I'm always a big fan of learning foreign languages. Being a polyglot is amazing. I'm a big fan of Nathaniel Drew. If you don't know him, I suggest you start watching his insightful videos and films.
Apart from Bahasa and English, I took very basic Spanish in university. Well, at least it helped me count from 1 to 10 and order some basic food when I was in Madrid.
Hindi and Urdu are almost familiar to my ears. My late grandmother was a big fan of Bollywood movies, and I have to admit, I've followed her lead. When I was in India, everything sounds familiar. It's like—you know what they were saying. Weird. The familiarity of the language helped me when I was on my way to Kashmir, too. It was pitch black outside, and I was struggling to find my Airbnb because my Indian SIM card didn't work in the region at the time. Thanks to the familiarity of simple words in Hindi and Urdu, it helped me communicate with the locals to find my Airbnb.
Oh, and thanks to my mother's ancestors, I can say I understand 90% of Javanese. So travelling to Yogyakarta and certain parts of Indonesia feels familiar too.
Languages are a beautiful thing. It always fascinates me.
When I had the idea to have Musotrees' stories translated into another language, I instantly thought it should be in Italian. When I started Musotrees, some even told me the name sounded like an Italian word (disclaimer: I'm not too sure and 100% agree with that statement, but let's go with the flow). I smiled.
So in How Are You, I had the opportunity to work with Lorenzo Morandi, an amazing Italian photographer based in Alessandra. He shared his journey to the southern part of Italy with his family, and I told him, "Let's write a story in Italian!" Long story short, I was ecstatic to have his story published bilingual. If you haven't read it, feel free to grab a copy. I'm so happy to have reached a new Italian audience through this specially translated story. Perhaps I can do the whole Musotrees issue in a foreign language. Maybe.
And…I watched the new Netflix series From Scratch a few weeks ago. It was shot in Italy with native Italian and Sicilian speakers. This is the kind of story that really captures the senses of language and culture beautifully. Oh, I was weeping.