Official Artist
Caroline Chan
MC / Show Host
20,354 views| 5  Posts

Blah blah blah...

I've always thought that language is power.  This is unsurprising from someone who was born in Canada to parents who immigrated there.  There are at least 3 languages that you have to learn.  That of your parents and the two official languages.  If you can master those, you're golden.  If you can add more to your roster, then you're flying high.  In high school, on top of the languages I already knew, I was learning Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin.  I don't remember much of my Spanish though I think it sounds a lot like my French.  I can make polite conversation in Japanese.  And I am trying to learn Mandarin by watching Taiwanese dramas.

I must admit that my reasons for learning languages has nothing to do with some higher goal.  It's merely for self gratification and at best of times, a cheap parlour trick.  I like the connections you can make between languages and the connections between the words and the way people think.

People automatically respond better to you if you speak their language, no matter how terrible you are at it.  Language is the great commonality.  I remember once in Canada, I was trying to land a really difficult interview.  The secretary was like, "my boss isn't in the office and I really don't think he'll do it."  I spent 30 minutes trying to convince her to call her boss and ask.  She refused.  Finally, she was like, "okay, maybe I'll do it, Can you leave your name and number?"  I gave her my name and she asked, "are you Chinese?"  I said, "yes."  We then proceeded to have a quick conversation in Cantonese where she promised she would call her boss right away and see what she could do.  Needless to say, I got the interview.

But language is a muscle that you need to exercise.  It will atrophy without proper use.  I feel in some ways, having so many languages at my disposal has caused this.  There has to be some give which isn't necessarily a good thing with this issue.  In Hong Kong, you get used to jumping back in forth between Cantonese and English, sometimes in mid-sentence, that you  forget what the word is in the other language.  You pick the word that best describes what you're trying to say and is the quickest.  Isn't that what communication is all about?

Maybe that's the way of the future - the global language will be a great melange of words and phrases.  One great language to unite us all.

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Languages Spoken
english, cantonese, french
Location (City, Country)
Hong Kong
Member Since
November 18, 2009