Interview with

Inese Pintane

Hyperpolyglot & HYPIA Scholar

Name: Inese Pintāne
Nationality or Ethnicity: Latvian
Where do you live?: Czech Republic
Languages: Latvian, Lithuanian, English, German, Finnish, Estonian, Czech, Russian, Polish

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

I have no exciting and unique story to tell you. Learning languages was always my passion. I see every language as an unrepeatable system.

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

Perhaps Finnish and Estonian.

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

In the very near future, I would like to learn Italian, Japanese and Korean.

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

My favourites are Finnish and Estonian. To me, they sound very melodic.

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

It helps me to learn how different people perceive and interpret the world around them.

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 have a different opinion. It took thousands of years for languages to develop. Also, it will take more than 100 years for them to disappear. We can find many examples in human history about unsuccessful attempts to force conquered people to forget their mother tongue and speak the tongue of the conqueror. One can compare a language to an organism that undergoes stages of development and tends to adapt to circumstances to survive. Language helps us to orient ourselves in this world. In other words, language is one of the main components of a person's identity determining his/her place in this world.

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

If you have enough big motivation to study them, do it and do it for fun. There is no right age or time to acquire knowledge of languages.

Inese Pintane is also a HYPIA Schiolar. Below is an excerpt of his Scholar interview.

1. HYPIA Research revolves around three main, interrelated activities: a monthly study group (to discuss relevant articles/chapters and videos), an annual conference (to present your own ideas about them) and the publication of selected proceedings from that conference. Ideally, we would be interested in accepting applicants that are able and willing to participate in all 3. On a scale from 1 (most likely) to 10 (less likely), how likely are you commit to this endeavor?


2. What are your main areas of research interest? Please, rank the following from 1 (most interesting to you) to 5 (less interesting).


(3) Language ideologies

(1) Formal linguistics

(2) Sociolinguistics

(5)Minoritized languages and/or language revitalization

( ) Other, please specify: _____________________________

3. Which linguistic concepts / areas / discourses would you like to explore as part of HYPIA Research?

I am interested in studying the structure and functions of languages (Saussure, Peirce, Hjelmslev, Jakobson, Derrida, Deleuze, Sebeok).

4. What is unique about your language-related research?

Currently, I am analysing Lithuanian folk tales from a linguistic perspective. By studying their language, I would like to find out how the structure and functions of the given folk tales have changed over time and detect the main differences between folk and fairy tales.

5.  Please, let us know your related academic credentials, if and as applicable.

PhD, Slavic philology (Charles University in Prague)

Mgr., Media and communication studies. Electronic culture and semiotics (Charles University in Prague)

BA, Finno-Ugric studies (The University of Latvia)