This year I am to learn a 2nd language as I feel I am confident enough I can remember all the different sounds (or if I’m being really academic, “signifiers”) that mean the same things, and communicate them to at least an “okay” degree. I thought it would be a cool skill not only as an extra line on the CV, but mostly as a challenge.
The language is Tagalog, the main language in the Philippines (I know lots of others who know the language). It’s better late than never, and I think I have made some surprisingly good progress, as the language is quite easy to learn. It borrows a little from Spanish (cómo está -> kumusta = how are you). Once you memorize the more complex stuff then it stays in your head so it doesn’t feel so complex in the end thank goodness.
One thing I’ve noticed about Tagalog (it might just be me) is that when you say it, it somehow makes your voice go louder than usual. I think it’s because they way the words require moderately clear pronunciation (ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo = pleasure to meet you) which makes the speaker talk loud?
I think the main challenge for me is that, whereas in the UK we have some easier ways of showing politeness (Sir, Madam ect.), in Tagalog it’s a little more trickier. For example a lot of sentences to someone with authority (whom generally shouldn’t be addressed by first name) contain the word “po” (“opo” instead of “o o” = “yes” [formal]), and talking about / to them usually requires them to be talked about it plural instead of singular (“sa inyo” instead of “sa’yo” = to you (all) [formal]. Yikes I do want to upset anyone in Tagalog conversation!
Thankfully the internet has plenty of free resources to learn another language, so hopefully I can make swift progress and know at least elementary proficiency Tagalog by the end of the year!
I am writing this post in response to the Guardian article about 10 skills graduate employers look for, as one of those skills (along with business sense and having a Linked In account ect) is a another language as I guess it shows discipline and rigor which means you can be trusted more ( :/ ?). I have also read an article about how Uni students are prioritizing employability over their studies, which is kind of concerning considering how much work goes into academia… In my opinion, the safest bet is to do well in both.