Easing into multilingualism

Mastering six languages sounds like a slog, right? But in some corners of Europe, it happens—maybe not effortlessly, but more easily than in, say, Ohio. Gaston Dorren grew up speaking Limburgish at home, and Dutch at school. He fell in love in German and picked up Spanish in Latin America, all the while keeping English and French in his back pocket. He tells Patrick about his love of verbing nouns, and Dutch people’s unconsciously sexist choice of pronouns. Also, Gaston is a fabulous multilingual (of course) singer.

Gaston Dorren has written several books including two translated into English. The photo shows him in in a typically multilingual moment on vacation in Turkey. He is reading the German translation of book originally written in English: A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka. (Photo credit: Marleen Becker)

Music in this episode by Medité, Magnus Ringblom, Podington Bear and Trabant 33. Read a transcript here. Sign up for Subtitle’s newsy, nerdy, fortnightly(ish) newsletter here.

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Episode 64