Inside Memrise

Meet Chiara and Ángela: our Italian and Spanish language specialists

5E0A3149_1Chiara – Italian Language Specialist from Brescia, Italy

How has your experience of life at Memrise been so far?

In a word, interesting! The first week was like being caught in a tornado of information, with all the new things I learnt and the new people I met, but this only made it more exciting!

What got you into languages?

Well, I started studying languages in high school. The school I chose (Liceo Classico), had Latin and Ancient Greek in addition to all the usual subjects, so that’s when I started getting into translation and languages.

We also had English, and one day, I just decided I wanted to be as good at speaking languages as my English teacher was. So I ended up studying English and Spanish at university!

Which languages do you speak?

Obviously Italian, then English and some Spanish, plus the dialect of my province, Bresciano, which is a variety of Eastern Lombard!

When we Italians talk about dialects, we don’t refer to accents of Italian, but to various local languages that evolved from Latin alongside Italian itself. Most of them are not officially recognised by the Italian legal system, but they are still spoken pretty much all around Italy. Cool, right?!

Which languages are you learning at the moment?

At the moment I’m learning French, but I also want to start learning Japanese soon.

What is the most interesting thing about your language?

I would say the number of gestures that accompany (or even replace) spoken language. Small changes in the movement of your hands could mean a lot of different things!

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What would you recommend to someone learning your language?

Find songs, films and books in Italian. This will make learning words and understanding rules easier and more fun. It worked for me in English!

If you had a language superpower, what would it be?

Be able to quickly memorise huge numbers of words (and their spelling) and, above all, not mix them when I speak different languages. “Sugar” in Italian is “zucchero”, and I once asked my mum to pass me the “sugero”.

 

5E0A3192_1Ángela – Spanish Language Specialist from Palencia (with a “P”, i.e., not Valencia), Spain

How has your experience of life at Memrise been so far?

I’ve been working at Memrise for over a year now and my experience has been quite a ride! My role has been evolving in many ways since I started as a Spanish language specialist. This is something that makes Memrise a great place to work for because you have the opportunity to grow in your role and learn new things constantly.

What got you into languages?

My father! He started teaching me French and English since I was a kid and I got addicted to learning languages and decided to study translation and interpreting.

What is the most interesting thing about your language?

Although it originally comes from Spain, Spanish is now one of the largest languages in the world, spoken by over 400 million people and is an official language in more than 20 countries, in Europe, South, Central, and North America, and Africa.

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What would you recommend to someone learning your language?

Immerse yourself in the culture. Watch soap operas and movies, read, listen to different genres of music (there’s much more to it than just Despacito), and of course, travel! People in Spain and Latin America are extremely open and warm, so they’ll be more than happy to help you practice!

Which languages do you speak?

Spanish, English, French, German and some Portuguese.

Which languages are you learning at the moment?

I am currently focusing on improving my German and French, and in the future, I want to continue learning Arabic, Chinese and Polish.

If you had a language superpower, what would it be?

I’d be able to pronounce Chinese well and be understood easily by native speakers!

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