Exploring the world with words

Kristen Daley

Some of you may have seen and heard students in the hallway exchanging a quick “Hola!” with their professors in the middle of the student center or on the quad. Looking at some, it is obvious that they are of some Spanish or Hispanic descent.
There are several here at Quinnipiac, however, that are far from it. You see a face of someone is obviously of another nationality, whether it be Irish, Italian, Russian or Chinese. Those students have taken it upon themselves to learn another language, widening their horizons and changing the way they look at the world.
We can use the Spanish language as an example because it is one major here at Quinnipiac that has a decent size program that continues to grow today. However, the study of a foreign language, whether here at school or out on your own time, is not limited to that of Spanish. Each of us can take on that challenge in any form that interests us.
No matter what language may interest you, knowledge in that area is definitely beneficial. You may have heard your advisors in high school say constantly “Learning a foreign language will make it easier for you to find a good job. Companies are always looking to hire bilingual employees.” That may be true, yet there is so much more that a study of a foreign language can do for you.
Being knowledgeable or fluent in the language will make it easier and more comfortable for you to travel to foreign countries or exotic islands.
Being able to communicate with the natives can open your eyes to the way they see things, and many times they are open to accepting foreigners making an effort to understand their world. Whether or not you mean it to be that way, it can be self-gratifying.
Being bilingual, or even trilingual, can help you even here in the United States. Some of you may been introduced to someone of a different nationality, who could speak English and his native language, that you would love to communicate in a way that is new to you. If that person is receptive to your desire, a friendship can result with a new intriguing basis.
Most importantly, with a study of a new language usually comes an interest in the culture that encompasses it. The study of the culture, including its history, music, and art will make you more knowledgable in internation relations and more culturally advanced.
To each his own, but it is certainly not a bad idea to take up studies in another language and its culture. The world is a big place, and you do not necessarily need to travel to express it.