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!