Ciao, Hallo, Salut, Oi, Hola, GrÃ¼ezi, Hi, my name is Vanessa. My dad is Italian and I was born in Italy, but my mom is from Brazil and likes to speak to me in Portuguese, while I answer in Italian. When I was in second grade, we moved to the German part of Switzerland. For being a country of only seven million people, the Swiss national languages are four: German, French, Italian and Rhaeto-Romance (an old Latin language â I donât speak Rhaetian, but I understand it). So I grew up very multicultural becoming fluent in Italian, German, French, English, Portuguese, Spanish and Swiss-German. My mom and I traveled three hours to Zurich and three hours back once a month to go to the Dominican hairdresser. I would play with their Spanish speaking kids and learned their language; we even visited their families in the Dominican Republic.
My family and I traveled a lot, visited Brazil every year, spent the summers in Italy and visited other countries. At home, we spoke Italian and Portuguese. In school we studied in German, but we also had French and English classes (later also business communication classes in those languages and Spanish as extracurricular). As an Italian born, I attended a half-day school for Italian children and catechism in Italian.
Graduating in economy and commerce, I received my English First Certificate of Cambridge, DALI the advanced Italian language diploma of the University of Florence and the French DELF certificates. Working in Switzerland, I always spoke, wrote and answered in all the languages that I master. When I moved to Los Angeles in California, people kept telling me how they wished they knew how to speak a different language, but the traditional way of learning did not work for them, so I developed my own system and started teaching languages. My method is similar to the way I learned seven languages and it has proven to be efficient.
Being active as a teacher and translator since 2008, I have had the pleasure to teach individuals from all paths of life, who want to learn a language for many different reasons, or may need a translation for an article, a script or a medical document. I have been hired as translator for Haitian asylum seeking women after the earthquakes, translated soap opera scripts, recorded international voice over talents (I also wear a different hat as a sound engineer), invented a language for a stop motion picture, voiced a sock monkey called Maxx who loves anyone more than bananas and accent coached actors.
Now, just a warning: We sing in my class!