Learning different languages is no doubt very interesting, at least for those who have the interest in doing so.
I have read some books that have been translated into several different languages, but to date the one written by Paulo Coelho is still top the chart (perhaps). The particular book written by him has to date being translated into a whopping 80 different languages, and the fact that it made a best seller not in his own country making it more compelling for us to have the desire of learning another language.
Sometimes, expressing oneself in another language is much more easier than expressing in your own mother tongue for example yours truly; because I found English is a language that has better translation and gives more impact for me in my verbal and written manifestation of life and whatnot's.
However, this recent research from the British Council, which I came across in one write-up, claimed that around three-quarters of British people don’t speak another language well enough to have a basic conversation.
Well that is ab-so-lute-ly (with 'that' Brits expression please) daunting given the fact that British were one of the earliest people who roam the world in order to find new pastures to conquer.
With that, I am somehow glad they did. Otherwise, English language might not be Malaysia's second language; where it is a must to learn from elementary stage.
It is also mentioned in the report that they face problems in businesses such as selling a product or negotiate a deal, and as the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) of UK found out they are literally 'losing out on an incredible £48bn a year in lost exports as a direct result of its lack of language skills'.
That is quiet a sum.
It added that a lot of SMEs see languages as a cost when it is actually an investment.
Now that I know that, I must share one person among the family circle whom, is well equipped with Mandarin, French, Germany, and Japanese besides English as second language and Bahasa Malaysia as the mother tongue.
That is six in total up his sleeves.
Yup, as a person who have great inclinations towards languages -- I envied him. Totally.
He's a polyglot.
He spend his break learning language(s) by going to the origin country.
And how original is that. Duhh...
I only have a smearing two.
I'm a bilingual. But to a certain point would like to consider myself a multilingual.
That is because I occasionally use two other languages in the house with the kids (in order to express myself) understood quite well one of them even though I don't know it by reading and writing.
It is a combination of what I call half-way-done and the x-rated one. They say, you must learn the bad words first because it will easier to learn the rest of other words...(Im suspecting those who says that must have some sort of penchant for language in their own special way)...to a certain extend, I am in agreement though.
Another personal example exposure to languages will excite the brain and triggers the acceptance thus the start usage of it would be my four year old. She would
I remembered my French language instructor, whom despite being born into a family with different mother-tongue, even speaks French in his dream, told as joke by his partner. Conclusion? That is what language would do to you. It will take over your subconscious mind.It will stay in you -- of course with continuously conversing and using it.
My dad whom speaks and write Germany, after decades coming back home and with no one to converse with, still understand the language even though slow but fail to work a full sentences now.
Living here in the middle east, has made me somewhat learning few Arabic words -- indirectly though.
My dad would every now and then on my visiting home yearly, ask me whether have I started taking up Arabic.
You know, as a Muslim; he'd told me the good side of learning that language will enable me better understanding the Quran when I read it, even though the Quran wordings are not the typical Arabic words.
We (me and partner) were told that Quranic language is more like a literature.
Or a Sastera Melayu in Malay even perhaps like trying to really understand William Shakespeare in English.
Nonetheless, I liked to jest around and said yes I know Arabic -- and I will start mentioning all those 'salaams' and some words I repeatedly hearing on the tele such as (gha)radaan, karriban and al-laylah -- yup, spending time in front of the tele does have some good side of it you know!
Despite easy communications when travelling abroad, having to know other languages prove to be beneficial too. While waiting for future engagement or advancement in life -- one can tutor, or become a translator and make an income. It is a skill.
A very good example one co-founder of British SMI mentioned -- his company paid someone to translate their webpage into Germany for £700 and £500 for another language.
There is market for translator, in deed.
Even though online translation is available for us to make use of; such as Google Translate-- it doesn’t have the acuity for correct translation especially when it comes to the usage of words as an adverb, or adjective.
It is quite ridiculous to expect a computer to do it amicably.
Coming back to the fact that the most Brits doesn't acquire more language except their own, as a Malaysian, I felt lucky somehow that the country is among nine of the most multilingual country.
This was shared with me by a multilingual person -- once you learn another language both written and verbal, it will be much more easier for you to learn the next and the so forth.
Lets start learning.