I was always interested in learning German since I can remember. My family had fled from Iran during the Iran-Iraq war and built a new life in Germany. Years and years later, they still remained in Hamburg as the family continued to grow there. Having been born there and having so many family members there, I had an affinity towards the sounds of the language. I moved to the U.S. when I was two, but every other year I would return to Hamburg with my parents to visit family there. I was constantly curious as to what my family members were saying when they spoke German, so I was determined to eventually take language classes to learn, when the opportunity would arrive.
My opportunity began at UCLA. Not only can I communicate effectively with my family members now, but it has also provided me with a greater cultural understanding of my surrounding. Learning the language has also enhanced my skills in other languages, as German is so rich in grammar, that a strong understanding of grammatical structure in the general sense is a must. It has also helped me professionally, as due to my German language skills, I was able to advance at a law firm that required me to translate seminars into German.
The desire to learn German may have started out as a personal journey, but it has helped me gain more opportunities professionally in the real world, and I’m thankful to UCLA’s German program to have provided me with this great gift.