Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Brunei Town

Tour guides say language skills are important

Local tour guides who completed a language course for tourist guides received their certificates of completion yesterday.

Many of them touched on the importance of language skills in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Amal binti Shamsul, who completed the Japanese language course, said, “I studied the Korean language in Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), and I was also a Korean tour guide.

“It’s easy to learn Japanese if you already know Korean because there are some similarities.”

She added, “I want to learn new languages because it’s interesting to communicate with other cultures.

“When I was a student in Korea, many people didn’t know about Islam and I was ashamed that I was unable to explain my religion and country because of the language barrier. That was when I started learning Korean.

“During my travels, I also met many Japanese people who didn’t know much about Brunei, so I also wanted to learn Japanese to make friends and also network.”

ABOVE & BELOW: Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah presents certificates to Amal binti Shamsul; and Deana Fong.

PHOTO: JAMES KON

PHOTO: JAMES KON

On the reason she became a tour guide, she said, ”I just like talking to people. It’s fun, especially with foreigners curious about our religion, country and culture.

“I felt that I might as well do it in a proper manner by becoming a tour guide.”

She added, “Learning a new language really depends on your passion and interest to stay motivated.

“If it’s only for work, you may not feel it’s fun. Since I like the culture and I have Japanese friends, I was motivated to learn the language.”

Meanwhile, Deana Fong, who completed the Korean language course, said, “I chose the Korean language because I felt that there are increasingly more Koreans visiting Brunei.

“It helped that the course was free and there was time during the COVID-19 disruptions, so we could take the opportunity to upgrade ourselves by learning a new language.”

She added, “Learning new languages is challenging, especially Korean which has different types of writing. We were fortunate to have a good teacher from UBD to guide us.”

She also said that learning new languages is “definitely beneficial for tour guides.

“We have different visitors from around the world, so knowing new languages will help to better communicate and create a bond with our foreign guests“. – James Kon

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