Name: Orlando Regalado
Nationality or Ethnicity: Cuban
Where do you live?: Cuba
Languages: Spanish, English, French, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, German, Russian, Czech, Modern Standard Arabic
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
I am a native Spanish speaker, English was the first foreign language I learnt at age 11, because my grandfather put me up to it. Ever since then I grew fond of language learning and I’m always eager for more. Most other languages I started to learn in some specialized language school, except for Russian that I learnt on my own. I have never left my country but I practice my other languages with clients and friends.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
Portuguese and Arabic, I get to practice them every once in a while but I would like to go live in a native environment at some point in my life.
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
At first those that I already got started with: Serbian, Dutch. Further in the future Chinese Mandarin and Turkish. Maybe also Japanese,Thai, Mongolian and Yoruba. But to be honest, any language will be fine, as long as I never stop.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
Arabic, those gutural sounds have something especial.
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
Getting to know so many different people. It is also very rewarding to see the smile on their faces when you speak their language and they appreciate the time and effort you’ve put to learning it.
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?
It seems very likely but I want to be optimistic. Many specialists out there are working to rescue this invaluable languages from being lost, if they will succeed, only time will tell.
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
Go for it, the more languages you speak, the cooler you are. This is a fact, everybody loves to show you off, to talk about you. If I had known this before, I would speak twice as many languages now.