Name: Ruben Medina Serrano
Nationality or Ethnicity: German and Spanish
Where do you live?: in Germany
Languages: Catalan, Spanish, Italian, French, English, German
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
I was born in Madrid and grew up at the beautiful Valencian Mediterranean seaside (where the “Fideuà” was found). I began to learn English with British friends from my parents. I chose to study the Catalan Literature during the high school and studied electronics with focus on power electronics at the camps of the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Parallel, I worked at the Red Cross during all those years as a Baywatch, and in my free time as a voluntary helping people. During all those years, I met so wonderful people from all over the world, just by staying at home. I had the luck to be in the best company so far. As an outgoing person, I like to meet people and just by doing so I start learning words just for fun in French, Finnish, German, Swedish, etc. After a summer time, I got a grant from the University to spend a year in Germany and write my final project course about power electronics in the Region of Cologne (Germany). I remember those funny days when I arrived in Germany and I started talking with the hands. It was in that moment when because of my new Italian friends, I started learning Italian, language which years later I taught at the official language academy in Germany named Volkshochschule. That year was incredible, it was my first time abroad Spain and until now I have visited over 50 countries (Australia, Canada, South Korea, China, USA, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, Saudi Arabian, India, Russia …..mostly all countries in Europe….while always learning traditions and some words of the visited country. I learned French in Brussels and I connected with Portuguese in Belo Horizonte. Travelling is not only my hobby, travelling became a part of me. In 2020, I had planned to visit Peru and Jordanian. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 restrictions I have only visited until now 5 of the 7 Wonders of the World. To be continued…In 2019, I finished my PhD publishing academic papers in English and German…In October 2019, I started a PhD Program in Translations and Interpretations, while working as an auditor in Germany for a global player.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
French, English and Italian.
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
I would like to learn new languages like Croatian, Russian, Turkish, and Portuguese.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
I guess Italian, French, and Spanish.
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
I don’t speak so many languages... I am in a learning journey. It’s great to communicate with others and understand their cultures. Learning languages enables you to connect with people. In fact, languages are a medium or system of communication—the means by which information is transmitted. Thus, the more languages you know, the more people you can communicate with.
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 would say that there is at least in Europe a trend to defend regional identities, which involves cultures and languages. I think in the future there will be more polyglots.
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
Young people already know the current diversity due to globalization. Besides communicating with others, knowing languages is an advantage for studying and working abroad, learning traditions and cultures.
My message to you: keep your curiosity fresh for learning languages while travelling and connect people by learning their culture and language.