From A Banker To Language Liebhaber Over The Span Of Three Levels

Sep 28, 2023 | German, MULTILINGUALISM

Meet Anuradha Padmanabhan who shows us it never too late to start learning a language.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I am Anuradha and at present I am a 63 years old retired Banker. After graduating in the commerce stream, I worked for about 40 years in Bank of India, specializing in Foreign Exchange. I have always been very much interested in literature, philosophy and in learning different languages. Due to my love for Rabindranath Tagore’s work, I learned Bengali, to be able to appreciate the beauty of his writing in the original and to sing Rabindra Sangeet with authenticity. My hobbies are music, painting and trekking to exotic places, like Valley of Flowers. I love to travel a lot and I can never resist the call from mountains and oceans.

2. What motivated you to learn German?

In the pre-internet days having pen-friends was the most favourite hobby. My interest in German was sparked by a very close friend in Stamburg and my early foray into the language was during my college days. The rich cultural heritage of Germany and its profound contributions in the artistic, musical, literary, and philosophical fields drew me into its magnetic folds. Learning German allows me access to the works of these great writers in the original language and fully experience the cultural ethos.

3. Who are your favourite German authors? And why?

Philosophy and the sciences have had remarkable contribution from German thinkers. The philosophy of Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche have been path breaking in the field of human thought and have always remained my favourite. The literary works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, and Hermann Hesse have always been cherished by me for their depth and profound intensity.

4. What advice would you give people of your age who would like to learn a foreign language?

Each new language is like an open window with a new outlook on the world and expands the horizon of our knowledge. As we explore through its enchanting maze, it gently unveils its splendour, treasures and of course its mysteries too. Learning a new language, sets free a spirit in us, that was hitherto bound and lends wings to our soul.  Research has shown that learning a foreign language in old age avoids cognitive decline, stimulates the brain functions and delays significantly dementia and other mind-related diseases. It allows us above all to experience the ethos of an exotic land even without having to travel there in person.

Anuradha Padmanabhan is currently a German trainer trainer at IFLAC. She retired from her job as a banker at the State Bank of India and started her German language learning journey at IFLAC, Basavanagudi. She studied upto the C1 level and then started teaching. German being her passion, teaching it to eager and receptive minds has given her tremendous satisfaction. It is the key to furthering her own knowledge as the famous quote of Benjamin Whichcote “There is no better way to learn than to teach.”!


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