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Interview with

Angel Mejia Bustos

Name: Ángel De Jesùs Mejìa Bustos
Nationality or ethnicity: Colombian
Where do you live?: Santa Marta, Colombia
Languages: Spanish (native), English, French, Italian, Portuguese (fluent), German, Russian, Romanian, Hebrew, Greek, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Dutch, Indonesian and Turkish.

1. What`s your story? how did you get into all these languages?

The whole story about all my languages, it started at the age of 5, when an uncle started to teach me some words in English and normally I was listening to him but without paying too much attention. I was just a kid who wanted to learn, I was thinking only in playing like all the kids of that age. Around two years later I moved out to Barranquilla, two hours away from Santa Marta, where I lived for 14 years: living there I learned English with a grammar book that my father bought to me, as well as German. When I came back again to Santa Marta city to live here again, I remember that I was watching a video of Dubai and I became interested with the Arabic language, but I couldn`t learn it at that time because in Youtube people were teaching Arabic dialects and I wanted only to learn Modern Standard Arabic: right now I know just a little of that beautiful language and I want to follow with my learning of that language. Since eight years ago, I started to learn all the other languages little by little.


2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practicing?

All the languages are very important for me to practice, in order not lose what I have learned. I have a deep interest in Hebrew, because of my interest in Israel and my religious background.


3. What are some languages you`d like to learn in the future?

I would like to learn Georgian, Thai, Hungarian, Finnish, Farsi, Urdu, Afrikaans, Swahili, Modern Standard Arabic, Filipino and Czech, among others.


4. So let`s be honest, what`s the sexiest language?

This question is very difficult to respond, because each language has its own charm, languages are like music for my ears, but I choose the Hebrew language as my sexiest one.


5. What`s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?

The greatest pleasure that I feel when talking in so many languages is that I feel satisfaction with myself, because I know that I am being understood for all the natives in each spoken laguage and also because I realize that could do it.


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 don't think that's entirely true. It takes 300 years or even more for this to happen.


7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studyng multiple languages?

Right now we have all the adequated tools and materials to learn any language: there's no excuse and there's no difficult language but rather bad teached or bad learned. Every language in the world can be mastered, and it's never too late to learn languages: age is just a number.