Handsome Italian loves Taiwan and lives like real Taiwanese.
"When I went to Norway as an exchange student, I met a Taiwanese person. Today I love Taiwanese people, Taiwanese culture, and Taiwan as a country because of her. The Italian graduate student Riccardo Moratto, who came to National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) to conduct a summer research project with professor Sheng-Jie Chen, speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese; and his writing, reading, and listening abilities are equally amazingly proficient. After thinking for a while, he adds "It is not about being in love with that girl, but it is just because of her friendship that I started knowing and loving Taiwan as a country."
Riccardo Moratto, who studies at the University of Bologna for Interpreters and Translators in Italy, is majoring in conference interpreting. He came to Taiwan after obtaining a scholarship from the ROC National Science Council. Once in Taiwan he cooperated with local professors including Sheng-Jie Chen, the Director of the Translation Center of NTUST, with whom he carried out a short-term summer project.
Riccardo Moratto deeply loves Taiwanese culture and so far he has been leading a genuine Taiwanese life. He loves Mandarin pop singers such as Alexander WANG Lee-hong. In addition, he also likes eating pot-stewed meat rice and watching programs such as A Million Stars (the Taiwanese version of American Idol). He often goes to KTV with Taiwanese friends. Even when he was in Italy, he would spend most of the time every day with Taiwanese friends, borrowing Taiwanese movies or TV dramas and developing a deep knowledge of Taiwan-related pop culture.
Recently, the Translation Center of NTUST together with the Personnel Office co-hosted a special lecture "A Close Look on Italy". Riccardo Moratto was invited to give a speech in fluent Mandarin Chinese on Italian main historic scenic spots. In the speech, he introduced cities such as Rome, Venice, Pisa, Naples and Milan by providing extremely useful information on them and by showing an excellent confidence in the interaction with the faculty and staff members of NTUST.
In his speech, which was more than two hours long, Riccardo Moratto prepared a powerpoint presentation consisting of more than two hundred slides. In the presentation, he also introduced many Italian local folk songs. Every single Chinese character in the slides was written and uttered by Riccardo himself.
When some teachers and students asked Riccardo Moratto why he studied Chinese so well and what his secret weapon was, he simply answered "The best way to study a language is to love it." Indeed, because of his love for Taiwan, he would spend more than ten hours every day studying Chinese and hanging out with Taiwanese people as much as possible. He usually spends holidays with these Taiwanese people and even communicates on MSN with them. He actually even uses many MSN emoticons like a real native speaker.
[2008-08-25/United Daily Newspaper]