And he isn’t stopping at just seven.
The ability to speak in seven different languages has made a security guard at Putra Mosque, Putrajaya gone viral recently. Mohamad Khairul Azhar Mohd Razali or friendly-known as Khairul taught himself a few basic sentences in Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Persian, Thai, and English in just 17 months working at the mosque. The nature of the work that requires Khairul to constantly communicate with the tourists has made him determined to slowly learn foreign languages.
Khairul was born in Pahang and brought up in Kelantan. When he first moved to Kuala Lumpur, he could only speak the Kelantanese dialect and soon realised that it was difficult to communicate with people around him. He then started learning proper Malay language and within three months, he could communicate in the language fluently.
Perseverance Yields Performance
Khairul told us that he learned how to persevere since he was young. Coming from a big family with many siblings, Khairul always worked hard for his family.
“During my school days, I always work hard to get things I want. I bought a motorcycle with my own money and I even did not ask for petrol money from my parents. I work myself to earn the money”, said Khairul.
Although Khairul works a 12-hour shift every day and even longer on some days, that didn’t stop him from improving himself. He also told us that he learned these languages from the tourists. He would ask them to teach him simple basic phrases. He then would practice saying the words and phrases to his friends until he become fluent in the language.
“I always jot down everything I learned in this notebook. I will practice over and over again the words or phrases that I do not understand and soon enough, I can speak the language well”, Khairul explained.
Do What You Love, Love What You Do
We all have dreams. Be it a secured job, to travel to those countries on your bucket list, or simply make our loved ones happy. For Khairul, the security job may not be his dream job but he did not complain. Instead, he could not be happier than he already is. His interest to engage in a conversation with the tourists has made him take the initiative to learn foreign languages and most importantly, he enjoys it.
In fact, he loves it so much that he continues to learn more languages while improving the ones he already learned. Working as a security guard can be tiring most of the times, but for Khairul, his work gives him the opportunity to meet people of different background every day, which makes him interested to learn more about their languages.