Some challenges we face in life may be our chances to improve. Meet Muhammed Khairul Azhar Modh Razali, who is one of the greatest examples of a man who turned a challenge into an opportunity. While working as a security guard at the Putra Mosque in Malaysia, Razali has taught himself basic grammar rules and simple sentences in seven languages. What’s more, he solely did it to be able to properly communicate with the tourists!
“I practiced the words or phrases I didn’t understand over and over again and soon enough, I could speak the language well, I learned to speak key phrases in Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Persian, Thai, and English in 17 months.” says Razali.
As a fan of learning new languages, Razali adds that he is trying to learn Filipino as well since many visitors come from Mindanao, the Muslim region of the Philippines. When he first started working in Kuala Lumpur, he could only speak the Malay language in the Kelantanese dialect. As he had realized that communicating with people was too hard, however, he started learning the official language of Malaysia in May 2017. After his 3-month-long hard work, he could speak very fluently.
Why did he learn all these languages?
The young man says:
“I was first motivated to learn new languages as the nature of my work required communicating with foreign tourists who visit the landmark Putra Mosque which attracts visitors from all over the world.”
He always asked the tourists to tell him phrases and simple sentences in their own language, intending to learn new languages. After learning from the tourists, he practised these phrases until the point where he could use them fluently. “Even if you get the words wrong, people will help you to translate properly,” he stated. To remember what he learned in the future, Razali wrote down everything in his notebook.
As he loves learning languages and meeting people from different cultures, he doesn’t mind the challenges of his job anymore. He expresses his happiness while stating that even after the 12-hour-long shifts, he doesn’t feel tired and is extremely grateful to the foreign visitors of the Mosque.