Back in May, I spoke at Tate Modern as part of the “Who Are We?” series of events that “reflecting on identity, belonging, migration and citizenship”.
The name of the exhibition holds great importance for me as a polyglot.
Speaking a new, different or even heritage language leaves a lasting impression on a person; so talking about identity involves language on various levels of the discussion.
As a professional polyglot, I find that it also echoes elements of cultural importance. We consider this as part of expertise with our clients in online communities. Cultural and linguistic identities have transcended the physical world and are intrinsically linked with our online identities too.
In today’s world, we see people moving around and retaining their cultural and linguistic identities with them like never before, as they dovetail into their new societies.
At The Social Element, we recognise the need to acknowledge this and so, our worldwide team is a reflection of this new state of being. We have people from all over the world working for us in their own countries, and others who are deeply integrated into their adoptive countries. Each of these people brings cultural and linguistic expertise that are essential elements of the service we provide.
“Who Are We?” celebrated and highlighted the multilinguistic, multi-ethnic and multicultural modern-day metropolises in which we find ourselves. We saw elements of people’s journeys as they left their countries of origin to make their homes in new places. Personal tales of the Syrian Refugee Crisis is one prominent example of the stories being told.
As the Languages Director for The Social Element, I was invited to talk about languages, language learning and their importance in our daily work and social lives.
Open up the worlds of school children with great linguistic knowledge. Give them options to use their languages and cultural awareness in worlds that go beyond the usual translation and teaching tracks that we’re so used to citing.
Yes, we need this diversity in the workplace. Yes, we want to attract the best people to our field. The Social Element is proud to be bold in reaching out to communities beyond our usual remits. It make links to new and expanding communities. This is how we grow, how we remain diverse and how we strengthen that diversity.