Mario Villalobos


  • Journal

My first language was Spanish but I stopped speaking it once I learned English. In high school, I took three years of French and loved it. In college, I took two semesters of Mandarin Chinese and loved it. For the past year, I’ve been teaching myself Japanese and I’ve been loving it. I’m currently listening to the Duolingo podcast on the great Argentinian heist of 2006, spoken in both English and in Argentinian Spanish. They say the “ya” (double Ls) sound like “ja”, so llaves (keys) becomes javes. It’s interesting. On Instagram, I went down this rabbit hole on French photographers, and I followed one who today had an hours long live session where she spoke in French and I felt this giddiness as I heard her speak that I haven’t felt in a very long time. I wanted to re-learn French, and I wanted to re-practice Spanish, and I want to keep learning Japanese and maybe one day go back to learning Chinese. I watch so much anime because I just love the musicality of the Japanese language, and I love understanding some of what the characters are saying. I’m not sure why I love languages, but I do.

There are so many decisions I wish I made when I was younger, and sometimes I feel like I’ve grown too old to pursue any of them, but I’m not. I want to keep learning and I want to travel to all these countries and speak to all these people because we’re all just people sharing the same world and trying to live the best lives we can. And if I can do so by taking pictures and going on miles-long walks? Oh man, now that’ll be the life.