The International Association
Name: Gastón Ignacio Martínez
Nationality or Ethnicity: Argentinian / Latino
Where do you live? Puerto Iguazú, Misiones, Argentina
Languages (In order of Fluency): Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, Italian, Russian, German, Swedish, Polish, Greek, Dutch, Romanian, Welsh, Irish Gaelic, Egyptian Arabic, Hindi, Mandarin Chinese.
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
I started to learn English because it is a must to get a job in the tourism industry, which is the most important one
where I live. My next language was French and thanks to that, I realized I wanted to continue learning more. I tend to start with one and then go for the one that is similar to the previous so that I can compare them. That is pure joy to me. I choose a language and then I go to music because that is a great way to pick up new words and get involved with their culture.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
I work as a receptionist so that is a great environment to train yourself. I get to speak languages such as English, French or German almost everyday but there are some other for which I struggle to get native speakers. That is the case with Greek, Romanian or Polish so that has to be my answer.
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
So far, I’ve only learned European languages. I would like to maybe add Finnish or Hungarian to the list and then
finally start with Asia. Japanese is always calling my name.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
II don’t reckon French or Italian to be that sexy or romantic. No, no. I would say Slavic languages take the crown, maybe Czech? Now that’s sexy.
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
I love being able to sing songs from many different countries and actually understanding the lyrics. Also, it’s indescribable how happy it makes me to see people get excited from the fact I speak their language, mostly when it’s a non-common one.
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?
Well, it is a fact many languages die out with time. Many reasons like very few native speakers or social media not offering content on them, which doesn’t make people want to learn them. So yes. There will definitely be less but then again, there are many revival movement today and pride in speaking one’s own tongue so hopefully a big amount of them will remain.
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
If it’s your first time learning a language, take it slow and learn one at a time because you have to fins your methods and see what is easier for you. Also, don’t be scared to make mistakes because we make them even in our native language so yes. Speak as much as possible and if you take lessons, don’t just speak it during class but outside as well, make it a part of you.