Tetsu Yung was born in Hong Kong to a Taiwanese father and a Japanese mother, but he spent most of his childhood in his father’s home country Taiwan. In those days, his father was a businessman in the textile industry and his mother taught Japanese language at the university. Little Tetsu was first put into a typical Taiwanese kindergarten, but was subsequently transferred to an American elementary school. Tetsu lived in Taiwan until he was thirteen, during which time he learned to speak Mandarin, Japanese, Taiwanese, Hakka, and English through family, friends, and school. After graduating from elementary school, he went to live with his aunt in Quebec, Canada, where he would learn to speak French in high school. Then through traveling and university courses, he would complete the list of languages he learned by adding Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.
Today, thanks to his parents’ diligent efforts and much self-directed learning, Tetsu is fluently pentalingual, speaking English, French, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish (in that order of fluency). He has used and continues to use these 5 languages extensively, in his career, part-time jobs, volunteering, as well as private and social life.
During his long university years, Tetsu has used all of these 5 languages as a part-time interpreter or tutor, either to earn a few bucks to make ends meet, or as a volunteer at gatherings ranging from international business conferences to world karate tournaments, with some assignments requiring him to juggle all five of his languages simultaneously!
From a career standpoint, he has used these languages, along with a doctorate degree and post-doctoral training in cellular and molecular biology, and an MBA in finance, to establish a career in the global pharmaceutical and clinical development industry. Tetsu’s unique and interesting multilingual/multicultural career path has been featured in L’Actualité, a well-known Quebecer periodical, and in MagazineContact, the alumni magazine of Laval University, where Tetsu did his graduate studies.
In July, 2015, after working for several years in Japan and Taiwan, Tetsu moved back to Quebec, Canada with his wife and two children. At three years old, his son is already trilingual (Mandarin, Japanese, and English), and is currently learning French and Spanish, with an aim to achieve 5 languages by age 5. Hi daughter is also expected to become multilingual as soon as she begins to talk, as she is also immersed in the same 5 languages as her older brother. So there these Children of Multilinguannaire are clearly off to a great start!
As of this writing in Oct. 2015, Tetsu works as a home-based Clinical Project Manager, running the Japan portion of global clinical studies. Yes, that means that even though he lives in Canada, his teammates are in Japan, and he continues to use his Japanese and English extensively at the professional level. As for his other languages, he is trying to figure out how to leverage them in other endeavors.
More to come...