I have learnt without really studying it yes, I know it’s a bit strange but it’s true All I did was a 5-day course in 2009 in order to learn a little bit of the basics after that, I have never ever studied again I have only learned it by listening and imitation I was surprised myself, because I didn’t believe that I would be able to learn a language this way because I am somewhat a grammar freak Usually I like to start by learning the grammar and only then focusing on speaking but for French, and only for French, it has been exactly the other way around. So, I think that’s all, we can switch to the next language, thank you! So now it’s probably time to speak Finnish, isn’t it? yes… Finnish is a fantastic language… I like it so much… I know that it’s very difficult but still it’s worth trying to learn it, in my opinion I speak Finnish because a long time ago I read somewhere that Finnish is one of the most difficult languages in the world, or at the very least in Europe and I wanted to find out just how difficult it actually is! And yes, today I can confirm that it is extremely difficult, but it is not impossible to learn. Yeah… Well, because I had taught myself some Finnish, I was (later) able to find a Finnish partner therefore Finnish changed my life and made it better, I can definitely say that! Of all the languages that I speak, Finnish is also the only one for which I have never taken a single lesson I am entirely self-taught and I do have to say that I am pretty proud of this because I know that, in a certain way, everything that I know today has come from my own hard work. And nowadays this is most probably my favorite foreign language 🙂 And that’s it (for now)… Another language that I like very much is Spanish but unfortunately I don’t speak it very well I only studied Spanish for three years at school, over 20 years ago after which I have never done anything to improve well, I really like it and I try to listen to it as much as possible so as not to forget everything but when I try to speak it, the result is more like “portuñol” 😀 so basically a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese and some Italian as well because my Portuguese is much stronger than my Spanish but we’ll see, I hope I’ll get a chance to learn some more in the future we’ll see what I’ll be able to do and… well, that’s all we’ll see (x3), see you soon! Next up is Japanese, yessir! I’ve been frequently asked the following question: “What convinced you to start learning Japanese?” therefore, today I’d like to answer precisely this question. This story actually goes back quite a long time… but when I saw a written Japanese text for the first time, several years ago, I thought: “Wow, such a beautiful script! I want to learn how to write like this, I want to learn how to speak this language!” and that’s when I got kinda hooked 😀 after that, partially through self-study or by attending courses I have studied using different resources / approaches Still, I don’t think I’m proficient yet maybe I can hold everyday conversations relatively well to a certain degree but listening and comprehension remains my weak point, for instance… I often get the impression that I can’t understand at all as expected, this hasn’t been a very effective (learning) method, right? But hey, those among you guys who are learning Japanese as well… could you share your thoughts with me about this? what is it that makes Japanese so much (more) difficult? I look forward to hearing from you! Let’s continue to do our best everyday! Thank you very much! Now let’s speak some Romanian, too I started learning Romanian one and a half years ago by attending a language course of 1,5 hours per week but I haven’t been able to study outside of the course itself that’s why I can’t speak very well yet I don’t think I know the language enough to read a book my goal would be to become able to read books in Romanian as well because I have managed to read at least a book in every language I have spoken so far today and I haven’t done that in Romanian yet and it would be fantastic if I could achieve this. I have been twice in Romania, in Timisoara and Cluj and I liked it very much there I loved the food, the people, they were so friendly! And I’ve been to Romania… ehm… before I even started to learn the language I actually started learning it AFTER having been there, just because I had liked it so much Yes, I think that’s all I hope I can learn more in the future And that’s it, thank you very much for your attention Last but not least… I’d like to close my video in my only mother tongue, which is Italian a language I love as much as I love the other languages Well, first of all thank you for having listened up to this point I hope you have enjoyed the video, please let me know what you think in the comments below There are actually two more languages I’m studying in a casual, non-intensive way and in which I’m still at beginner level, that is to say Mandarin Chinese: I’m learning Chinese, but I speak badly and Icelandic: I’m learning Icelandic and I’m going to Iceland in October! But there is no time to talk about these languages in this video, so I will probably make another video where I’ll talk about these and other future projects I would have loved to say many more things about each language, but I’ve already talked way too much! so I’ll probably have to cut some parts out (which I did) – sorry about that but I just had to do it I’d like to conclude by reminding how the aim of this video is not to demonstrate anything but to share this passion of mine with as many people as possible, especially with those who love learning foreign languages and also, why not, to encourage those who maybe are afraid of taking their first step towards a new language or who gave up learning a language years ago and can’t find the motivation to brush it up. So if this video can encourage even just one of you to go back to learning an old language or to start learning a new one, well then I can be more than happy to have done it. All right, I guess it’s all for today I hope to see you again soon and… “ciao”, till next time!