In today’s podcast we focus on people who speak more than one language and on how these languages have an impact on our daily lives and even on our thinking. We will hear Issa Assaf from Jordan who tells us how he learned first Arabic, then English and now German and which new worlds these languages have opened up for him. Issa tells us stories and mentions some books which could potentially change your life, so – beware! Also we will listen to Thomas, who grew up with an Austrian mother and an English father. Is there really an advantage in growing up in a bilingual environment?
Let us hear from Issa Assaf, who is a Jordanian student and is doing an exchange semester at RheinAhrCampus. He will explain the role English plays in Jordanian everyday life. Issa explains how as a child he got motivated to learn English well. Apparently television played a very important role in this – as for many people who have learned a language well.
Thomas Brown is a person who grew up bilingually with an Austrian mother and an English father. What was it like for him to grow up with two languages? It sounds like at first he only learned his mother’s language German, while when he went to school he moved on to only speaking English. Thomas points out that it was not only about the language but also about culture – for example they had a traditional Austrian “Stube” instead of an English living room and he felt bi-cultural because even their family life had always been a little different from other English families.
It is true that when we discuss bilingualism we may concentrate a little too much on the fact that people have two languages and tend to forget that that they have often also grown up in two different cultures. Issa explains how the power of language will affect our lives and how we can develop a more positive aspect on life by using a different kind of language.
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The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Asif Safarli