Name: Vladislavs Alehno (Władysław Alechno)
Nationality or Ethnicity: Russian-speaking Polish from Latvia
Where do you live?: Warsaw, Poland
Languages: Russian, Polish, Latvian, English, Japanese, French, Lithuanian, Estonian, Turkish, Azerbaijani
1. What’s your story? How did you get into all these languages?
I was born in a Russian-speaking city in Latvia, but my heritage is Polish. I attended a Polish kindergarten and school, and almost every year I visited Poland to practice language skills. During my early school years, I began learning English on my own. At the age of 13, I enrolled in Modern Greek language courses, which sparked a passion for language learning that has stayed with me, even though I no longer speak the language.
After completing my secondary education, I enrolled at Warsaw University to study European studies and international relations. Later, I switched to Japanese studies, which I studied for three years. Following my studies, I worked as a communication trainer with international teams for six years, utilizing my language skills to deliver effective training. During this time, I also learned Lithuanian, Estonian, and French.
Language has always played a significant role in my personal life, too. My wife is Azerbaijani, so I have a deep connection to the Turkish and Azerbaijani languages. Recently, I have started to share my language learning approach and build community on HelloTalk app. I am also active on Instagram and TikTok under the username @langdao.vlad.
2. Which language(s) do you wish you could spend more time practising?
I wish I could spend more time practising my Turkish, Azerbaijani, Estonian and Japanese languages.
3. What are some languages you’d like to learn in the future?
To truly grasp the course of human kind history, I have a desire to learn Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, and Chinese. Italian holds a special place in my heart, so I must add that to the list. Additionally, I am drawn to the Spanish language and wish to discover the world of South America.
4. So let’s be honest, what’s the sexiest language?
I’ll go in line with popular stereotypes and choose French J
5. What’s the greatest pleasure you get from speaking so many languages?
My pleasure from speaking languages is connection with people, building immediate rapport with people that come from cultures that are so different than mine.
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?
Unfortunately, I think it is true. We hear a lot about animal species extinction, but not so often about dying languages. Each language is a unique model of the world, that evolved through thousands of years. I come from Latvia and the debate about saving the language is very important there. That is why I wanted to speak not only Latvian, but also Lithuanian and Estonian. They don’t have worldwide economic or political influence, but there is so much depth and unique taste of life, so I want to be part of promoting these cultures.
7. What is your message to young (and not so young) people out there who are interested in studying multiple languages?
Follow your purpose, passion, and care about Curiosity. Maybe you don’t see an immediate and obvious reasons for learning the language now, but at some point in life it can become a support and will enrich your life. It helps to be more flexible. It helps to adapt in constantly changing world. It helps to establish ties that otherwise would not be possible. Love languages. Live languages.