There are a lot of hugely talented people in Dubai, but this Dubai taxi driver who taught himself to speak 10 languages is a proper DubaiLAD.
As well as being a taxi driver and negotiating our roads for a living, 33-year-old Hussain Sayed can do so while speaking 10 languages.
“I can hold a conversation in Arabic, Tagalog, Malayalam, Chinese (Mandarin), Russian, Farsi, English, Hindi, Urdu, and Pashto,” Hussain told the Khaleej Times. And he’s even been told he speaks Tagalog better than a lot of Filipinos in the UAE.
Amazingly, he learnt all 10 languages himself. His main tool was Google Translate while he also used several free lanuage learning apps.
“People’s faces automatically light up when you speak to them in their language. There is better respect and understanding between us…I got inspired by that,” he said.
Hussain was studying to become a doctor in his native Pakistan. But when his wife was diagnosed with a heart condition, he had to find a way to pay for her medical expenses. Which meant moving to Dubai to become a taxi driver.
He’s now been a taxi driver for 9 years and picked up the languages through his work.
“The toughest to learn has been Russian and Chinese. I cannot read or write Chinese, but I can speak it. The Russian script is not too difficult. I write the sentences in Urdu in notebooks and memorise them. I learnt Tagalog and Malayalam by speaking to my passengers.”
You Hussain are an absolute legend and we’d love to be lucky enough to get in your cab one of these days.