Marina Lorenzi: an Aspiring Linguist

Maddie Stas, Staff Member

There are only a handful of kids to come through Greater Latrobe who have taken two languages at a time. Marina Lorenzi is one of them. Marina posses a love and a passion for World Language that not many others have. She is taking not only two, but three languages all at once. Her schedule consists of AP Spanish, AP French, and German II.

Mrs. Zaleski, her French teacher, has observed Marina’s naturally ability to learn the french language over the years, and believes taking multiple languages at once is beneficial. “Marina has excelled tremendously since French II. Marina listens really well and seems to have a natural “ear” for languages and picking up on patterns. She absorbs everything that I teach, and remembers it from year-to-year. She has spread her wings and challenges herself in all three languages now, which is a huge and brave step.  She is able to use her knowledge from French to help her to learn Spanish and German. Her confidence is strong because what she knows in one language, she can transfer to another and it helps her,” said Zaleski.

Part of the learning process, Madame believes, it not being afraid to try. “Marina is not afraid to try the language. She volunteers to speak and to read and to give new grammar concepts a try. She looks at the grammar as a puzzle and uses previous knowledge to figure out the new vocabulary and grammar in each unit that we study,” said Zaleski.

Out of the three languages, German is particularly harder for Marina to learn and comprehend than the others. “German is probably the most challenging because it’s so different from French and Spanish,” stated Marina. Both French and Spanish are considered romantic languages. German is in a completely different language branch, sharing more similarities with the English language.

When it comes to choosing a favorite, Marina can’t decide. “I don’t really have a favorite. It’s hard to pick because they’re all different and there are aspects of each language that I like more than the others.”

The fact that she has reached the AP level in both French and Spanish makes her very knowledgeable, but not yet fluent. “I’m definitely not fluent in any of them yet, but I can understand things here and there when I hear other people speaking.”

Marina finds learning language and the culture behind each language enjoyable. “I think learning languages is really fun and I definitely want to travel, especially for whatever job I’ll have in the future,” said Marina.

Taking a language does have its perks. Each language department takes an annual trip for students who want to apply their knowledge in a real world setting. Marina took advantage of using her understanding of the French language on the annual trip to Quebec. “This past summer when I went to Quebec, I loved getting to use what I have learned through my years of taking French to everyday people,” said Marina.

It seems natural for a philologist to want to travel. “I definitely want to travel a lot more in the future and study abroad in college,” she said.

Marina has already made a decision on which school she plans to attend next year.  “My dad works at IUP so I’m doing my first two years there for free,” explained Marina. Then, to finish her bachelor’s degree she has her heart set on a big state school. “I’d like to go to Pitt or Penn State after my first two years, or a big school out of state,” Marina said.

Marina’s hard work in high school stems from her goal to become a translator someday. “I want to major in linguistics in college and become a translator or interpreter. I also plan on learning other languages besides the three I’m currently studying,” explained Marina.

Mrs. Zaleski is confident that Marina is capable of becoming a successful translator. “I believe that Marina will be a success and land some great jobs in the future, maybe even with the United Nations,” said Zaleski.