Name: Valentino Krauss
Nationality or Ethnicity: Argentina
Where do you live?: Kingdom of the Netherlands
Languages: Spanish (native), English, Italian, Latin, French (fluent), Portuguese, Dutch, German (intermediate)
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
Ever since I was a child I have always been interested in languages. It seemed almost magical to me that people could have ways of life and cultures so different from my own. I started learning English at school when I was about five years old. Then I began to study many languages on my own and later, when I was 17, I moved to a Latin-speaking community in Italy, where I was able to practise my Italian and Latin. I also learned Romanesco or Romanaccio there, the Italian dialect of Rome. I have also been to the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Brazil, and whenever I go to a certain place I feel the need to understand what the locals say in their own languages. This is how I have been learning and practising these languages over the years. Out of curiosity, I have also studied other languages, namely Ancient Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Anglo-Saxon, Hawaiian and Esperanto, but although I can understand a few words and phrases here and there in these languages, my knowledge is very basic and not yet conversational.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
German and Dutch for sure because of the important role they play in my life.
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
I am interested in learning Swiss-German, Frisian, Luxembourgish, and also some Asian languages such us Mandarin Chinese.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
Nada tan caliente como el español.
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
By understanding other people’s languages I get to understand their culture and make more comprehensive and understanding choices, taking into consideration other people’s customs. It is also great to be able to communicate with most people in the world in their native tongue.
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?
It seems quite probable to me. Having different languages isn’t really efficient and people try to use as few resources as possible when communicating with each other. Plus, from an empirical point of view, we have seen a decline in the quantity of spoken languages. Most people in the world speak at least one of the top three most spoken languages.
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
To practice a lot, to make mistakes and to develop a passion for learning!