Which lingua você habla, mon cher?
Toward a polyglot existence
I always felt great admiration and quite a powerful envy for peoples able to communicate in many languages. It’s frankly something I consider almost necessary, especially from an European view, and it surprise me when I encounter guys of my age which do not known at least another language beside their native one. As I currently live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, here it’s pretty difficult to encounter peoples interested in foreign languages beside English (perhaps because the “great American way of life” still has a deep resonance in so many). However, having so much foreigner customers and friends - in classical orchestra we are used to deal with citizens from the whole worlds, as colleagues or directors - I had contact with many languages. Today, I’m able to communicate myself very well in three languages, English and Portuguese beside my native Italian, but I’m learning my way in Castilian and French.
Castilian, for one who already speak Italian and Portuguese, is very straightforward: when not similar to one, from a strict grammatical and syntactical perspective, is similar to the other. However, it has a phonetics entirely of its own (of course!), which is very different from both. And not easy to master.
French, on the contrary, it’s pretty different and not so intuitive at all. It has a pronunciation very different and, at first sight, entirely disconnected from the written language. When you proceed in learning its rules, however, it gets clear and very elegant. I’m feel very comfortable speaking and hearing French, it seems an extraordinarily familiar language…
I have friends which are able to speak half a dozen languages, when not more. That’s pretty distant from my future, as far as it seems to me, but no one of them speak or understand “dialetto Romagnolo”, the language of my countryside (which I’m able to understand and speak with much effort), which has Etruscan roots: that’s pretty awesome, to me!