KUALA LUMPUR – A broadcasting student from Togolog, in Sabah, Azrey Henderey (picture), attracted Tik Tok viewers with his ability to speak five of the major languages in the world.
Through the TikTok video, Azrey looks comfortable and relax conversing in the foreign languages , while chatting online through social media with his friends abroad.
What is more impressive is to know that he has never attended formal lesson to learn the languages, but only through YouTube.
Apart from the national language, Bahasa Malaysia and his local Sungai Kalabuan dialect, Azrey can speak Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin and English.
“I want to travel the world one day, so I want to learn all the cultures and languages of the world to be able to understand the people of other countries better. I want to be able to speak as many languages as possible,” he told Bernama.
He said he was able to speak Mandarin as he attended a Chinese-medium school during his primary years.
What stirred his interest to study foreign languages was when he was in secondary school.
“There was a student exchange programme and we had students from Japan in school. It was difficult to communicate with them as I didn’t know their language.
“I could not afford formal lessons to attend classes because of the high fees, so I learn through YouTube, and I find it faster to learn through video than from books,” he said.
Azrey, 20, a first year diploma student at the Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, said after he completed secondary school, he got to know many friends from overseas, like Spain, Kazakhstan, Russia and Japan, whom he befriended through social media.
“It was difficult to communicate with them as I don’t know their language and this encouraged me to learn their languages,” he said, adding that he practiced speaking the foreign languages using the OmeTv application that enables him to interact with various individuals from around the world.
“I believe we can understand a friend better by communicating using his language. The person will also be more open to share problems and opinions with us,” he said.
His next plan is to learn to speak Polish, German and Korean.
Hoping to be a radio presenter one day, he advised the young people to also learn to speak other languages than their own mother-tongue.
“Technology is becoming more sophisticated, use this opportunity well, you will feel the beauty when you are able to talk to people by using their language, and you will also be able to learn many things,” he said.