Name: Juan Pablo Mellado Ledo
Nationality or Ethnicity: Mexican
Where do you live?: In Puebla, Mexico.
Languages: Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Latin, Catalan, Romanian, Finnish and Swedish
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
The first languages were French and German, because I want to read books in those languages, then at the university I had troubles with my schedule, some of my classes started in the morning and others in the afternoon, so I had so much free time. Italian was opened, so I decided to take it. I did, but I had time enough to take other one, it was English. My career was Philosophy, but soon I fell in love with the environment of the faculty of languages, I made new friends. I wanted that kind of life.
Then, when I was studying German, I met a man who was learning Portuguese by his own, I asked him how he was doing that and he recommended me a book, (Assimil) I started to learn the language by my own as he did. I didn’t know anything about the culture, so I didn’t expect anything in particular, I don’t even know that in Portugal people spoke Portuguese. It sounds stupid, but it was how it was. It was Portuguese from Portugal, so the book was always about the culture of Portugal, its music, its food and so on. Fados are songs from Portugal, in YouTube someone called them the Portuguese Blues, I loved them, so I couldn’t stop learning it.
Afterwards, I started to learn Latin, my teacher was Alexis Hellmer, a Latin speaker so known in that world. He taught the importance of the language, the culture and inspired me to be a teacher like him. And finally, Swedish, it was because of music, too. I was learning so many languages in Duolingo, I started to search for music, I found Kent and other groups and I fell in love again.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
Swedish, Latin, Portuguese and German.
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
Dutch, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Catalan and Japanese.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
Reading books, listening to music and meeting new people I could never have met, If I had spoken these languages.
6. Some people say the world is really just going to have a few languages left in 100 years, do you think this is really true?
No, I don’t think so. Languages are important for the culture identity, people need them.
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
You can go anywhere in the world, but so many parts of it you will never really know them, if you don’t know the languages to understand them.