People hope, wish and pray for a simple, quick fix to further their career and improve their social skills. Although it may not seem quick or simple, a solution is out there!
Knowing multiple languages has numerous benefits. Rafael Augusto Centeno Oquendo, a student at the College of the Florida Keys (CFK), speaks a variety of languages and preaches the positive impact knowing multiple languages has had on his life personally. Centeno’s first language is Spanish; however, he is also fluent in German and English as well as conversational in Portuguese. Currently, Centeno has been learning French too.
Centeno shared, “Speaking multiple languages has helped me in many different things. It helped me when I attended schools in different countries, and also when I worked at customer service jobs because I was able to speak to more people in their native language. It has given me a lot of opportunities that I couldn’t have gotten if I only spoke one language, like going abroad for school and meeting very interesting people from all around the world.”
Another multilingual speaker, Andrew Wang, a senior at Key West High School (KWHS), is passionate about languages. Wang is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese, and the Fuzhou dialect, the first two being the two most-spoken languages in the world.
Wang expressed, “Being a multilingual speaker has really helped me to broaden my communication with more people and better my understanding of them. Knowing more than one language has allowed me to help others, as I can aid more people by crossing language barriers.” The ability to communicate with people without the boundaries of language transforms lives and brings new opportunities.
Wang elaborated, “Learning another language is not only about speaking and understanding others, but it is also about looking at the world in a new way and bridging gaps amongst different communities of people. Languages are what makes each of us distinct, but learning the language can truly change one’s perception of the world.”
Alicia Bahri, a junior at KWHS, who speaks English, Spanish, Polish, also believes that without a language barrier communication becomes so much easier. Bahri explained, “It personally benefits me because it breaks the language barrier when speaking with my family who doesn’t know English.”
Bahri continued, “ Language allows me to understand the culture better as well. I think others should absolutely learn a new language because it helps them build respect and understanding for other cultures besides their own.” Centeno agrees that others should attempt to learn new languages.
Centeno advised, “I would totally recommend everyone to learn at least one foreign language and, if they can, to start doing it while they’re still young. It will open many doors and opportunities for you, and you will also be more competitive both academically and professionally.” He concludes, “Language gives you the opportunity to understand more about the different cultures around the world, and to feel a different, deeper connection with them through their language.”
Learning a new language broadens horizons to the extent that anything is possible. Language opens a door to professional, educational, social, and cultural opportunities that otherwise seemed unimaginable.