Name: Oleksii Grushchenko
Nationality or Ethnicity: Ukrainian
Where do you live?: Kyiv, Ukraine
Languages: Ukrainian, Russian (native); English, French, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Czech (fluent); Belarusian, Bulgarian, Croatian (good); Spanish, Italian, Slovenian (functional)
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
I got into all these languages thanks to my close connection to Slavic and Romance culture, active communication with diplomats and intention of developing international contacts around the world.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
Spanish and Italian
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
Portuguese and German.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
English, Slovak, Romanian, Spanish.
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
I take the greatest pleasure in communicating with native speakers, having opportunity to understand people of different nations and cultures better and feeling no language barrier in developing international contacts.
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 ethnic groups will not let their languages and cultures (which are closely intertwined) disappear. If this or that language is actively practiced and properly nurtured, it will never die.
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
As many languages you know, as many times you are a personality. Do not be afraid of learning foreign languages at any age.