We’re asking students, recent grads, teachers, and counselors five questions on how languages play a role in shaping personal and professional success…
Meet Veer—a California high school student of languages aspiring to a future career in computers and technology.
1. Could you share with us a little about your earliest experiences with language and culture? What language(s) do you use with family at home?
My earliest experiences with language and culture are when I was little, and my parents used to speak Hindi with their friends at get-togethers, especially at cultural events such as Diwali, the festival of lights. I also had a major experience with culture when I traveled to India to meet my grandparents. At the time, I was only able to speak English, so I felt a little left out sometimes. Now, I speak Hindi and English at home with my family.
2. Do you learn a language at school or through a community or after-school program? When did you begin, and what’s the best part of that experience?
I learned Hindi through Hindi Language Program. I started in 2020, and it was online through the pandemic. It was a great program, as it taught me how to read and write in Hindi, and they taught me how to form sentences with grammar.
The best part of the experience was that I was part of a great community that supported me and other friends in learning Hindi, and I made new friends who share and speak the same language.
3. Have you got a favorite word or expression in a language other than English? What is it, what does it mean, and why did you choose it?
“Bade bade deshon mein aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hain” is my favorite expression in Hindi. It means such small things keep happening in big countries. It is one of my favorite movie dialogues by Shah Rukh Khan in the movie Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. I chose it because it means small problems always happen, even in big countries/cities, and life goes on.
4. What’s the coolest thing about knowing multiple languages?
The coolest thing about knowing multiple languages is that you can communicate with many more people.
It also makes it easier to communicate with adults whose first and primary language is Hindi. A hidden benefit of knowing Hindi is that my family and I can talk about private things in a public space.
5. What would you say to someone who is thinking about learning a language?
I would highly recommend that you learn a language because you can proudly say that you are bilingual, which is a huge accomplishment.
You become a global citizen because you understand and appreciate another country’s culture and language. This would be a great benefit for the future because it increases communication with people from different countries.
Check out our Connect with Hindi page to explore language scholarships, university programs, testimonials, and more! And, as always, visit @LangConnectsFdn on social media to share your story with us.