INSTANDA employees speak many languages. In fact, there are 15 different languages spoken throughout the company. We are looking forward to showcasing our talented employees in this two part installation of "Meet the Team," language edition. Part Two introduces our Recruitment Manager, Andrew, and Software Engineer, Maria.
Languages you speak: English & Tamil
Where you learned to speak them: Just speaking with my extended family. My parents primarily spoke English when I was growing up, throwing in the odd Tamil word here or there. Some of my family relations speak very minimal English, especially the ones who are still in Sri Lanka. The only way to communicate with them is by speaking Tamil. It’s funny because I have two siblings & I am the only offspring who can speak Tamil to a decent level.
Favorite word or phase: « Vanakkam » It’s the Tamil greeting – I just like the way it’s spelled & sounds.
Have your multi lingual abilities come in handy during your professional life? If so when/how: If I am being honest, I have not used it much in professional settings. However, when speaking with candidates from Southern India, I will use it. Tamil is spoken widely so I like to make conversation in their native tongue to be more personable. I love hearing their reactions, as they are surprised that I speak at a pretty good level!
Any advice to anyone thinking of learning a second (or 3rd) Language: Being of Sri-Lankan heritage & my parent’s mother tongue being Tamil, it was a lot easier for me to speak & understand that language. I think it’s like anything just give it a go. The only way to really learn & develop a new language is to just speak, read, and write it.
Anything else you’d like to share? I think generally the additional language skill-set of British people is by far lower than other nationalities as it’s the stereo-typical view’ we expect everyone- else to speak English, hence why there is not very high motivation to learn others.. I would most definitely fall into that category. I’m really in personal growth & development mode at the moment. The prospect of learning another central European language is something very much high on my radar..
Languages you speak: Spanish and English
Where you learned to speak them: I was born in Lima, Peru. Spanish is my first language and I learned English during my childhood.
Favorite word or phrase: We Peruvians love food so much that we even use it in colloquial phrases. Here are some examples:
¡Qué palta! => How embarrassing! (Palta means avocado)
¡Qué piña! => Such bad luck! (Piña means pineapple)
Have your multi lingual abilities come in handy during your professional life? If so when/how: As a software engineer, you don’t often speak to clients. But on the rare occasion that I have spoken to clients based in South America, speaking Spanish was very useful. Even now with INSTANDA, I had the opportunity to be involved in meetings with one of our partners from Chile.
Any advice to anyone thinking of learning a second (or 3rd) Language: Practice as much as you can. And, if possible, visit places where it’s spoken and speak that language with the locals.
Anything else you’d like to share? I’m hoping to learn another language, such as French or Italian. I know basic words but would love to speak them fluently. Hopefully one day I will!