Name: John Profaci
Nationality or Ethnicity: American
Where do you live?: Mt. Laurel, NJ
Languages: English Dutch German Yiddish Spanish Portuguese French Italian Romanian Catalan Sicilian Neapolitan Sardinian Lombard Piedmontese Friulian Russian Bulgarian Croatian Ukrainian Slovak polish Turkish Tatar Azeri Uzbek Kazakh Kyrgyz Hindi Gujarati Punjabi Bengali Bhojpuri Marathi Telegu Mandarin Cantonese Jamaican patois Haitian creole Greek Albanian Georgian Arabic Yucatec Mayan Nahuatl
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
I discovered my ability and love for languages when I went to Italy, and learnt fluent Italian before my trip. I enjoyed it so much and even acquired a great accent, and after my trip I discovered many other languages and went on to learn them. When I reached age thirteen I spoke seven languages, and then I proceeded onto learning more and more languages. Now I am twenty-eight years old and I speak some 50 languages very well, while several others I am studying more, for a total of 65 or so languages.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
Well I already practice many of them a lot, especially Mandarin and Spanish.
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
As I've discovered more and more languages, I’ve decided to learn many more still, such as Maithili, Balochi, and Sindhi.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
Without a doubt, the sexiest language is Neapolitan.
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
The greatest pleasure I get is making people smile, making them happy, and seeing their astonished reactions.
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 know in the future, English might seem to be the predominant language, but that doesn't mean more languages won't be preferred by any speakers. English won’t be the only one.
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
Basically for all language learners: enjoy your passion as it's fun, rewarding and great for your cultural and intellectual curiosity.