EL Competition 2022: English and Going a Little Further, Oba Galvao Marina

Even as a non-native speaker, the English Language was always there, present for as long as I can remember. Not exactly there for me, yet not always a barrier. Sometimes, English was just… there, be it in the songs my mom listened to on the radio, or in the names of companies or stores, or even in the opening songs of my cartoons and children’s shows. So, when I started to pick up on the language, not only was I able to bridge the gap between me and the content I wanted to consume in English, but I also started to see lots of things –daily-life details, that I had never paid much attention to— in a new light. I was going a little further, looking for new meanings in everything. For example, who would know that “kindle” is an actual word and not just invented for the sake of naming the device? Or that Twitter’s logo is a bird because “tweet” is the onomatopoeia for a bird chirping? Or that shopping malls (in Portuguese, “shopping”) have that name because you go there to shop? Or that “cooler” is something that “cools off” your device? Certainly not someone without a good grasp of English. Studying this language has enabled me to expand my horizons – my interests, my circle of friends, my academic opportunities— and also to better understand the world I live in, even in Brazil or Japan, and I think that is something most people overlook when talking about the impact learning English can have on one’s worldview.