Name: Alessandro Anzivino
Nationality or Ethnicity: Italian
Where do you live?: Buenos Aires
Languages: Neapolitan, Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and German
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
I have always been bilingual in Italian and Neapolitan because I have grown up in the Naples region. I have always studied English during the school and always practiced it so I really don’t know when I have really learned English. When I was 20 years old I spent almost a year in Cabo Verde and I have easily learned Portuguese and I could even have a short conversation in in the local Crioulo. During the university I have made an exchange in France and learning French has been very easy to me. I really didn’t expect that! During my stay in France there were many Spanish speakers and I have easily started to understand Spanish, so I have decided to study it and I have spent three months in Valladolid having an official Spanish course. After my university I moved to Barcelona to study a master. As a Neapolitan speaker I was very attracted by Catalan language, so I have decided to study it and it was absolutely easy to practise it every day in Catalunya. In a couple of months, I was already speaking Catalan. After four years working in Barcelona, I wasn’t studying any other language and I was feeling uncomfortable about that, so I have decided to buy a book of German grammar, that I still have with me. After months of hard studies, I can have a conversation in German without any problem, but I still have a lot to study
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
I would love to be able to practise more German because I need it to get more into its phonetic. As well I would like to practise more Catalan because it is not so easy to find Catalan speakers around the world.
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
I will surely study Romanian and probably Thai. Romanian because is a latin language and I feel very attracted by latin languages. Thai because I feel attracted by Thai culture and I feel the desire to learn their language.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
I would say Italian. I love how it sounds and I really find it very sexy. Then the accents change in different regions of Italy. For me the sexiest Italian accent is from Sicily.
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
I love to speak the language of the person that I get in front of me. It's some kind of drug. Once you start you cannot stop. I would say that it makes me feel dynamic and most of all, always curious
6. 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?
Unfortunately it looks true to me. I really hope to not lose those big pieces of culture and that's the reason why I wrote Napolitan as first language. We could make other examples as Guaraní, Occitan, or Creoles. I think that a language is some kind of art, and it is totally inadmissable to lose them.
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
I would tell you to do it. If it comes from inside do it. It's never something that you have to do. If you love it, you will love doing it and make sacrifices for it. Try, you will love it..