A newspaper in the United Arab Emirates highlighted the presence of a multilingual Paraguayan in our country’s pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020, which is taking place in this Arab city. This is an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who can receive visitors in up to six languages, including Guarani and Arabic.
The Gulf News portal, one of the largest in the United Arab Emirates, has brought to light the story of a Paraguayan who is part of our country’s delegation to Expo Dubai 2020, which takes place in this city of October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.
Paraguay has its pavilion at the Expo. The featured countryman is Carlos Torres Romero, 33, a foreign ministry official who greets visitors to the Paraguayan corner in up to six languages. “Meet the Paraguayan polyglot who is impressing at Expo 2020 Dubai,” is the title of the article signed by Ángel Tesorero, the journalist who interviewed Romero.
“He welcomes visitors and explains the contents of the (Paraguayan) pavilion in six languages, including Arabic, Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and his mother tongue, Guarani”, begins the communicator by telling the compatriot.
In the article, it is pointed out that this ease of language makes many more people interested in what the Paraguayan pavilion has to offer at Expo Dubai 2020.
“When you learn another language, you learn another culture and you have another view of the world. And with the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai being ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, what better way to connect with people than speaking in their own language. I was looking to bring multilingual attention to the pavilion,” Romero said. Gulf News.
The journalistic publication also points out that Romero is passionate about the Arab world. He has learned this language from books and the internet since the age of 14, a language that has an alphabet other than Latin.
“Arab visitors are quite surprised to see a Latino who has never been to the Middle East speak Arabic well. And as they are surprised, they become more and more curious and inquisitive and I take it as an incentive to continue the conversation and explain to them all the contents of the Paraguayan pavilion. But it is also a two-way process as I am always very happy to speak with Emiratis and other Arab visitors as it gives me the opportunity to practice and perfect my Arabic,” added the compatriot.
“The official languages in Paraguay are Spanish and Guarani. At school, we were taught English, French, Portuguese. I learned Arabic on my own because I was very inspired by the stories about the desert and the camels told by my Argentinian grandmother, whose father was Spanish and had Arab origins from Morocco,” said added the Paraguayan in his explanation.
The compatriot did not deny that learning Arabic was expensive for him. At the beginning it was very difficult to learn Arabic, it is completely different from Spanish. “In Latin America, people prefer to learn English, Portuguese or French. Spanish words are pronounced lightly in the mouth; Guarani is mostly nasal, but Arabic is mostly guttural, and that’s the biggest challenge for non-native Arabic speakers,” he explained.
Converted to Islam
Carlos Romero also said that in 2007 he adopted Islam as his religion and changed his name to khalid. “I have always loved Arab culture. After learning more about the language, I finally studied Islam: its history, its doctrines and its faith. And as I learned more, I converted to Islam in 2007 and took the name Khaled,” he revealed.
The post also details that Romero plans to make his hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, one day. “Currently, he works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay, in the administrative department of consular affairs. He is also part of the National Commission for Refugees, as an interpreter for Arabic, French and Portuguese speakers during interviews with asylum seekers (…) Before coming to Dubai for the Expo, Romero said he used to help newly converted Muslims with their Arabic lessons. one week. He will resume this work when he returns to Paraguay after the Expo,” the material adds.
Finally, the article points out that Romero doesn’t want to stop learning new languages. “I won’t stop learning other languages. Speaking a different language is like discovering a whole new world. A new language can connect you to new cultures. It opens you up to new experiences and stories,” the compatriot concluded, telling the UAE news portal.