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Learn a New Language For a Better Career

MUMBAI MIRROR

MONDAY JULY 11, 2011 MUMBAI

LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE FOR A BETTER CAREER

With the advent of new technologies and globalisation, the world is definitely a smaller place. Anita Seth takes a sneak preview on how learning a new language can help you communicate effectively and augment your career

What would you do if someone greets you and says ‘Hola’ in Spain, ‘Bonjour’ in France, ‘Hallo’ in Germany and ‘Aloha’ in Hawaii? If one is not familiar with generic greetings, most of us would just smile back and acknowledge the same.

Importance of learning

“Learning a new language ensures trouble-free travelling and an enriching experience. It not only helps appreciate a new culture but also opens a door for better employment opportunities” says Giola Rodrigues, public relations director, Instituto Hispania. “It’s nice to have additional knowledge of any European language. There are various Italian companies coming to India. They look for candidates with foreign language skills, which in turn, facilitate better communication” quips Manoj Bhatkar, business manager, The Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Challenges involved

“Learning anything new requires both patience and practice and when you try your hand at the spoken lingo. The ease or difficulty with which you master a language depends on personal necessity” says Rodrigues. Though individual caliber matters, right training and coaching is what counts. Dinesh Govindani, director, Academia Espanol feels, “While learning Spanish, one can learn 50% French, 60% Italian and 80% Portuguese with ease.”

Teaching methodology

“We exercise a communicative approach of teaching and introduce the language through interaction. Equal importance is given to all areas of competence: writing, reading, speaking and listening by effectively using various tools to make learning an enriching experience” says David Cordina, director of studies, Alliance Fran?aise de Bombay.

Careers and scope

Learning a new language has many advantages. One can look at working in diplomatic services or as teachers, translators, interpreters and even tourist guides. “Most institutes offer language courses from basic to advanced levels. Overall results are better if one pursues long term courses than vacation batch courses” shares Geetanjali Gopalan, trustee, Study Centre of Foreign Languages. There is always a need for foreign language experts in MNC’s, hospitality/ tourism industry, schools and colleges. “Many of our students are house wives who undertake foreign language courses, as the need for translators is on the rise” ends Govindani.

Overseas advantage

“When visiting countries like Europe, Denmark, NorwayAustria and Czech Republic, considerable knowledge of Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, German and Czech languages helps you explore the place. In Hong Kong and Singapore, knowledge of Chinese along with English is useful” adds Xavier Augustin, president and CEO of Y-Axis Overseas.

He further adds, “Candidates over the age of 35, when studying, lose points since they’re over-aged. Therefore, it is advisable to be fluent when learning alanguage. This helps make up for the marks lost.” As the old saying goes, ‘While in Rome do as the Romans do’, it’s time to learn the ABC of a new language.

Institutes teaching foreign languages:

University of  Mumbai and Delhi

Barathiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai

Indo – Italian Chamber of Commerce, Mumbai

Japanese Information and Cultural Center, New Delhi

Indo-Japan Chamber Of Commerce and Industry, Chennai

Alliance Françaises de Bombay

Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai

Cultural Centre of Russia, Mumbai

Academia De Español, Mumbai

Instituto Hispania, Mumbai

Study Centre of Foreign Languages, Mumbai

Anita Seth

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