Name: Marie-Eve Bouchard
Nationality: Quebec, Franco-Canadian
Where do you live? Quebec City
Languages: French, Swedish, English, Spanish, Dutch, Russian and Italian
What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
I studied foreign languages in Quebec City during my bachelors and masters degrees, because I always had a passion to learn about other cultures. Although Canada is a very welcoming country to foreigners, there are not as many foreigners in Quebec City as in other parts of the country. I always felt that even as I lived in a smaller city, I should reach out to the world instead of waiting for it to reach out to me. I feel very lucky to have found HYPIA, and I have to thank Usman W. Chohan for this amazing project, and to the HYPIA panel for accepting my application. Usman is a wonderful person and has shown so much passion for this hyperpolyglot initiative.
Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
My Russian and my Dutch are getting a little bit fragile, and I should practice them more. My French and English are strong because these are constantly reinforced in Canada, but I need more exposure to preserve my fluency in the others.
What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
Because of having read the interviews of some of the other members, particularly the inspiring Naela Chohan, I think Urdu and Persian would be wonderful to learn. They are quite different from the languages I know so far, but still they are part of the broader language family [Indo-European].
So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
Many HYPIA members say "French", but I grew up speaking this so I don't find it quite sexy. But still, as a Quebecker, I am very proud of my French-Canadian heritage. I would say that Italian or Persian, or Urdu (which I encountered thanks to HYPIA) all sound very sexy.
What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
By learning all these languages, I know that I don't have to wait for the world to come to me, but that I can reach out to it. This makes my otherwise somewhat boring life seem very exciting as I make friends everywhere.
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?
This is possible. I have seen how hard Quebec tries to preserve its heritage, throwing money and energy behind it, and still it seems that the language is slowly dying. What to speak of other countries that don't (or can't) invest in preservation of their language?
What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
I am still young! and I want to continue learning! I invite others that they can do the same! This will help them to connect with the world!