Khairul says the nature of his work that requires he communicate with tourists, makes him want to continue learning even more foreign languages.
News of security guard Mohamad Khairul Azhar Mohd Razali, who speaks seven languages went viral late last year and continues to fascinate those hearing it for the first time.
Khairul, who works at the Putra Mosque in Putrajaya said he taught himself a few basic sentences in Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Persian, Thai, and English in just 17 months.
He said the nature of his work that requires he constantly communicate with tourists, made him determined to learn the languages of others.
Khairul was born in Pahang but grew up in Kelantan. Speaking to Uppre, he said he could only speak the Kelantanese dialect when he first came to Kuala Lumpur but realised soon enough that communicating with others was next to impossible.
So he made up his mind to learn Bahasa Malaysia and within three months, mastered the language and can now communicate with others fluently.
Perseverance yields performance
Khairul told Uppre that the ability to persevere was a quality he had nurtured since young, attributing it to the large family he comes from. He said that since he had many siblings, it was in his nature to work hard to help financially support his family and purchase for himself the things he wanted rather than burden his parents.
“During my school days, I worked hard to get the things I wanted. I bought a motorcycle with my own money and I never asked my parents for money to buy fuel.”
Although Khairul works a 12-hour shift daily and even longer on some days, he said the long hours did not stop him from wanting to improve himself.
He also told Uppre that he learned foreign languages from the tourists he met and spoke to on a daily basis.
He said he often asked them to teach him basic phrases, which he would then practice until he became fluent in it.
“I jotted down everything I learned in this notebook. I practiced over and over again the words or phrases I did not understand and soon enough, I could speak the language well,” Khairul explained.
Do what you love, love what you do
We all have dreams, be it holding down a good job, travelling, or simply doing the things that bring happiness to ourselves and those around us.
For Khairul, being a security guard may not be his dream job but he has no regrets, saying as he couldn’t be happier.
He also said he became enthusiastic about learning foreign languages after having to chat with tourists daily.
In fact, he says that he loves chatting with them so much that he continues to learn more languages while mastering the ones he has already learned.
He said that while work as a security guard was tiring, it had given him the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds, something he said never ceased to fascinate him.
This article first appeared in uppre.com