Interview with

Pedro Perebal Perez

Name: Pedro Manuel Perebal Pérez
Nationality or Ethnicity: Guatemalan, of K’iche ethnicity.
Where do you live?: Mexico City
Languages: Spanish, Maya K’iché, English, Italian, Greek, German, Swedish, French, Chinese, Romanian, Swedish, Japanese and Portuguese.

Learning Turkish, Nahuatl, Dutch.

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

I  began to learn languages when I was 11 years old, at home. I began to  study with an English dictionary called William Bantam; it helped me a  lot during seven years learning by myself. Moreover, I went to take  practices with the Tourist Guide each Sunday. Therefore, he told me how  was my English pronunciation, three years after I began learning  English, I began with the other languages with the same English method.  Some people ask me how I learned all those languages, nevertheless I did  anything to get it day after day I was reviewing each language. Each  sunset I was practicing my lessons 6 hours daily in the mom’s kitchen, I  didn’t give up, on the contrary, my hope was so huge and when I saw the  Tourist car my shuddered heart began to say: may I be there too  someday. We were so poor that we had not money to pay a formal English  course; therefore, I said to myself that no matter the difficulties on  the way, I would succeed. Everybody began to say, why do you want to  learn languages? I said, for me it is great to speak different languages  nowadays.

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

I  think Chinese, German, Japanese and Russian, because those languages  has an extensive grammar, usually I study 6 hours daily Sunday to  Saturday. It is not a short learning because it needs a huge dedication  according our available time. Even so I love with all my heart to know  those languages like my powerful tool of life, although it needs a huge  study even so I like could to speak with the people from those  languages, no matter if it take a long time, the most pleasant thing is  to achieve it without excuses, as I said before. Maybe to learn some  Asiatic languages and years after I got it.

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

Well,  it is a good question. I would like to learn Hebrew, Korean, Norwegian  or Hindi. Inasmuch as those languages inspire me to continue with my  present learnings without turns back, I dream to speak unless 60  languages therefore I need to strive me with my lessons. I can’t let my  goals forsaken as if was anything on the streets, in spite of I would  like to learn native languages from Mexico as well the world around.I  will be somebody who ransom some native languages wherefore it do not  stay on the forgetfulness rather become alive again.

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

I  think French and Italian, but I like more French. It is a Romance  language, it is a sweet language thence I am proud to have learned  French as foreign language. In my opinion, all the languages are special  but French is unique, without excuses.

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

No  words to explain what I feel inside. When I got to pronounce my first  words in English, my brain began to work with both languages  (English-Spanish), and day after day, the more I learn, the more I feel  confident learning. In spite of the scarcery of books and learning  material, there’s always a room for keeping learning. The joy in my  heart it’s so huge that I have no words to describe it. I am so happy  and blessed.

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 think so. Although there are more popular and mainstream  languages than others, there are many people learning different  languages, even though native ones: we must to save all of them if it’s  possible. In my case, I would like to learn native languages in order  not to face extinction.

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

I  want to tell you that if really we want to become a Hyperpolyglot,  never say never to your dreams no matter how hard be it, I challenge you  to continue with your learnings according the language that you have  chosen to learn. No matter where we are from: color, economic position  or age. We can do it my dear friends, when I began to learn my first  foreign language, somebody told me: hey, guy, come on, I know you can do  it! So, the same thing I am telling you. We are a huge family, my dear  friend, and we must be the change on the society. Moreover, we must to  teach how useful are languages no matter which be the language to learn.  Nowadays I’m living in Mexico City and I thank HYPIA for that chance.

The International Association of Hyperpolyglots - HYPIA. (c) 2020

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