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Interview with

Jorge Montanari

Name: Jorge Montanari
Nationality or Ethnicity: Argentinian.
Where do you live?: Argentina
Languages: At professional level: Spanish, English, Portuguese, Esperanto. Conversational level: Turkish, French, Euskera, Ancient Greek. I have also learned Croatian and Romanian at a basic level.

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

I have been writing and reading since one month before I turned three years old. At the age of ten, I asked my parents to let me learn (Ancient) Greek, which I did with a personal teacher. As for English, I never studied it formally. I simply listened to a lot of English music, and then at the university I had to get used to reading scientific texts and articles in English. Portuguese was also self-taught during my teenage years. For Esperanto, my father bought me a method book as a gift, and then I studied it formally and obtained my official diploma. Euskera and Croatian were studied as extracurricular activities at the University of Buenos Aires, which offered them for free. As for Turkish, my interest in the language grew after becoming a Galatasaray supporter following their UEFA Cup victory in 2000.


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

I would choose Turkish, without a doubt, as I have been deeply immersed in Turkish culture over the last 15 years.


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

German, Aymara, Swahili, Guaraní.


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

Portuguese.


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

Communicating with people from different places and cultures is something fantastic to me.


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 don’t know, but if that were the case, it would be a tragedy for mankind.


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

If you enjoy studying languages, just go for it. Don't worry about whether a particular language is considered useful. Every language has its own value. Often, when you learn a new language, you also unlock keys to understanding many others related to it.

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