Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Can I be multilingual?

" U changed me. the Malaysians," said a local Egyptian who teaches us Arabic lesson. My friends and I looked at each other, puzzled. Then he began his story, how he started to concern about standard Arabic and English language. We listened to him, doozed.

During his schooling, he learnt English and Arabic as other students would do, to excel in examinations. As he entered Al-Azhar University, the oldest university in world, he started to take both languages for granted. Until that day, the day he met a Malaysian student.


"He was a nice friend. He can't communicate using General Arabic that is spoken in Egypt. But his English and Standard Arabic surprised me," he continued.


After that, he thought thoughtfully and he begin to realize a very big mistake he had done. "How could I abandoned Standard Arabic in the mean time I'm an Egyptian?" Then he added sincerely, “The next day, I found myself starting all over again. Everything from the very beginning.” His friend had hit the nail on the head, I guessed! Our teacher is now can speak 8 different languages! And I’m not lying, of course.


I was impressed by this fact too. At first, we were complaining about the Egyptians who won’t listen to us when we speak Standard Arabic. We were even laughed at! However, he encouraged us to speak even the Standard Arabic with those Egyptians.


He said, “This is da’wah. You are not doing this for yourself, but you are doing this for Islam. You’ll make them realize that there’s no shame to speak the Language of Qur’an. Instead, those who doesn’t understand the language should be ashamed. So, keep you chin up!” he said courageously.


Dear friends, what am I sharing with you today is something for you to take note that u should not be shy or ashamed to speak out. Learn and speak whatever language you want. Let your knowledge flows. There’s no need to worry of mistakes. Mistakes will lead us to corrections. While corrections, will make us a better person. All we have to do is keep learning with the intention of being a better well-knowledge Muslim. There's some foreign languages I'd like to learn too. Other than English and Arabic, there are Tagalog, Thai, Japanese, Korean and Turkish. I've found that these languages are unique and welcoming. Well, as for now, it still seems far down the road. But I'll get down to brass the tacks, when my time has come..soon. Have ever heard a saying, ‘ Rome was not built in one day’?
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