Name: Darryl Murphy
Nationality or Ethnicity: Black American
Where do you live?: New York City
Languages: I am currently actively practicing English, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Czech, Norwegian, Dutch, Portuguese, Mandarin, Swahili, Greek, Basque, Catalan, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
Beginning in 2012 my wife and I decided to travel the world full time. Since then we have visited five of the world’s seven continents. It is the travel that ignited my love of languages.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
French , but Italian is the “sweetest!”
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
The languages are me. I practice them like a doctor practices medicine or a lawyer practices law. What is most humbling about hyperpolyglotism is that it allows you to not only meet people, it allows you to meet ‘the lives inside” of people. It is the audio version of DNA. It’s also fun. Like eating a bowl of clowns.
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?
Absolutely not. There’s a billion people speaking Chinese, another billion speaking Hindi/Urdu/Arabic. 300 million speaking Portuguese. And all of them fiercely proud of how they communicate to the world. It’s how they want to be understood. Besides, there is no other way to describe a Florentine Steak other than “molto buono.”
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
What are you waiting for? If you are truly determined to be a global contributor to society, a sound (pun intended) language skill set is essential.