By ChicaMod Editor
A polyglot is one who knows more than one language. Being born on the East African coast almost automatically qualifies one as a polyglot; most of the inhabitants of East Africa speak two or three languages. In Kenya, English and Swahili is spoken as a national and official language. Most people have a third native language to boot. With the world increasingly shrinking to a fist-sized global village, the importance of learning foreign languages increasingly cannot be ignored.
A steadfast knowledge of languages you can effectively count off the fingers of your hands increases your chances of never being unemployed. Polyglots are constantly being required for the services of translation, teaching, tourist guiding, website management, article writing, among very many other job prospects. As a matter of fact, many jobs advertised by the UN require applicants to be conversant with a certain prerequisite number of languages. There are many languages to choose from; French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Somali, Chinese, Japanese, and virtually any language wrap your head around. Even Braille, or sign language!(check out images below)
In Nairobi and other urban areas of East Africa, there are cultural centres that assist an aspiring polyglot in his quest for lingual agility. Such cultural centres include the Alliance Francaise (French) and the Goethe Institute (German). Here, at a fee, one will find plays in the language one is hoping to learn. One will find well-stocked libraries, DVDs and CDs as well as beginner, intermediate and advanced classes both for theoretical study of the language and its oral practice. Some of these cultural centres also provide exchange programs opportunities where a language student gets the opportunity to improve their language skills by spending some time in a country that speaks the language they are trying to learn. See the awesomeness of sign language by renown photographer Mutua Matheka. Do you see all the alphabetical letters? Get to be a polyglot!
Photo Credits Mutua Matheka