Malaysians pride themselves in their ability to master and mix tongues. For some, picking up one more language – preferably a foreign one – is irresistible.
Foreign language centres have long had afirm foothold in Penang. The Malaysian- German Society (MGS), for one, emerged more than 50 years ago as a friendship society in 1962. Dr Doris Hafner, its present director, ascribes the society’s long history to the language itself: “The German language actually plays quite an important role here due to the increasing number of Germanybased companies rooted in Penang.” She adds, “As of now, the society comprises mostly students, as more and more would like to pursue their tertiary education in Germany.”
President of the Penang Japanese Language Society (PJLS) Cheng Ah See says that the language centre started out back in the 1980s conducting night classes: “We did not have a fixed location then – we were always moving around.
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