I am thrilled to introduce you to an amazing traveller and author: Luca Lampariello speaks 11 languages in addition to his native Italian. The first two languages that he learned were English and French, after which he discovered that speaking another language opens a novel world and makes life so much more exciting.
The 35-year-old Italian speaks 11 foreign languages, including Russian, Chinese (Mandarin) and Japanese, which are not usually considered the easiest dialects to master. He travels the world speaking the languages as he goes.
Lampariello created his own method of language-learning, which he believes allows not only grasp foreign dialects faster but also get more from life by using your knowledge. His background in electronic engineering had nothing to do with linguistics, however, he found out that learning languages was not as hard as people believed it to be: With the right method, it’s rather simple.
Luca had learned Russian before he visited the country for the first time. Those are his discoveries about Russia and Russian girls. Since then, he visited Russia several times.
His website is: The Polyglot Dream.
Face The Unknown, Sum Up The Courage and Take The Leap: My First Trip To Russia
Guest author: Luca Lampariello
In January 2013, I received an email titled, “We invite you to Russia”. I opened it with curiosity and discovered that Dina and Sergei, a Russian couple, wanted me to participate in a language conference, which would take place in Moscow at the end of March.
At first, I was paralysed by doubt. As for many things in life, we are often scared by novelty and the unknown. I had heard so many stories about Russia, and in my mind, I imagined it as a country far far away, something totally unknown and wrapped in an air of mystery, and needless to say, a lot of snow.
I would indeed find a lot of snow that would leave my body shivering at times, but also a sense of hospitably in people which would warm my heart in unexpected ways.
In the end, my curiosity prevailed, and I decided to go.
It is the decision that I will never regret, because it brought so much into my life and it opened new horizons.
Russians have a reputation of being tough people. When I was in Moscow, I noticed that people smile less there than in Europe, in places such as the metro for example, and can be brusque or even rude when it comes to certain kinds of brief interactions with customers, such as buying train or metro tickets.
But this might be the only aspect of Russians that an average non Russian speaking tourist might see. Behind that hard exterior, though, beats a generous heart. I speak fluent Russian and I was all the time with Russians, who showed me around and with whom I spent a lot of time. That was invaluable to understand the way they think, especially because — just like in Italy — most people who don’t speak English can be scared or cautious to interact with a foreigner who doesn’t speak their language. But they can become so talkative, nice and warm with those who speak their language.
Speaking Russian has totally changed my experience. I have met so many people and talked about endless topics. About the similarities and differences between Russians and Italians, about food, about religion, politics, about World War II and of course, about the interaction and relationships between Russian and Italian men and women, and about love.
As for Russian women… Let me be frank. All countries have their share of stereotypes associated to them, but this is not a cliché at all.
Russian girls are indeed beautiful. They are not only attractive, but also very feminine. But the thing which struck me the most is their sense of family. There is a division of roles in Russia between men and women, which is in decline in Italy, where the line between the role of a man and that of a woman in terms of work, family and other things is becoming thinner and thinner.
To conquer a girl’s heart, a Russian man must be first of all be strong, make quick and clear decisions, be assertive, not to mention that he has to be romantic. Flowers are always more than welcome. A guy doesn’t necessarily have to be super handsome, but he has to be “manly and romantic”.
A woman instead has to be feminine, beautiful and a solid, future mom. This was at least my impression.
Russian girls vs. western girls
Italian men, raised with a strong sense of family by the older generation, are suffering from this change in Italian girls, who are more and more independent and now mentally far from older family schemes. As a consequence, Italian men are looking more and more elsewhere to find love and a fulfilling relationship.
I have been in Russia a number of times since the first time in 2013, and in one of my recent trips, I was sitting on the airplane next to a handsome, tall Italian guy who had a constant, broad, happy smile on his face. I asked him why he would fly to Russia in November, not exactly the best time for Italians, particularly sensitive to the cold, to fly to Russia. He turned and said “I have a Russian girlfriend”.
Another guy from Sicily, sitting on the other interjected and and said “me too”.
Well, it turned out that all the guys sitting next, ahead and behind me — all Italians — had Russian girlfriends and were flying to Moscow to meet them.
Italians and Russians have a LOT in common, and the easiest and fastest way to discover it is through language.
Speaking a foreign language can change your inner and outer world and life
By speaking a bit more with these guys on the airplane, I have found out that they didn’t speak a word of Russian, but their Russian girlfriends not only spoke fluent English, but also excellent Italian.
Language is the main door to a new relationship, a new life, and a new inner world.
Learning a language is never, never a waste of time.
But most of all, language learning is not as difficult and daunting as they make it to be.
It is made difficult by ineffective methods which are imposed at school, together with a countless numbers of false ideas that keep us from unleashing our learning potential.
I have made a mission to show people that:
- Learning a language is not as difficult as it is commonly thought
- That having the right mindset and objectives is key for success
- Language learning can improve your life in countless ways
Going to Russia was an eye opening experience. I spoke a lot of Russian, been in the countryside with a Russian family, sipped tea from a beautiful samovar, drank shots of vodka and samogon at night, threw jokes around a table, played cards, visited incredible cathedrals, saw breathtaking landscapes, met great people.
But most of all, I have touched the Russian spirit.
I have learned an important lesson. People around the world seem to have a different way of life shaped by history, geography weather, traditions, language, but the truth is, that all these apparent differences are just different expressions of things that all human beings have in common.
No matter where we live and what language we speak, we are fundamentally driven by the same desires, emotions, needs.
Speaking languages helps you understand the multiple different facets of this beautiful reality.
- You can find the 7 episodes of my Russian adventure on my blog (in English, Italian and Russian, both text and audio): http://www.thepolyglotdream.com/
- FB fan page: https://www.facebook.com/thepolyglotdream
- A funny video of me in Russia on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtjZVuqyG38
Photos: Luca Lampariello