Andre Pinto Teixeira
Name: André Pinto Teixeira
Nationality or Ethnicity: Portugal
Where do you live?: Portugal
Languages: Portuguese, Spanish, French, English, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese (fluent), Catalan, Italian (intermediate), Polish, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean (basic).
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
From a young age, I always loved languages, following my father’s example. After some years interested in Japanese when I was a teenager, I enrolled in an Asian Studies program in Lisbon University that then took me to Japan, where I lived for 7 years. I also studied Chinese, which took me to China for dozens of times and where I have half of my family on my wife’s side.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
Thai and Polish. I love these languages, but other responsibilities make it hard to find the time to reach a higher proficiency.
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
I have always loved the sound of Tamil, especially after spending some time in Malaysia and Singapore, so I would like to venture into this language.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
Mandarin Chinese with a Henan accent, because that is my wife’s mother tongue 😊
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
Being able to know people better without being dependent on their or my English skills.
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?
I am not sure about how many languages will survive in the future but I think it is realistic to affirm that a considerable amount of all the 6000+ languages will be extinct within our lifetime.
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
Stay focused. Trying out a lot of languages is good in the beginning, but if your goal is proficiency it is always a good strategy to be consistent and stick to 2-3 languages before moving to the next one.