The European Day of Languages is celebrated on September 26th and the goal behind this significant day is to encourage learning new languages to increase linguistic diversity. Whether you want to study abroad or work in an international company, learning languages is helpful in all aspects of life where you come into contact with different cultures. And thanks to globalization and the Internet, that happens all the time nowadays.
At AnyDesk, we value cultural diversity, especially language skills. We are a German-based company, but our official language at the office is English and 13 other languages are spoken at AnyDesk every day!
And while that’s quite a few languages, I decided to survey some of my co-workers about their native languages and found that the cultural network is a lot closer-knit than I thought.
What do you consider your native language?
Vu only answers after some consideration: “German.”
What languages do you speak?
Vu: “German, Vietnamese, English, parts of some other languages, like Chinese and I know some words in Portuguese.” Looking at Ivana, he adds: “And some curse words in Croatian.” Both laugh, but Vu isn’t done yet: “I also speak a bit of Xhosa.”
Ivana: “I speak German, English, and Croatian. I can understand Spanish, as well.”
Georgia: “Portuguese, English, and I’m learning German. I can also understand Spanish, but I don’t speak it myself.”
Which language do you use most?
Vu: “I use all three equally. When I’m at home, I speak Vietnamese with my family.”
Ivana: “German. But I speak Croatian at home and with friends.”
Georgia: “English is the one I use most. I try to use German more often because not everyone in Germany speaks English well. At home, I speak Portuguese.”
Are there people at work you can speak with in your native language?
Vu: “Yes. I could also speak Vietnamese with my co-worker, but I never tried it in front of others.” Ivana and Georgia both encourage him to try it.
Ivana laughs and answers: “I can speak Croatian with half the company!”
Georgia: “Not yet, unfortunately. I tried teaching Vu some.” Both laugh.
What do you like about the linguistic diversity at AnyDesk?
Vu jokingly answers: “Cursing in different languages because I unfortunately don’t know how to curse in Vietnamese.”
Ivana: “Cursing as well,” she answers and laughs. “But also learning about other cultures.”
Georgia: “Yes, I like the cultural aspects of language, too! Also, I don’t speak German very well, so listening to my co-workers really helps! I can improve my English here, too.”
Listening to my co-workers talk about cultural differences and bonding over difficult consonant or vowel sounds in their native languages was inspiring to hear. It’s also inspiring to see people from different parts of the world working together and finding common ground. That’s the kind of diversity and mix of cultural experiences that brings different ideas to the table. In that case, language doesn’t have to be a barrier, but instead it can be a bridge.
Image source: Council of Europe
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