The International Association
Name: Suzana Andjelkovic
Nationality or Ethnicity: Serbian
Where do you live?: Belgrade
Languages: Serbo-Croatian, English, Turkish, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Portuguese, Slovak, Chinese
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
First of all, languages are my passion and my life, literally. That means, if for example, I speak only in English or only in Serbian, I get pretty bored and I want to change the language. I guess it’s because of my super gigantic curiosity to discover everything new. It means, whenever I hear a new language, I feel like there are “small lamps” in my brain that “turn on” all the time and I HAVE TO find out everything about that language: how to pronounce it well, understanding the way that language works etc. Secondly, there are awesome people like Richard Simcott (a British polyglot who lives in Macedonia), Benny Lewis (Irish polyglot who wrote the super cool book “Language hacking”) and many other polyglots. However, my biggest challenge is to beat the score of Polish polyglot Andrzey Olszak who speaks more than 27 languages (so we have some kind of competition....who will learn more languages?). Thirdly, the native speakers who motivate you to use their native language and correct your mistakes. This way, they motivate you to use it even if you did not plan to do it. Last but not least, whenever I get this opportunity to speak in the target language with a native speaker (even with a lot of mistakes, no matter if I’m a beginner or not) I am very happy because it means that anyhow I made some progress because it means I can have some kind of conversation, so I almost feel like a child who gets the toy he/she wanted so badly.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
I would invest more time in practicing my German.
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
Chinese and Arabic. Arabic because I have so many friends from Egypt. I find it easier to learn it now that I speak Turkish. There are so many Chinese in Serbia, and that's why it's easier to find a great job if you speak Chinese. I wanna visit those countries one day.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
Spanish from Mexico. It sounds very sweet when pronounced.
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
Making new friendships, learning something new about them and their cultures, it’s something amazing that you cannot describe in words.
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?
Absolutely no. Because deep in myself I truly believe there are a lot of people who are patriotic and who would care about their language etc. With internet as a great tool, I think it would be very very difficult and challenging.
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
W – ill power
O – rganize your time
D – etermination
A – ction and check your results