I met Natalia at the Polyglot Conference in Novi Sad. I am always impressed when a foreigner can speak Italian as good as a native, sometimes even better than I do.
Who are you and where have you lived in the last 12 months?
My name is Natalia Ursu. I am a student of foreign languages. For the last 12 months I have lived in Udine, Italy.
What languages do you speak?
I speak Russian, which is my mother tongue, Serbian, Italian, English and currently I’m studying French at the university.
Languages are just a hobby or you make money out of them?
Since I’ve moved to Montenegro at the age of 12 I discovered that studying languages is actually easy. I don’t remember when exactly, but I decided that one day I’ll be studying foreign languages. I can’t say that for me studying languages is a hobby, it’s more like preparation for my future job. It’s great when you can make money out of something you love.
Tell us something about your First Time.
My first time? :) Well, despite of difficulties I had by moving to a completely different country it was an amazing experience for me, which inspired me to move on with languages. The first foreign language I’ve learnt was Serbian. I didn’t use any particular techniques, I simply started to go to school, to speak with native people and I did it. Now I consider Serbian my second mother tongue.
Any terrible experience? Like a language you could not learn and you gave up…
I usually never give up, but if I do it’s because I don’t really want to do something. I’ve never started to study a language by my own, every language I speak I learnt it by living in the country where it’s spoken.
As for me, it’s the best way to get to know a language.
Why languages and not…..
I like this question.. :) I believe that’s the only thing I’m really good at :)
Do you have a mentor? Does anybody inspire you?
I don’t have a mentor and nobody to inspire me but myself. It’s a great feeling when you’re able to speak a foreign language like it was your native.
Do you have a secret weapon to learn languages?
Absolutely not. I think there’s no secret weapon, you just read, listen to the music, watch the movies and the most important, you speak to people.
Can you share with us your language learning routine?
I don’t have a routine when it’s about learning languages, because, like I said before, every language I’ve learnt, I did it because of living in the country where it’s spoken. I lived in Montenegro for seven years so I speak Serbian, now I live in Italy for two years. My next place will be somewhere in France :)
Do you try to read/watch content at your level? Is it easy to find?
The language I’m trying to learn currently is French, so yes, I’ve already read some books in French, I listen a lot to French music, and I regularly watch movies in French without subtitles. I can say that it’s very useful and it helps a lot!
Have you already used Bliu Bliu? :)
Not really :) I discovered it a few days ago and I think I’ll use it to improve the languages I already speak.
Your final words: share anything you want with our passionate community of language lovers.
If you want to communicate with people of a different culture, if you want get other people to know your culture, the traditions of your country – the foreign languages are absolutely the best way to do it!
There is an Serbian adverb that says: “ Bogat si onoliko koliko jezika znaš” which means: “ You are as rich as many languages you know”.
How can people get in touch with you…
You can find me on facebook :)