The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Global villagers need more than English language

In a world with growing diversity and advanced technology, society has truly become a global village. People are more connected than ever. It is important that we keep up with the expanding network of relationships.

In order to do so, learning other languages is crucial. It not only teaches us how to communicate with people who speak a different native tongue, but it also teaches us something about other cultures and how to better understand them.

My internship supervisor at Fox Sports reminded me of the importance of knowing another language at the end of the internship. She told me that if I wanted to work in the sports entertainment industry in California, learning a language like Spanish or French would be crucial.

“What does knowing Spanish have to do with working in American sports?” I asked myself. After all, broadcasters and TV reporters give reports in English, and my co-workers at the office have to know fluent English if they want to work in the American sports industry.

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All I had to do was turn on my television to find the answer. When I saw an interview with a reporter struggling to decipher a native Spanish-speaking baseball player’s English, I could see just how important knowing another language was.

English instructor Khalida Kareemi understands the importance of mastering multiple languages. She speaks Urdu, German, Arabic, French and Italian. She said that learning a language not only allows one to learn more about a culture, but also to bond with people from other cultures.

“[Learning a language] is important so you know the people,” Kareemi said. “[It is important] so you don’t have any misgivings about them.”

She illustrates a great point. In an American society filled with stereotypes and a lack of knowledge of other cultures, it is common for people to make judgments about other people based on their background. Kareemi shared an anecdote that illustrates how knowing other languages and putting aside judgments is important to succeeding in the workplace.

Kareemi and her husband were at a company function with an Italian man who didn’t talk much, since he knew little English. She wanted to get to know the man better, so she and her husband went up to him, and she spoke to him in Italian. They formed an immediate bond. Not only did Kareemi get to know the man better, but her husband felt he could get along with him better.

“It made such a difference in my husband’s work,” she said.

As Kareemi and her husband got to know someone who was once singled out, her husband’s experiences with the man were much better at the workplace. The two formed a bond because someone decided to break the language barrier, free of judgments and preconceptions. The man was not that shy after all.

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