Name: Breno Oliveira de Souza
Nationality or Ethnicity: Brazilian
Where do you live?: São Paulo - SP
Languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish, German, French, Lebanese Arabic and LIBRAS (Brazilian Sign Language).
What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
I was born in Cambuí – Minas Gerais, but I moved to São Paulo when I was 3 months old and I was raised here. I remember that when I was around 4-5 years old, I used to watch in the news something about the Arab countries and I was so in love with the Arabic letters, I always wanted to be able to understand it. So, my story with languages starts with music, I’ve always had contact with songs in English and I always wanted to understand what those songs were saying. Later on, I started to study in a private school, here in São Paulo, where I had Spanish and English classes at a young age. I always preferred English, but I’m not a big fan of traditional courses.
Later I started an English traditional course and I hated it. I took 3 years of English classes there. Then, I needed to quit, because I started a trade course in IT area, so I fell in love with this IT course and I didn’t have time to do both of them, so I chose the IT course.
When I quitted the English course, one they I was watching a TV Show and I realized I could understand some words, and that gave me an incredible feeling! After that, I tried to study English by myself, with TV Shows, music, videos and etc. And I realized it was totally possible to learn a language by myself.
So, after that, I started to study other languages like Spanish, German, Arabic and here I am today.
Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
For sure LIBRAS and the Lebanese Arabic. I absolutely love these languages.
What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
Right now, I’m learning Korean, improving my Esperanto and I’m also learning Russian. So, in the future I’ll probably learn Greek, Georgian, Norwegian… I’m not sure yet.
But for sure I’ll learn many others languages too.
So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
That’s a hard question… I really love the way that the Lebanese Arabic sounds, but I think I’ll choose Norwegian as the sexiest language, but the Lebanese Arabic and Russian comes right after.
What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
Getting to know different people, different cultures, different ways to see the world. As you learn a language and each language that you learn, you learn a different thing about a culture, about the world and that also gives you a different way to see the world. For me, when I learn a new language, I’m able to understand a new culture, a society, a country and even myself better and this feeling is indescribable.
Some people say the world is really just going to have a few languages left in a 100 years, do you think this is really true?
Yes, and that’s really sad. Languages are cultures, if a language disappear, a culture also fades away and that’s a really sad thing.
What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
Study, study and study. Create your own routine to study languages. It’s important to say that you should study every single day, even if it’s 15 minutes a day, but every single day.
Find some really nice people to talk with, to practice and maybe to do a language exchange with, this for sure will help you a lot. Do not be afraid of making some mistakes, it’s totally normal and you should make some mistakes when learning a new language.
And don’t give up, you can learn that language, you can! Don’t give up and you will reach the fluency.