I grow up in Malaysia, a multiracial country of diverse culture, religion and ethnic.
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Due to its vibrant and beautiful diversity, everyone has the chance to experience different culture and tradition in many ways. This includes learning a new language other than our mother tongue.
We celebrate every occasion, no matter which culture or race we belong to. For example, the New Year (Jan 1st), Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year, Thaipusam, Deepavali, Christmas and all that’s on our calendar, for a matter of fact.
The fun part is, if these big days happen to be around the same time, we celebrate what we called ‘Kongsi Raya’ which literally means ‘Shared Celebration’. Guess what? We get longer holidays…woo hoo. That’s how beautiful this country is!
Look around your circle of friends. Do you have many friends of different religion and race? Haha…I do. My circle of friends are really interesting. I have Malay friends, Chinese friends, Indian friends and friends of other smaller races.
And ever since I started blogging, I have many overseas friends like you. We’ve never met but we’re connected. How awesome!
Our education system is far from perfect but the one thing our Government did right was to make it compulsory to learn a second language the moment a child starts school.
It’s undeniable that language not only has the power to ease communication but it also brings harmony and peace.
Have you tried using any one simple sentence to greet a person from a different country? Just by using simple greetings like, “How do you do?”, “Konichiwa” or “Apa khabar?” will instantly break the ice.
Many people learn new language when they intend to visit a different country. Especially when that country do not speak the same language as they do. But, why not take a more serious approach and reconsider this from a different perspective?
Learning a new language can be so much fun and incredibly rewarding. It had literally changed my life and I got promoted to a more prestigious title after that. You know what happened to me? I GOT SHOT! Haha…but it’s not what you think. I’ll share with you later in this post. I’m sure you’ll be happy for me 🙂
Okay, let’s explore and see how crucial it is to master a new language that can bring about lots of benefits and opportunities to brighten our lives.
1. Boost Brain Power
When you learn a new language, you stimulate your brain and at the same time, enhances memory skills, listening skills, and communication skills. This is a good way to keep our brain active. Overall, it improves cognitive skills and brain function.
2. Enriching Friendship
From my own experience living in a multiracial country, language has never failed to build the bonding and connections with people around us.
I had a friend coming to visit from another country some time back and she was so envious of our ability to speak 2 or more different languages. And we can do that beautifully in a single sentence!
For example, you’ll often hear us say, “Hey, already makan?” Makan means eat in Bahasa Melayu (the national language of Malaysia). Translated it means, “Have you eaten?” See what I mean? This is our very own special way of speaking the Malaysian style. We called it the ‘Manglish’.
This can easily resonates with everyone. Even a small child can speak like this.
3. Increase Job Opportunities
If you are bilingual, you will be more sought after especially in MNCs. It is a powerful asset that you can use to enhance your employability and open more doors to career advancement.
Some of my colleagues can even speak 4 languages and needless to say, when it comes to foreign trades, they will have more opportunities than those who are only capable of 1 or 2 languages.
4. Engaging in Interesting Conversations
It’s a great ice-breaker which works every time, no matter what kind of functions or gatherings you are attending. It often leads to interesting talks. Great friendships and business deals do form in casual talks like this.
Remember I promised you my story? Be sure to check it out at the end of this post. What happened to me does not always happen to anyone and I want to share it with you 🙂
5. Understanding Different Cultures
When you learn a new language, you will very well be informed of its culture too. Language is a bridge to mend the gap between cultural differences. Respect and acceptance of others come from the understanding of their background, culture, and tradition.
6. Be a Smart Traveler
How convenient it is when you go to a place or country where everyone speaks the same language as you do? You understand every word being said or written and your holiday will be much more enjoyable.
Many years ago, I visited France with my hubby. I still remember vividly one incident where we dare not enter the washroom. Guess what? There was only a French word on each door with no images or other signage in English.
We practically had no clue which was for the ladies and which for the men. So, we waited outside the washroom until an elderly lady finally came out from one of those doors and I quickly went in.
But before I went in, I whispered to my hubby, “Enter at your own risk” pointing him to the next door…haha
Lesson well learned!
7. Boost Self Confidence
Knowledge boosts confidence and self-esteem. So does language. Your confidence level increases when you have a good command of language.
Most of us like to associate ourselves with smart people. A multilingual is deemed smart by many. Use your language skills to boost confidence and help you achieve what you want in life.
So, here you go with all 7 big benefits of learning a new language. Of course, there are many other profound benefits too, including some of which you have never imagined.
My Happy Story…
Alright, are you ready for my story now? Okay, let’s open the book…
Long long ago, in a classroom far far away…hahaha. Ok, ok. Here’s what happened.
When I first started working, I enrolled in a Japanese language class, studying part time, once a week. The class was filled with all working adults and I was so amused and amazed by their funny yet friendly personalities.
After a full day at work, the class was more like a gathering place for us to relax and unwind. Of course, we study too but it was so much fun because no one was taking the course seriously…haha. Learning has to be fun, right?
Our class was the nosiest of all. We worked hard, studied not so hard and of course, must play hard! What a great philosophy. Sometimes, we would go out for a drink or karaoke after class. Our teacher, Loo-san and the principle were part of our gang too. They loved to join us whenever they had the time.
After months of ‘studying’ together, many great friendships formed and…love blossomed.
As I said earlier, I GOT SHOT! I actually got shot by the cupid’s arrow!!! How lucky of me…hahaha. I know I’m the luckiest woman on earth 🙂
We started dating, get along really well until today, sharing every beautiful moment together and long story short, 3 years later, I got promoted to a prestigious title ‘Mrs. Chin’. Aren’t you happy for me? I’m so blessed…
I joined the course with the intention to learn a new language and of course meet some new friends. Little did I expect, life is so good to me. I got myself a loving husband instead.
If only have I known, I would definitely have joined earlier…hahaha.
Okay, now it’s about you. If you are reading this article, I am pretty sure you must have some interest or perhaps already planning to learn a new language (and get shoot at!).
I want you to know that no matter which language you choose to learn, at the end of the day, the knowledge you acquire will help you deliver your message across so that your objectives are met and goals achieved.
That’s the power of language but I can’t promise you the cupid would strike again 🙂
All the best, my friend.