I have never thought as a child that I would end up speaking 6 languages and continuing to learn some more!
Growing up in a small town in Northern Italy, I was exposed to German at a very young age; as half of the region I grew up was German speaking. Nevertheless, the love of exploring the world and meeting people of other cultures came really from my parents, who always encouraged us children to learn languages and to travel.
Languages never dictated my choice in terms of education but they have been always part of it, from school to university I already studied 3 languages – then the desire to experience life other countries determined the rest of my life and added more languages to my portfolio.
Over the years I worked and lived in America, Germany, Kazakhstan, Russia and finally life brought me to Guernsey. While living and working in all these countries, I had the opportunity to travel extensively in North America, Central Asia, Europe, Africa and father afield for business and for pleasure – and languages helped me along the way!
New jobs and careers came along thanks to my languages, as well as a foreign husband and bilingual children. Had I never spoken any of them or left my little hometown, my life would have been very different and certainly not so colourful, varied and interesting!
There is no doubt to my belief that knowing other languages can open doors to a much more interesting life. It is not important how well you speak them, it is not about perfection, but it is all about wanting to relate to others and understand their culture, enjoying the diversity and richness within them while being proud of your own origin!