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Interview with

Ruben Medina

Hyperpolyglot & HYPIA Scholar

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.


Ruben is a Hyperpolyglot and also a HYPIA Scholar. Below is an excerpt from his Scholar internview:


1. HYPIA Research revolves around three main, interrelated activities: a monthly study group (to discuss relevant articles/chapters and videos), an annual conference (to present your own ideas about them) and the publication of selected proceedings from that conference. Ideally, we would be interested in accepting applicants that are able and willing to participate in all 3. On a scale from 1 (most likely) to 10 (less likely), how likely are you commit to this endeavor?

8


2. What are your main areas of research interest? Please, rank the following from 1 (most interesting to you) to 5 (less interesting).

(2)Multilingualism

(4) Language ideologies

(3) Formal linguistics

(3) Sociolinguistics

(5)Minoritized languages and/or language revitalization

(1) Other, please specify: Contrastive analysis of phraseological units


3. Which linguistic concepts / areas / discourses would you like to explore as part of HYPIA Research?

I am a PhD researcher in translations studies performing contrastive analysis of phraseological units at the University of Alicante. I would like to perform further contrastive analysis in multilingual translations.


4. What is unique about your language-related research?

I am a PhD researcher in translations with focus on phraseological units.


5.  Please, let us know your related academic credentials, if and as applicable.
Dr. Ruben Medina Serrano is an experienced practitioner in the field of electronics, who works for a global player based in Germany. He developed several frameworks for improving sustainable practices in the industry as part of his PhD studies, analyzing environmental impacts along the supply chain. In parallel he is part of the research group SIRHO of the University of Alicante (Spain). Ruben does his second PhD in translation and interpretation. He participated as speaker in conferences in Madrid, Moscow, Rome, Berlin, Glasgow, etc. presenting the findings from his research works in the field of translations and supply chain management. Ruben is part of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council represented in Spain by the AMCES and takes part on the working group for hazardous areas of the German ZVEI (German electronic association). Ruben is appointed as adjunct professor for the University of Mosbach in Germany.