Interview with

Sergio Pardo

Name: Sergio Pardo

Nationality or Ethnicity: Catalan of Andalusian descent
Where do you live? Barcelona

Languages: Catalan, Spanish, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Galician, Basque, German

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

Since  I am still really young, my story is kind of short. I have always loved  languages, ever since I was a little kid, when I used to study the  cyrillic alphabet and basic German and Russian vocabulary (even though  it obviously did not work that easily). Spanish and Catalan are my  native languages. My family taught me Spanish and I learnt Catalan at  kindergarten and school, which were monolingually Catalan. I have been  studying English for my whole life, and still do. I mainly learnt it  using Internet and studying in language academies. French was the  secondary foreign language taught at my school and I went to an academy  to study German. Despite this, I also learnt a great part of these  languages by myself. I did not need to study from a textbook in order to  learn Italian, Portuguese and Galician. It was enough with listening to  music, watching series, talking to native speakers, reading books that  were meant for natives… Much more of an immersive experience than I had  with German, for instance. Learning Basque was a totally new and  absolutely refreshing experience. I borrowed some self-learning books  from the library in order to learn it and it worked perfectly for me. It  was the first time that I learnt such a different language from the  ones I already spoke and I was amazed to discover that I was able to  achieve such knowledge of such a challenging language.

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

Believe  me or not, I wish I studied English more deeply than I currently do.  The same applies to French. Sometimes the constant will to learn new  languages leaves no time to practise those that you already know.

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

Although the list is huge, right now I am especially interested in Indonesian, Swedish and Latin.

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

Deep Menorcan Catalan is clearly the sexiest language out there.

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

The  look in the eyes of a minority language speaker when you speak their  own language. It just makes you feel like all that you did to learn it  was absolutely worth it.

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  believe that this would be the natural tendency in a world in which  globalisation is increasingly winning power. Despite this, I believe  that if we all work together to preserve them we’ll be able to keep them  all going for long. Each country’s government obviously plays a key  role in this matter.

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

Never  procrastinate, there are tons of people out there that would love to  learn languages and they do not. This is often not because they are not  capable of it, but because they have not even started yet. Sometimes  they do start but give up soon because of a lack of motivation. My  advice is: write down what moves you to learn that language and always  keep it in mind. Set up progressive goals and approach them step by  step. The more languages you know, the easier it gets to learn another  one!.

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

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