Boaz Vilallonga


Boaz speaks 10 languages. He can speak Catalan, French, English and Spanish at a native level. He is proficient in Italian and Latin. And he can read German, Portuguese, Occitan and Hebrew.

He was born in a trilingual environment. Even though his mother tongue is Catalan, he was exposed to French and Spanish at an early age. Born in a house of books and with a mother as Latin professor, Boaz began learning Latin when he was 10 years old. French was considered a lingua franca—more than Spanish. With time, Boaz began learning advanced grammar, with a preference for syntax. This allowed him to create a standardized method for learning languages.

He excelled in language and literature during the years devoted to the International Baccalaureate Diploma. He earned his highest grades in Catalan and French. While considering following the steps of his mother in linguistics, he decided to always informally devote time to learn languages.

When he was 18 years old, Boaz was seriously exposed to English for the very first in New York. He learnt the language almost from scratch. In the meantime, French became the main language at home. In college, Boaz learnt Esperanto and Occitan. During his years as graduate student he perfected his Latin and English, and introduced Italian, Portuguese and German. He has achieved diverse fluency in these languages. During his postdoctoral time at Columbia, Boaz added Hebrew to his language list. He continues learning Hebrew to this day.

Yiddish and Chinese are two languages in his learning wish list. He also hopes that he would be able to resume his Esperanto studies someday... Ĝis!