The International Association
Name: Eyal Pery
Nationality or Ethnicity: Israel
Where do you live?: Jerusalem, Israel
Languages: Hebrew, English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Arabic and (very) little Portuguese and Catalan.
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
Since I was a child, I had a hunger for information and knowledge. As a kid I was very interested in Math, Geography and different cultures and places. In high school I started to learn Spanish by myself. I still remember the first that I had a face-to-face conversation in Spanish. In just one second it all felt possible and accessible, it's when I understood that language learning will be something for the long run.
In the past 9 years I've learned Spanish, French, Arabic and Mandarin. I studied some Portuguese for 3 weeks and grabbed some Catalan when I volunteered in south Catalunya for a month, but nothing to serious. Language learning for me is a medium to explore different cultures, ideas, and perspectives. Also, it's just another embodiment of a self-study practice. I'm an autodidact and I believe strongly in the power of self-learning. I think that it's my greatest strength.
A month ago, I launched my language coaching business. This something that I've been thinking about for almost 3 years and it was finally the right time to make it happen. It gave my personal learning journey a boost, and it's also one of the main reasons that pushed me to apply to HYPIA.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
As in every practice and discipline, I believe that a good learners are never satisfied with practice. I want to spend more time in all of my languages, but right now I wish to have some time to read books and to consume content in Spanish because I used to speak and use it a lot and I miss it a little bit ☹
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
I'm an advocate for learning a language for a decent level before jumping into the next one. Also, I think that from a certain level. This language juggling starting to get less cost-effective. This is why I plan to study Japanese and Portuguese until the age of 30 (I'm 25), and then 2 more languages in my 30's. After that we'll see.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
French no question about it. Also, my partner is French so it's kind of a no brainer.
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
There are a lot, but I think that one of the main ones is that moment when you can understand and interact in a new language that was one before something unknown. It's a real magic.
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 think that with the speed that things are changing right now, no one can really tell how the world will be in 100 years, not even in 10 years. For me language learning is something worth while doing right now and for the present time.
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
As a problematic shoe brand like to say JUST DO IT. No really language learning gave so many things – Love, 3 jobs, new ideas/perspective, and countless conversations, and interactions that I wouldn't find myself in otherwise. There are so many reasons for people to live a multilingual life. Everyone just needs to start and then keep going.