Knowing another Language

Language-word-cloud

I’m like most people, and that I only speak English but know a few phrases in other languages. In high school I took Spanish, but hated the teacher so I switched to Japanese. (I should have stayed in Espanol). Japanese was rough! But I did my two years. In college I decided to give Spanish another try, and after repeating 101 and 201 twice, I realized that Spanish was getting harder. I came to the conclusion that I was not bestowed the gift of learning another language, unlike a cousin who knows five! A friend also has a knack for languages.

I’m jealous.

However, I’m taking note now of how important it is to learn (and retain) another language. In Hawaii, Japan is our largest market for tourists, and if you can speak both English and Japanese you can get work anywhere in Waikiki and Ala Moana. Up on the mainland (what we Hawaii people call the continental United States), it’s Spanish. I noticed that in California, how knowing Spanish can get someone pretty far in terms of a job and in life. You know about another culture by speaking the native language. Being bilingual is beneficial.

But since I’m not being forced to learn a language, I now want to do take the time to do so at my own pace. Maybe I am capable of learning a language, just not in a classroom: I always wanted to learn Italian, and thank goodness for me having an Italian auntie who can teach me. Or I can learn on my own. I can go back and put those Spanish books to good use again. (When I was watching Breaking Bad (I finally finished it, by the way!) I brushed up on my Spanish due to the dialogue between some characters and English subtitles). Or, who knows, maybe I’ll take a gander at Japanese, for a second time.

Do you speak a second language? Or even a third? If so, what are they?

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