Name: Diogo Pereira Almanacy
Nationality or Ethnicity: Brazilian
Where do you live?: France
Languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish, French, Russian, Dutch (Flemish), Serbian, Italian, Polish and maybe some others
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
Every language I have learned has its own story. But let’s say that I have learned English, French and Russian through formal studying (School or university), then I have had the chance to live in Russia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Bulgaria and Belgium.
All the other languages I have learned for a trip or because it was spoken by many polyglot friends and I felt it would be nice to speak it as well.
The most important thing for me is to speak in the local language whenever I travel to a new country.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
Definitely Serbian and Dutch. Flemish is the language of our neighbouring country Belgium; therefore, I would love to speak it fluently. Serbian is one of the coolest languages I have studied and would like to learn it on a deeper level.
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
German, since it’s almost a lingua franca in the events I attend; and I would like to take a more serious approach into improving my Haitian Creole as it is my heritage language.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
I don’t know about sexy, but I love hearing Cantonese! Maybe I will take on this challenge in the future.
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
For me, language learning is all about the friendships I make and the conversations I have with so many different people.
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! Nowadays, people learn languages thinking about the financial benefits of a certain language and not about the culture behind it.
Let’s focus on the people and less on the money!
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
Don’t be afraid about forgetting languages! Once you’ve studied them, they will come back to you when you really need them. That’s the magic of the process: Learn it, forget it, remember it.