Category: Employer Focus, Ofcom, enforcement, language training, European Day of Language, surveillance
To celebrate 2017's European Day of Languages, we caught up with Amy Hemmings, Market Surveillance and Enforcement Officer based in our Birmingham Office.
What do you love about learning languages?
When I was little my cousin and I would send each other coded letters that only we could understand; my love of secret languages evolved into a love of actual languages. From having a private conversation in a room full of people, to overhearing a conversation that someone thinks is private, to connecting with a stranger over something as simple as being able to talk the same language: there is no end to reasons I love languages.
You also learn more about your own language and you begin to question quirks that you never really thought about before. Why do the words rough, through and though all have the same ending but they’re all pronounced differently (uff, ooo and oh)?
What’s your favourite language and why?
Of the languages that I can speak (English, Spanish, French), Spanish is my favourite. Hispanic people are generous and friendly, Hispanic culture is rich and exciting and the Spanish language is beautiful and opens up a lot of opportunities in the big, wide world. Of the languages that I would like to speak (so that’s every language ever) I would love to learn British Sign Language. I have tried to teach myself but without someone to talk to I have no idea whether I’m doing a good job or not...
At Ofcom you helped to set up the Spanish Language Exchange – can you tell us a bit about it?
With so many people in Ofcom I thought that I can’t be the only Spanish speaker in the organisation, so I set up the Spanish Language Exchange (SLE) to connect with others who speak Spanish or are interested in Spanish. It has given me an opportunity to get to know new colleagues and speak Spanish more often. What surprised me about setting up the SLE was the amount of colleagues who want to learn Spanish, so when I have the opportunity I run bitesize Spanish language classes, hopefully they’re at least enjoyable!
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