Interview with

Alessandro Anzivino

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..

The International Association of Hyperpolyglots - HYPIA. (c) 2020

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