Interview with

Emmanuel Cascallares

Name: Emmanuel Cascallares
Nationality or Ethnicity: Argentinian-Italian
Where do you live? : La Plata, Argentina
Languages: Spanish (native), French, Italian, Portuguese (fluent), Catalan, Occitan, Galician, English (conversational), Romanian, Finnish (basic)

1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?

It’s  funny to think about it. Language learning has always been my first  (and my only one) hobby since I was 9 years old. I remember when I was  just a child, I used to watch a TV program which was hosted by an  Argentinian star called Marley. I always really admired him (especially  in my childhood) because he was able to speak three languages! (Spanish,  English and German). So I decided that I wanted to speak at least 2  languages. That's how I started learning English. Few moments later, I  realised that it was not my cup of tea. So I wanted to learn another  language; at school I had to learn Italian when I was 10 years old and  it was definitely the starting point of my travel.

Then  I really loved Italian but I wanted something else… I thought: “what  about French? It seems hard! It’s a challenge and besides, it’s an  elegant language”. But French wasn’t enough either… “What about  Portuguese?”, “what about the rest of the romance languages”. I bought  several books to accomplish this adventure and in one of them, I saw  that the author of that book was a romance languages translator. I  thought that it was my fate. And indeed, it is.

I  studied French, Italian and Portuguese translation and made a lot of  courses about romance languages. This year I started to work in my own  language space: “Romanica”. There, I love to teach languages to everyone  interested in my work and my passion.

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

I  think catalan, Occitan or Galician. I never have the time to do it and  sometimes I compel myself to practise to not forget them.

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

I  don’t know if I want to learn other languages. In fact, I know other  non-romance languages but a while ago I decide dto go ahead with the  languages I already know. But if I had to choose, I’d learn Finnish,  Napolitan and Breton languages.

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

Mmm…  it’s not easy to answer. But my answer it’s the favourite one of every  translator: “It depends”. For me, language is not important, what really  means something is your personal voice. You can speak perfectly the  “sexiest language in the world”, French, but if you don’t have a nice  voice, doesn’t matter which language do you speak. It will sound  horrible anyway.

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

Knowing  different cultures and different ways to analyse our world. As everyone  knows, different people, different nations have multiple ways to  interpret and understand the world. The enormous diversity of languages,  traditions, religions and culture itself are the result of these  visions.

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?

Not  at all! Language destruction is a very progressive fact. I really don’t  know how many languages will still be alive in 2120, but I’m sure that  more than 1000. There are a lot of laws of language protection and then,  most importantly; languages are the instrument of thinking of many  people. These cognitive constructions are not easy to erase. It doesn’t  matter if one language is more “popular”, people will still think in  their own language because their language allows human rationalization  and communication .

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

My personal message is: do it, the limit is only in your head. If someone

had  told me that at 26 I could be able to speak 9 languages, I would never  have believed it,I would have said that’s impossible, that’s not for me.  But actually, if you really want it and you try, I’m sure that you will  reach your objectives and language learning will become your passion,  because it’s a type of addiction!

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

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