Sophomore Speaks Several Languages, Plays Violin

Alexander Siewe has a special advantage. He can think in multiple languages. And yet, even with so many possible options, his favorite phrase to say is “oui oui baguette.”

Siewe can speak English, French and German. He was born in the United States but was raised in Cameroon. He later moved to different parts of Europe, where he learned French and German, and then moved back to the United States.

“I’ve grown up in different places, and I also have parents who are immigrants from different countries,” Alexander said. “Being raised by one parent in one culture and the other parent in another culture allowed me to pick up on these languages.”

Alexander’s parents are of Cameroonian origin. Cameroonian dances are a cultural staple of the region. They believe that there are gods, and these dances honor them. One dance is done yearly to honor the Goddess of the Sea. Many believe that if they do not perform the dance, the land will flood out of the Goddess’ anger.

“You just flow and let your body move with the rhythm,” Alexander said. “I admire the creativity of the dances. Every day people come up with new dances, and it’s fun.”

French is Alexander’s favorite language to speak. He likes how “bizarre” the German language is, but French is his most experienced tongue. Siewe also enjoys French culture the most because of how vast and open it is.

Freshman Daisa Charles presents her dancing skills while sophomore Alexander Siewe plays violin for “Beaujolais Noveau Day” during French class.

“I like how welcoming it is,” Alexander said. “Germans are quite reserved within themselves. I feel like it was a rebuilt country after World War Ⅱ. Everything was destroyed. French culture has always been flowing, and it’s just inspirational.”

Alexander says he wants to be a pilot in the future. He either wants to work with Air France or Brussels Airlines.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunities this could bring me in the future,” Alexander said. “I feel like I’ll be able to connect to more cultures if I speak more than one language. And so I’ll be able to connect more to the people I visit.”