Language and other factors such as gender, ethnicities, and social status have an important influence in the formation of someone’s identity.
Nowadays, however, especially, with the influence of globalization, we are able to observe human exchange in many countries throughout the world. People who are looking for better life conditions and/or jobs and they travel abroad much more often. As a consequence, they find themselves interacting with cultures which are very different from their own and to which they have to adjust.
Now, at a more personal level, I interact with different languages in my “day to day” life. First, Portuguese, which is the Brazilian official language (inherited through the Portuguese colonization) and also my mother tongue as I was born here. It is the language I speak most of the time with my colleagues at school or with my family at home. Besides, I’m sometimes faced with some Arabic in my grandparents’ house, since they come from Lebanon. Therefore, I can pronounce some words but they are essentially food names or swear words (which mean a lot). Finally, by studying the Torah, which is the Jewish bible, I have learned some prophetical, profound and inspiring expressions which are very good to be aggregated to my general knowledge.
Although there are some languages with which I feel more empathy (like the ones I have just exposed), I am particularly averse to German as it sounds very harsh and I have the impression people are always insulting us saying those words that are difficut to pronounce.
Language learning is essential to all societies. Besides being a cultural instrument, language learning helps a lot in communication. Therefore, all governments around the world should invest in education with the intention of promoting the diffusion of languages to the population, so as to enable them to be regarded as more brilliant, and “high level” citizens.
At secondary school, we have this opportunity of learning other languages, which I’m sure will be very useful for us in the future, especially, when looking for a job or even doing tourism around the world. These languages are French, Portuguese, Spanish and English. I feel really thankful to this high school for providing us with so many different languages to learn, thus making us smarter students.
In Brazil, people feel the importance of learning other languages besides Portuguese. That’s why we can find so many extra- curricular courses for learning English, which is seen as the key for success in the work market. In fact, learning other languages is essential in order to find a job and get a better social-economic status. The more educated the person is, the more he or she will succeed. It is an added value to your diploma.
As for challenges and discoveries when trying to adapt to a new language, I guess that the most difficult part is to understand what the natives are saying as they talk too fast and also use national slang and expressions. Therefore, it’s essential to be patient and hope that time will help you to adapt to this new language more easily. However, I guess that my studies have prepared me very well to be ready to face a new culture.
The idea of creating an identity in a foreign language is complex. From my point of view, there will always be some extroverted people that will react the same way no matter where they are living or what language they are speaking. On the other hand, there are those who take more time to adjust to a new culture and language and therefore would take some time to show who they really are.