‘Because It Has Sentimental Value For Me’

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A friend of mine P. sent me a link today from a BBC story, about a 20-year-old young man Alex Rawlings who won a national competition to find the UK’s most multi-lingual student. He speaks 11 languages fluently!

The story is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17107435, and there is a video where he uses all these languages to tell why and how he learnt these languages and what he found about the difference in languages, as well as his plan to learn more.

21 February 2012 Last updated at 06:33

Twenty-year-old Alex Rawlings has won a national competition to find the UK’s most multi-lingual student.

The Oxford University undergraduate can currently speak 11 languages – English, Greek, German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Afrikaans, French, Hebrew, Catalan and Italian.

Entrants in the competition run by the publishers Collins had to be aged between 16 and 22 and conversant in multiple languages.

Alex drew on all his skills to tell BBC News about his passion for learning languages and how he came to speak so many.

What strikes me most in this story is that he said, among all these 11 languages, his favorite is Greek, ‘because I’ve spoken it since childhood. It has sentimenal value for me’. I think this is a great point – if you link a language with all the sweet memories of childhoold and your parents/family, then the language is no longer just a language, but about who you are, where you are from, and what you are made of.

This is why I think any child deserves to be brought up with all the languages – and everything that goes with the languages – that hold value to her roots.

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