Learning languages is a great activity to keep your mind active and your memory sharp. Languages have always been a big part of my life growing up in a multilingual environment. I used to associate emotions and memories to the languages I was learning, and the experience became a journey of discovery of a new culture more than a task to accomplish. Here are the languages that I cherish the most!
Learning Russian from scratch was quite the task for me. I remember how overwhelmed I felt when I had my first lesson. Many of the sounds and all of the words and grammar structures were completely new – it was hard but immensely fascinating at the same time. I enjoyed looking for the etymologies of the words to find out the common roots with other languages. But the best part of Russian was writing it! When writing with the Russian alphabet, sentences look elegant and graceful.
Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world and the mother tongue of more than 400 million people around the globe. I decided to learn Spanish when, in my early teenage years, I used to watch Argentinian telenovelas and listen to Spanish songs. The beauty of the Spanish language is, for me, in its pronunciation: I remember being mesmerised at its happy and melodic sound.
- Italian dialects
Italy’s official language, what we might call ‘standard’ Italian, originates from the literary Tuscan dialect spoken in Florence in the 13th century. But growing up in Italy means being surrounded by a multitude of accents and dialects. The dialect spoken in Turin will differ greatly from the one spoken in Naples in terms of vocabulary and pronunciation. I associate these dialects to my origins, my grandmother and the playful rhymes in Neapolitan that she used to sing to me when I was a child.