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MICHAL: welcome to Poland, we are in Poznan and we have the pleasure and opportunity to speak with 3 great polyglots, can you introduce yourselves please?

RICHARD: my name is Richard Simcott and I am from the UK, I have been in Poland now for a month trying to improve my polish and my passion in life is to study different languages

SUSANNA: my name is Susanna Zaraysky and I live in California and I just arrived yesterday to meet with these 2 guys for the first time and I actually don’t speak Polish and I have just arrived in Poland and Poznan is a beautiful city

Italian

LUCA (accento del Nord): buongiorno a tutti, io parlo in italiano perchè loro hanno già parlato in inglese e quindi io parlo nella mia lingua madre, mi chiamo Luca Lampariello, sono qui con loro..lavoro come language coach, mi piacciono lingue come piacciono a Richard e a lei naturalmente,  e sono qua per incontrarli per fare video e per divertirsi qui in Polonia, e questo è più o meno tutto.

(Hello everyone! I’ll speak in Italian because these two have already spoken in English. So I will speak in my mother tongue. My name is Luca Lampariello and I’m here with these guys. I work as a language coach. Like Richard and Susanna, I like languages. We’re here together in Poland to make videos and to have fun.)

RICHARD: l’accento mi piace molto
(I like your accent a lot)

SUSANNA: bellissimo il tuo accento
(Your accent is beautiful).

LUCA: Ti piace? Ah che bello, l’ho cambiato, come il motorino, si modificano
(You like it? Oh good! I changed it like the speeds on a moped).

MICHAL: great, let’ s start a conversation,  how do you guys manage not to confuse all the languages that you use?

LUCA: comincia sempre il re delle lingue, sempre lui
(The Kinf of languages should start).

RICHARD (American accent): Well, I guess I’d say that what I have done all my life is to use languages and accents all the time to make jokes or just practice using the language in different ways and I found that that’s a thing that I have to do every day …  and that’s what I do every day so different people,and in my life generally in Macedonia I would use 10 languages maybe in a week, and then for work also I would us an extra maybe 6-7 languages and that helps me practice all the time

SUSANNA (English): If I know I have a TV interview in Spanish the night before I won’t listen to music in Portuguese or anything else in any other language because it has happened to me that in a TV interview in Spanish I stop..because I have Russian or some other language in my brain so that is kind of difficult. Another thing  with confusion is that I have that with Russian..I have been working right now in Sarajevo, Bosnia and I do sometimes  confuse these 2 languages , it is just human, stopping in the middle of a sentence and think about what word to use..What happens is that I try to distinguish ..so I get used to people’s voice in each language..

LUCA (italiano): dopo queste risposte così ben articolate, per quanto mi riguarda tante persone pensano per esempio che sia impossibile non mischiare le lingue perché per esempio quando se ne parlano due, già c’è un sacco di gente che ti chiede “Luca io ne parlo solo 2 ed è già una confusione totale” , però nel mio caso è sempre una questione del modo in cui si imparano le lingue, se uno impara le lingue uno dopo l’altra, cioè non necessariamente ne devi imparare 4 insieme, per esempio il portoghese il rumeno e l’italiano se le impari tutte insieme si confondo, quindi saper distinguere le lingue è al è principio risultato di come imposti il tuo studio e poi come imposti la tua vita.

(After these well articulated responses… There are people who think that it’s impossible not to mix up languages. They tell me “Luca, I only speak two languages and it’s total confusion.” But in my case, it’s always a question of how you learn your languages. If you learn one language after another, meaning that you don’t need to learn 4 at once. For example, if you learn Portuguese, Romanian and Italian at the same time, you will confuse them. So knowing how to distinguish languages is really about how you structure the way you study and how you organize your life).

Per esempio Richard diceva.. voi adesso lo vedete davanti alle telecamere però nella vita reale parla con la bicicletta in polacco, con il gong in cinese, cioè lui parla tutte le lingue possibili in tutte le situazioni, quindi praticamente funziona che quando uno ha imparato , come penso anche io, le lingue stanno in diversi posti del cervello. Se tu sei in grado..vedi la persona con cui stai parlando e la situazione, alla fine non ti confondi perché si attiva solo una parte del cervello. Nel mio caso non confondo le lingue perché ormai come Richard le lingue le parlo tutti i giorni a livello professionale per lavoro etc, ci sono delle lingue sono più forte di altri.

(For example, Richard was saying… Now you see Richard in front of the video camera, but in real life, he speaks to the bicycle in Polish, to the gong in Chinese. He speaks all the languages he can in all different situations. This is how it works when you have studied languages well. I also think that languages are stored in different parts of your brain. If you are able to … You choose which language to use with which person and you are not confised because you are only activating one part of your brain. I don’t confuse my languages, because, like Richard, I speak them every day at a professional level for my work. There are some languages which are stronger than others).

L’esempio del tedesco e l’olandese, nel caso del tedesco e l’olandese sono simili per certe cose, o spagnolo e portoghese.. il mio spagnolo e tedesco sono dominanti, essendo dominanti, le lingue come portoghese e olandese si appoggiano ci sono piccole interferenze, però con il tempo si riescono a distinguere i posti e le persone, le lingue le separi nella testa, diventi una cosa normale e alla fine riesci a gestire 10-20 lingue, e non è un miracolo, è realtà, basta saperle utilizzare. Se io so che con lei paro inglese, con te francese e con lui polacco, rimarranno lingue separate nella mia testa. Ho parlato troppo, gli Italiani sono prolissi, parlano e parlano..

(For example, German and Dutch have some similarities, like Spanish and Portuguese. My Spanish and German are my dominant languages. So there are some small interferences with Dutch and Portuguese but with time, you learn to distinguish the places and people where you use certain languages. You separate them in your mind and it becomes a normal thing to maintain and coordinate 10-20 languages. It’s not a miracle, it’s just about knowing how to do it. I know that with you, Susanna, I speak in English, with him in French and with him in Polish. They languages are separated in my brain. I have spoken too much.  Italians are verbose, they talk and talk…)

SUSANNA: ma cosa fai quando vai a questo bar poliglotta a Parigi, cosa fai per no avere dei problemi, dopo 1 birra, o 2 ..o forse 3

(What do you do prevent having problems confusing languages after having 1, 2 or 3 beers at the Polyglot Bar in Paris?)

LUCA: dopo 5 birre..no il problema è questo e e ne ho anche discusso con i miei amici. Quando vado a Polyglot mi fonde la testa, nel senso che dopo un po’ parlo con un amico..ecco vedi, per la confusione..se tu vai li per praticare una lingua allora ti conviene sederti, prendere un taccuino, prendi qualcosa su cui scrivere e pratichi 1 o 2 lingue..io ci vado perché ho tanti amici, quindi alla fine c’è una confusione totale..ma nel giro di dieci minuti mi giro e parlo in russo, mi giro e parlo in cinese…lì veramente puoi confonderti un po’.

(After 5 beers, that’s not the problem:) I’ve discussed this with my friends. When I go to the Polyglot Bar, I have a brain melt. You talk to one friend for a bit… And then, you’re confused. If you go there to speak in just one language, then you are best off to sit down, take a notebook and something to write with and practice one or two languages. I go there because I have a lot of friends there and at the end, it’s total confusion. In a 10 minute period, I may turn to speak to someone in Russian and then I turn and speak to someone else in Chinese. You can really get confused there).

Dipende come lo fai. se vai li per rilassarti e per parlare solo in una lingua va bene, ma io i vado là per parlare con tutti. Quindi non è più pratica linguistica, quanto stare con la gente. Se vuoi veramente alzarlo allora la maniera migliora passare un’intera giornata con una sola persona. Ti alzi la mattina, fai colazione, le chiedi “com’è andata la doccia”, ci fai una chiacchera sul senso della vita, devi passare tutta la giornata – possibilmente una settimana – però già una giornata in una sola lingua..poi passi ad un’altra, se fai 100 lingue in una serata ti fonde il cervello.

(It depends on how you do it. If you go there to relax and speak in just one language, that’s fine. But I go there to speak to everyone. It’s more of a social thing than a language practice thing. If you really want to improve your level in a language, you should spend the whole day with one person speaking in that langauge. You get up in the morning, eat breakfast, ask them about their shower, and then you have a chat about the meaning of life… you should spend the whole day together, maybe even a week. But a whole day in one language, and then another one. If you do a 100 languages in one evening, your brain will melt).

Magari impari, però è più bello e più profondo passare un’intera giornata – se vuoi espandere le tue lingue. Questa almeno è la mia idea. Puoi fare tante cose, non fai una sola cosa, ne fai tante, magari passi una giornata intera, poi pasi una giornata a fare altro e poi vai a Polyglot.. quindi è tutto, riesci a integrare tutte queste attività insieme.

(Maybe you will learn something, but it’s nicer to spend the entire day together with someone if you want to improve your language level. This is my idea. You can do a lot of things, don’t do just one thing. Do several. Maybe spend the whole day with one person, and then another day with someone else in another language and then you go to the Polyglot Bar. And that’s how you manage to do all of these things together).

SUSANNA: sì,..e dopo non hai l’Alzheimer?

(And then you don’t have Alzheimer’s disease?)

LUCA: L’Alzheimer potrebbe arrivare..no adesso stiamo scherzando ma dicono che parlare tante lingue aiuta a ritardare l’Alzheimer o altre cose, io sinceramente da quando parlo le lingue in maniera professionale, prima non era professionale, era un hobby, adesso io penso più velocemente, cioè il mio cervello lavora molto più rapidamente, e questo non solo per le lingue ma tutto il resto.

Ieri per esempio stavo parlando con una amica sua, e mi diceva “luca parli un sacco”, lei è rimasta alla prima e io sono già alla quarta idea il che può essere meno rilassante per le persone che sono davanti perché pensi troppo rapidamente, ma per l’Alzheimer va bene, se riesco ad arrivare a 80-90 anni, perchè se mi faccio 5 birre ogni volta che vado a Polyglot dopo 50 anni sono andato..

(We could still get Alzheimer’s disease. We are joking about this. But researchers say that speaking various languages could delay Alzheimer’s disease and other things. Since I’ve been speaking various languages at a professional level, before it was just a hobby, my brain has been working much faster. This isn’t just for languages, but for other things too.

For example, yesterday, I was talking to one of your friends and she said to me “Luca talks a lot”. She was still on her first idea and I was already thinking of idea number four. It’s not as calm or relaxing for the people I am talking to because I think so fast, but for preventing Alzheimer’s this is a good idea if I can be 80 or 90 years old. Because if I have 5 beers everytime I go to the Polyglot Bar after going there for 50 years…)

SUSANNA: quindi dobbiamo fare una altro video, non so, fra 50-60 anni e vedere se abbiamo l’Alzheimer..

(So we should do another video in 50-60 years and see if we have Alzheimer’s disease).

LUCA: A 70 anni se siamo vivi innazitutto, e poi se siamo vivi, se abbiamo o no l’Alzheimer..sicuro di no

(First we need to see if we are still alive when we are 70 and if we are still alive, we can see if we have Alzheimer’s or not. I am sure we won’t).

French

SUSANNA: En fait, j’aimerais savoir parce que tu parles 6 langues slaves, le russe le bulgare, le tchèque le polonais le macedonien et la langue que t’avais appris à Sarajevo, qu’est-ce que tu fais, parce que c’est 6 langues, moi en fait quand j’étais en Macedoine, quand on me parlait en macedonien je répondais en Serbo-croate..et donc, qu’est-ce que tu fais pour ne pas les confondre?

(Since you speak six Slavic languages, Russian, Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, Macedonian and the language you learned in Sarajevo, what do you do? That’s six languages. I know that when I was in Macedonia, people spoke to me in Macedonia and I understoon them but I responded in Serbo-Croatian. What do you do to not get the languages confused?)

RICHARD: En fait c’est très difficile avec les langues slaves, parce que.. ici en Pologne, je suis en train d’apprendre le polonais, il faut que je fasse un effort énorme pour communiquer avec les gens en polonais, donc si je parlais maintenant en bulgare ou bien en serbo-croate, c’est très difficile, mais quand je suis en Angleterre ou en Macedoine chez moi c’est plus facile parce que je parle anglais avec ma fille, francais allemande et espagnol et puis je parle en macedonien avec ma femme donc c’est plus facile. Mais ici si je suis en train de faire quelque chose comme l’apprentissage du polonais il faut que je réfléchisse parce que j’ai plein de mots dans la tete donc le résulat c’est inmporte quoi avec les autres langues..

(Actually, it’s very difficult with Slavic languages. Here in Poland I am learning Polish. I have to make a big effort to communicate with people in Polish. So I if were speaking in Bulgarian or in Serbo-Croatian right now, it would be very difficult. It’s very difficult. But in England or at home in Macedonia, it’s easier because I speak in English with my daughter, French, German and Spanish, and then I speak in Macedonian with my wife. So it’s easier. But here I am trying to learn Polish and I have to think hard because I have a lot of Polish words in my head. And the result is a mess with the other languages).

SUSANNA: Et moi je sais que quand je pense je mélange les mots dans ma tete, quand je suis en train de parler avec les gens je dois toujours penser si ces gens comprennent cette langue, c’est moi qui va faire la traduction dans la tete est-ce que vous avez la meme chose ou est-ce quand vous parlez francais vous ne parlez que du francais ou l’espagnol ou quoi que ce soit comme langue?

(I know that when I am thinking, my thoughts come in various languages in my head. But when I am speaking to people I have to always figure out which person speaks which language so I know in which language to speak to them. I am the one who has to translate my thoughts in my head. Do you two have the same thing? Or do you stick to one language when you are thinking and speaking, be it French, Spanish or some other language?)

RICHARD: moi je change tout le temps. Avec ma fille par exemple elle pourrait me parlait en anglais francais espagnol ou allemand.ou bien aussi en macedonien, donc les 5 langues sont les langues de la maison quoi, et dans la rue c’est possible de parler albanais ou en turc, et bien en serbo-croate, et puis..notre langue!

(I change languages all the time. For example, my daughter could speak to me in English, French, Spanish or German or even in Macedonian. So these are the five languages of the house. And on the street, I could speak in Albanian, Turkish, or Serbo-Croatian (“our language”)).

SUSANNA: Naš jezik.

(Our language).

RICHARD: Donc, oui, et si je vais en Bulgarie ou bien en Grèce je cherche à communiquer avec les gens en grec ou en Bulgare. C’est toujours comme ca, c’est ma vie en général, et quand j’étais à la fac en Angleterre et en France, en Espagne en Tchquie (République Tchèque) c’était pareil je parle avec beaucoup de gens en plusieures langues, allemand, espagnole, czech, russe, ca aide beaucoup.

(So if I go to Bulgaria or in Greece, I try to speak to people in Bulgarian or Greek. It’s always like that in my life. When I was in university in England, France, Spain or the Czech Republic, it was the same thing. I spoke to many people in various languages, German, Spanish, Czech, Russian. This helps a lot).

SUSANNA: Toi tu ne vas jamais avoir d’Alzheimer toi!

(You are never going to get Alzheimer’s disease!)

RICHARD: on sait jamais

(One never knows).

Spanish

SUSANNA: Y tú, cuando estás hablando, ¿te sale todo en un idioma o te sale una mezcla de todo?

(And you, when you speak, does everything come out in one language or do you mix it all up?)

LUCA: Pues sinceramente el problema es cuando hablo con la gente – Richard es una excepción – pero en general cuando hablo en español hablo con un español, cuando hablo en francés hablo con un francés o una francesa, o sea yo utilizo los idiomas con nativos, normalmente Me gusta charlar con políglotas pero ya que no muchas personas saben hablar, dominan un montón de idiomas.. nomalmente no me confundo..por ejemplo Ernest, es un amigo catalán que vino a mi casa, y solo le hablo en español.

(The problem is when I speak to people. Richard is an exception, but usually when I am speaking Spanish, I am speaking to a Spaniard.  When I am speaking in French, I am speaking to a French person. I usually use languages with native speakers. I like to speak to polyglots, but there are few people who know how to speak a lot of languages, so I don’t get confused. For example, my Catalan friend Ernest came to my house and we only spoke in Spanish).

Estaban 2 amigos, David y una amiga americana, y con ellos solo inglés. Así que me giraba por ejemplo y le hablaba en inglés porque le identificaba como inglés,  mi cerebro trabaja como..persona-idioma. Esta persona habla español entonces yo con ella no me voy a confundir y solo le hablo en español, y después había mi amigo Valerio y le hablaba en italiano. Entonces no me confundo. Lo que pasa, podría confundirme – pues con Richard me he acostumbrado –  si esta persona cambia de repente y es la misma persona y la misma identidad, y habla otro idioma me puedo confundir en el sentido de que lo que me confunde es que la misma persona habla muchos idiomas.

(There were two other friends at my house at the same time, David (English) and an American friend, with them I only spoke in English. So when I turned to them, I only spoke in English to them because I identified them as English speakers. My brain associates people by their language. This person speaks Spanish so I won’t get confused if I speak to him or her only in Spanish. My friend Valerio was also at my house and I spoke to him in Italian. This way, I don’t get confused. What does happen is that if a certain person suddenly switches languages, I can get confused but this is only with people who speak lots of languages.  With Richard, I am used to switching languages).

Pero en general si hay 10 nativos aquí que hablan 10 idiomas diferentes y les hablo a cada uno en su idioma no me confundo. Si hablamos todos juntos y uno dice una cosa en ruso, el otro le contesta en español después puede pasar si hay dos idiomas parecidos como español y el portugués uno tras el otro.. puede pasar, pero normalmente me gusta charlar con una persona en un idioma. Es lo que hago yo normalmente. identificación  de persona e idioma

(But in general, if there are 10 native speakers who speak 10 different languages and I speak to each of them in their language, I don’t get confused. If we all speak at the same time and one says one thing in Russian and the other responds in Spanish, then I could get confused if there are two similar languages like Spanish and Portuguese right after each other,. But usually I like to speak to one person in one language. This is what I usually do. I identify the language with the person).

Russian

SUSANNA:Когда я была в Калифорнии меня спрашивали: «Почему ты едешь в Польшу на 3 дня?» Потому что я была в Сараево. Вы знаете у меня очень редко есть такая возможность говорить, как я думаю. Я надеюсь, что я с Вами…Ричард, у нас с тобой 7, а с тобой 6, так что я могу всё мешать и ты будешь меня понимать и я надеюсь, что ты меня понимаешь, когда я говорю.

(When I was back in California, people asked me why I was going to Poland for three days. I was in Sarajevo before this. I told them, “You know it’s rare for me to have the opportunity to speak as I think in different languages. With Richard I share 7 languages and with Luca, six. So I can mix up all of languages and you will, hopefully understand me when I speak.)

LUCA: Л. Конечно, более, менее…

(Of course. More or less).

SUSANNA: Для мен это такая редкость и я, когда читала эту книгу  «Babel No More» (Michael Erard), oн там сказал xто какие-то полиглоты чувствуют, что у них всегда в голове цензура, потому что они всегда должны думать: « Я хочу это сказать, но этот меня не понимает.» У них всегда идёт такой перевод.

У меня всегда была такая мечта, что я могу просто говорить, как я думаю, так что я очень рада с Вами познакомиться, потому что я могу просто…

(This is such a rarity for me. When I was reading Michael Erard’s book, “Babel no More”, he said that there are polyglots who have this auto-censorship in their heads. So when they are thinking of something in a particular language, they have to figure out who will understand them. This one doesn’t understand me. That person doesn’t understand me, etc. So they are always translating. I always had this dream to be able to talk to people as I think. So I am very happy to meet you two because I can just…)

RICHARD: Мне тоже. Я думаю, когда я говорю в доме, в Македонии мне не надо цензуровать. Я могу говорить с женой и с дочерью по-английски, по-македонски, по-французки, по-испански. Для меня это без проблем. Сейчас вот с тобой и с Лукой вполне тоже. Сейчас очень приятно говорить с людьми, которые говорят на разных языках. Я думаю, что это очень важное дело для меня. Это не было возможно, когда я был ребёнком в Британии.

(At home in Macedonia, I also don’t have to censor myself because I can speak in English, Spanish, German, Macedonian or French with my wife and daughter. I can do this without a problem. But with you and Luca, it’s very pleasant to speak to other people with whom I can speak in lots of different languages. When I was a kid in England, this wasn’t possible).

LUCA: Ну конечно!

(Yes, of course.)

RICHARD: А сейчас с Интернетом это возможно!

(But now with the Internet, it is).

LUCA: Это очень приятно говорить с людьми, как с Вами, потому что возможно говорить на многих языках с тобой, с тобой и с тобой тоже. На самом деле я думаю, что если я могу говорить на одном языке с человеком – ты знаешь, что это очень приятно! Я думаю, что приятно говорить на языках!

(Of course. It is very pleasant to speak to people like you two because we can speak in many languages.With you, with you and with you… If I can speak in one language with a person, it is pleasant. In general, it’s great to speak in different languages).

SUSANNA: Иначе мы здесь бы не были!

(Of course. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here).

Related links:

RICHARD –> Visit  Richard’s website,  his Facebook fan page and his Youtube channel

- SUSANNA –> Check out Susanna’s websiteFacebook fan page and Youtube channel

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