Q&A with Mona Pashmineh Azar


Photo by Rose Li.

Q: How many languages do you speak?
A: I speak seven languages.

Q: Which language did you learn first?
A: There wasn’t really a specific language I learned first. My parents just taught me everything at the same time when I was growing up.

Q: What motivated you to learn other languages?
A: I wasn’t motivated. My parents just taught me, and that’s how I talked with them.

Q: Is there another language you want to learn in the future?
A: I would love to learn French and Arabic because the alphabets are very similar to what I already know. Arabic is also such a pretty language.

Q: What advice would you give to others who are trying to learn and speak fluently in a different language?
A: Study and practice. Actually speak it; don’t just look at the words.

Q: How did you learn so many languages and not forget them?
A: I just spoke them often at home with my family. I’ve been speaking in my native tongues a lot more recently.

Q: How does knowing multiple languages help you today?
A: I’m more culturally aware, plus I like listening to gossip when people think I can’t understand.

Q: Is it worth it to learn another language? Do you recommend it to others?
A: Yes, definitely! People who know more languages live longer. Being a polyglot is like having multiple brains. 


by Heather De Jesus, Gianna Geradila, Rose Li & Keira Wong