On today's International Mother Language Day - an event designed to promote awareness of linguistic, cultural diversity and multilingualism - Cultural Comms Group Account Director Rhian Rosser discusses how speaking four different languages is the key to not only unlocking cultures around the world but the world of work - particularly when communicating with international wine producers.

Multilingual, marketing and communications pro Rhian Rosser has over a decade experience in wine, champagne and spirits PR and marketing, with expertise in integrated marketing campaigns. Rhian also has a passion for fashion, and has completed a diploma in Fashion Styling at the London School of Styling and multiple courses in dress, leather bag and jewellery making. This is coupled with a keen interest in art, design and music, which helps her thrive in her role at Cultural Comms, and enhance her ability to explore all corners of culture to connect some of the world’s best luxury brands with their audiences.

Which languages do you speak and where did you learn them?​

My mother tongue is Welsh; I grew up in North Wales where everyone spoke Welsh - especially in the '90s when ‘Cool Cymru’ was rife. I then learnt English, and went on to study Italian and French in secondary school and at university.  

What do you think the benefits of speaking multiple languages are?​

Being able to speak different languages is like being given a key which unlocks a diverse array of cultures – it opens up the world.

I lived in Italy, and then worked in France after graduating; being able to immerse myself in each country was an unforgettable experience. You can really get under the skin of a culture by being able to communicate in the local language, and learning and understanding their humour, idiomatic expressions and more. In my year at Universita di Bologna one of the courses I studied was youth culture in 1960's Britain – it was fascinating to learn about The Beatles and pop culture in London through an Italian lens.

One of the most special moments of my life so far was when I travelled out in Patagonia and met a local Trelew woman who spoke fluent Welsh with an Argentine accent, it was incredible – her family originated from North Wales too. Also, with many of your language exams conducted orally, it’s a great way of boosting confidence and self esteem at a young age, priming you for the world of work.

How often do you use your various languages within your career?​

Working in the wine world it's wonderful having the skills to speak French and Italian when communicating with wine producers and clients. Although, you do have to keep it going; languages evolve so quickly that I find I have no idea what the younger generations say now - but that goes for Welsh and English too!

What advice would you give someone who would like to learn another language?​

Do it! Go and live abroad, immerse yourself in various cultures – you’re never too old to learn, I learn Spanish (not fluently at all) when I was in my late twenties, and since then love watching Almadovar films and understanding them!

What's your favourite phrase in a different language?

It’s not a phrase as much as a tongue twister, Welsh for: ‘where is your black tie, is it in your house or in your dad’s house?’ – ‘Ydi dy dei du di yn dy du di neu yn du dy dad di?’

Find out more: hello@culturalcomms.co.uk.