Student Ediz Eribaç: learning 8 languages in 16 years


Left to right: Joana Ackerl, Ana Ferreira and Ediz Eribaç, multilingual Roswell High School students. Photo Credit: Grace Huffine

Ana Ferreira

Sometimes people forget the several privileges that the new technological age is giving to us. And, in a world collapsing due to widespread carelessness towards the most diverse areas (be it about natural, political or economic reasons), tensions between countries are only likely to increase. Identifying the simplest solution to this problem is essential, and it is nothing more than communication.


Nowadays, learning a language is something really accessible and it is extremely important to increase cultural awareness, permitting people to connect with a different reality and learn about another culture. 


Roswell junior Ediz Eribaç definitely took advantage of the fact that it is possible to learn different languages more easily these days. Ediz is an outstanding student and at only 16 years old, he is already fluent in eight languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese Turkish and Tunisian Arabic. He also knows a little bit of German.


Eribaç has a great connection with languages ever since he was born and he grew up in a house speaking four languages. His family is very mixed and his origins are from all over the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe, as he has Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish family.


When asked for how long he has been learning languages, Ediz said that he has since he was born due to his family and the variety of languages that they speak. 


“My parents were always teaching me mostly French, Turkish and Tunisian Arabic. So, since then, I’ve always been interested in languages. My grandpa is a linguist and he speaks 26 languages, so ever since I was a kid he was always trying to teach me languages, like learn how to write Russian, Japanese and all that stuff.” 


The last language Eribaç has learned was Italian and, right now, he is focusing more on Turkish.  Although he can always ask his dad some questions about it, he likes to use a program called iTalki and he normally pays $15 dollars an hour to do a language class through Skype.


For Ediz, knowing all these languages make him “relate to a lot more people, and feel connected to them.

The world feels a little smaller each time I start to learn a language.” 


And there is no doubt about how it helps in his personal development. 

“You can’t learn a language if you are not willing to put yourself out there socially and practice with people. You will see people use whatever app like Duolingo or something and then they think they can have a conversation because they learned some basic words. But that’s not true. You can only learn if you are working with people and I feel like I can understand and communicate with people a lot better,” said Ediz.

Also with all the globalization process spreading around the world, people who speak more than one language are valuable workers in the labor market.

“You can learn a language for free but if you are willing to put in a few dollars a week to have lessons, you have to keep in mind that it’s a skill that will change your life and it’s worth. It’s really hard but it’s worth the work, because you are not going to get anywhere with just some apps,” said Ediz. 


When questioned about the languages classes in Roswell, the student said that “it depends on who you ask,” but there are some grammar rules he has only learned because he was at a language class at school. 

“But you can’t learn a language from any class on its own. People blame the classes too much but that’s because they are not practicing it. So, I think they are okay, you know. There isn’t too many problems with it,” said Ediz. 


For his final year of high school, Ediz is already planning to do an exchange and he applied to go to Germany. And, about what he wants to do as a career, the student has shown interest in psychology and linguistics.

 “I figured doing something with cognitives signs, which combines both. Linguistics and psychology would be good to do, so I have a good mix. And, it also is a pretty broad topic so I have a lot of places to go from there,” said Ediz. 


Regardless of what Ediz decides to do with his life, his future is one of great excellence. Only 3% of the world population speaks more than four languages and Ediz in his 16 years already speaks eight. Communication is the key to success and “you can take languages wherever you go.“