Zachary Richardson, Manager at Forum by Prometour in California, shared why he thinks learning multiple languages is valuable and what makes Forum by Prometour a special place to work.
Zachary speaks English, Spanish and French fluently. He also speaks Arabic, Mandarin and Mongolian, which he learned during his teaching experience in Mongolia.
How can learning a new language improve your life?
Learning a language can give you a more complete perspective of life in general and a better understanding of your fellow human beings. To speak another language is to expose yourself to more people and better share who you are and understand those around you.
What made you want to learn new languages?
Personally, I enjoy the process of learning languages. There is period when you go from being completely lost in the language to the point where you are starting to understand the gestalt of the conversation, to the point where you can finally express yourself. That progress is very exciting and to wake up one day and have this epiphany where you can converse in a language which you couldn’t a few months/years/decades before, is like having a superpower.
Have you ever been on a language exchange?
When I was in middle school and high school we would take Spanish trips to Mexico, and those were some of the most memorable and enriching parts of my early education.
What is the best thing about working in a multilingual environment?
For me there is something so stimulating about the way your brain must constantly be adapting to the many languages and that stimulation becomes addicting. Also, the more languages you have…the more opportunities you have for jokes!!
Why do you think USA is a good place for a language exchange?
I think that for a student learning English, The US is a great place because there is a large variety of American English spoken there, in one city you can have dozens of different varieties of speech, and the exposure to that variety can make you a stronger overall English speaker. Also, for the most part, Americans are very friendly and like to chat with people so they can be good language partners. It is also a beautiful country with a lot of diversity and culture.