There are many ways for you to get speaking more than one language. But I only have one suggestion which is damage proof.
Love people and culture
Loving people means getting to know them as human beings. We speak so much about how to say things properly or explain concepts in layman terms, but the basic core of all successful communication is the word ‘human’ itself.
Bearing in mind every human being is brought up differently, loving people requires us to look beyond personal history. We ought to go one step further or even take one step back and learn about people’s culture.
Unfortunately learning people’s culture does not depend on reading and listening alone. You need to experience it. You need to pick up a chopstick and ask how a 6 year old Chinese girl is able to use a chopstick to eat. You need to look at the fingers on your right hand and ask how Malays and Indians are able to eat with their fingers.
“Tak kenal maka tak cinta” (If you do not get to know, you will never fall in love.) Malay proverb.
Love can be referred to as many things beautiful. When you feel a sense of loss, you have loved. If you feel for a friend who is hurt, you have loved. When you reach out your hand to donate, in kind or otherwise, you have loved. However, love means asking for nothing in return as the reward is in the giving.
My kid does not want to eat certain vegetables. I have this to say,”The food is here for us to enjoy. Why are you choosing? If we love our body, we have to take care of it.” When the mind refuses to see the benefit love can bring, we will be defeated.
Is there such a thing as “Chinese way of business” or “Malay style of eating” or “Indian concept of education”? In a multi-racial or multi-cultural soceity, people are apt to make reference to a race when they cannot find a suitable vocabulary, when in fact it is their lack of knowledge that is at fault. It is perfectly all right if we want to praise or show appreciation. Only when it is used to undermine will references made to a race becomes detrimental to one’s reputation.
Unless you have been living like a frog in a well (井底之蛙, katak di dalam tempurung) , you may not have heard of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. What I am saying is that if you do not go out and start observing people on the move: going to work, playing sports, cooking, collecting money at the cashier counters, talking at the bus stop, waiting to pick up their kids at school, speaking to the nurses at the hospital reception etc etc, how can learn to love people? People are constantly communicating with one another with a language. If you listen intently you will surely find so many different ways to greet, say goodbye, request for information, ask for directions, make inquiries on the phone or write a simple note to a colleague in the office.
I have never thought of myself special because I can speak 4 languages. I grew up already knowing them, so how is that special to me? I don’t have the aces to boast but I know one thing, you don’t need the aces to go places. Learn to love people and culture by knowing a few words of the language they speak. That is all it takes to get speaking more than one language.