Notes: Pharmaceutical Industry
My name is Anne Morrison, I’m in my early forties and I currently live with my husband and three young children in Argyll and Bute. I studied Pharmacy at Strathclyde University and worked in the UK in the pharmaceutical industry during the first few years of my career. I moved to France in 1998 and have recently returned to live in Scotland.
As well as English, what other languages can you speak?
I speak French fluently and a little German.
What inspired you to learn languages?
When my husband got a job in France and we decided to move there I had to learn French in order to find a job.
What aspects of learning a language do you enjoy most?
I enjoy being able to express myself in another language. I am fascinated by the links between different languages, the origin of certain words and their evolution.
Do you have a ‘EUREKA’ languages moment, when suddenly you realised that you were able to communicate in a language other than English?
The first presentation I did in French at work was a great achievement for me.
How do you use your language skills in your working life?
I worked in France for 12 years and spoke French to my colleagues on a daily basis. I now work in for a Swiss pharmaceutical company. I work from home in Scotland for most of the time, but I usually spend one week in four in the office in Switzerland.
I usually speak English at work, but also French as I have many French colleagues. Having at least one second language certainly helped me get this job as there are few people in the company who speak only one language and they recruit people who can work in international environment.
What’s your most memorable language related experience?
A lovely, simple conversation with a 5-year-old French girl, just after moving to France is a wonderful memory for me. She didn’t seem to mind how bad my French was and I could speak just well enough to interest her. This really inspired me!
Do you have a message to share about the importance and the benefits of language learning?
Learning a language allows you to experience another country’s culture in a way you never could without the language. This has broadened my outlook in life as I realise that the British way of life is not always what I prefer. Now I can choose the best from two different cultures. (films, books, friends , travel etc.)
Speaking French has opened up career opportunities for me. Partly because I speak it at work and partly because it demonstrates that I can work in a multicultural environment. Non-English speakers are generally pleasantly surprised to discover that a British person speaks a foreign language well, as it is relatively rare.
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