How multilingualism has changed my life

“No finish line”

No matter how cheesy it sounds, it’s true; especially when it comes to the topic of learning. I’m talking about the flaws in everyone’s life; I’m certainly talking about languages. Learning a new language just doesn’t get recognition for their importance. Meanwhile, trigonometry, Shakespearean poems of the 19th century and the formula of physics that you once wrote, allow you to save a place on the bus in your world. They are important, but for me learning a language is the basis – the starting point for everything.

I was talking to my father and he told me about his friend about whom he said “can speak 7 different languages”. Meanwhile, I struggle with 3, or 2 and a half when counting my basic German skills. I asked how anyone could do it and he told me that once you learn your 3rd language, the rest will be easy. Skeptical, but it pumped me up. I had to study German because I had a compulsory internship program there. I would say that I took root in the race, but I had the opposite. Rather, it was like I started far behind the rest of the sprinters and had a cinder block on my feet. There was no autopilot and shortcuts.

My first language was Indonesian, and at university almost everyone (except me) spoke a third language. I was awesome, and although I wasn’t alone, I knew I needed to do better. Without questions or complaints, for me just learn and keep trying. So I bought every German book, DVD / TV show and everything I came across was German. Keep in mind that I was attending German lessons at the same time. I started listening to all German music, watching the Bundesliga and so on. I tried to speak German at every opportunity.

In my school, those who lagged behind in their knowledge of the German language had to really gain some weight. I did tutoring as well as weekly classes at the university. The lessons were especially cool and fun and we learned a lot. I especially enjoyed most of the lessons since I was with others and it was an effective way to learn. Of course, I also spoke German around the house and also spoke it when playing online games.

While I was in Germany, I was fearless. I walked the back streets of Hamburg where tourists / foreigners do not go. I was not afraid to find my own way, find transport and start my own business, despite the fact that I speak a completely different culture and language. I went down to the small village of Soest, where everyone spoke German. I didn’t have any worries to ask how much, where to find the toilet and where my hotel was.

I got a call from the hotel and was asked about my booking and she spoke German. I muttered and stuttered and asked if she spoke English? Of course not, I spoke to her, in German, to the best of my ability (at first I clarified that I did not speak) and made this damn reservation. I talked to people and I was able to experience the best of Germany with maximum potential. I felt the tremendous warmth of German culture that I had idolized since university.

No, but my multilingual abilities have not stopped at the border with Germany. It wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg. I opened my letter and received 4 different interview requests in Germany (I was there as part of my internship program): “We are looking for a native English speaker …” Add to that that I also knew the business well in Indonesian, so it all led to the best feelings in my life. During the interview, they asked me how good my German was, and honestly, I told them that I speak German well enough for everyday life. All in all, it was a rare time when being in crazy food was good, assuming you were food and sharks were company.

The feeling of learning English and German strengthened my strength, it was like insight. I didn’t do these things because I was bored. I did it because I wanted to be worth something. As a result of the fact that I was boundless and not limited to one language, I had the best educational, social and cultural experience in my youth.