Professional Tour Guides Go Into Foreign Language Teaching – The New Indian Express
Express news service
KOCHI: Fluent in Italian, Antony Varghese, an experienced and licensed professional guide, used to help travelers from various European countries navigate the exotic and culturally significant places of South India. Those were the happy days. The story of Chris Joseph and Rojin VM, who are well versed in conversation in German and French, is similar.
However, the pandemic has stopped everything. With no more options and the resumption of the arrival of international tourists may take time, these tour guides turned to their fluency in foreign languages for a living. Antony, Chris and Rojin today started online courses to teach Italian, German and French respectively.
“Tourism is not coming anytime soon and it would be unwise to wait for something to happen on this point,” said Antony. So he decided to tap into his teaching experience and started online courses to teach Italian.
According to Antony, who has been a licensed professional guide for 18 years, the lessons have not yet started. “But it won’t be the same as being a tour guide,” he said. “I was making at least 5,000 rupees a day during the season and worked around 100 to 110 days,” said Antony, who lives in Thekkady. Rojin VM has already started classes.
“I have already trained six to seven lots,” he said. But can you compare the income of the courses with that of a tourist guide? He said no. “For the online courses I charge Rs 7,500 per student and the courses are two months (50 hours) and each batch has eight to 10 students,” he said.
According to Chris Joseph, who started a German course, students approaching the class are those who want to go to Germany for higher education or a job. “If you want to find a job or be able to study in Germany, a good knowledge of German is essential,” said Chris, who became a language guide after realizing his potential. They are all independent guides who are solicited by travel agencies during the season and are therefore well paid.