From Spanish to Arabic to English, Raage Sofe has long been interested in the study of languages. After taking Spanish through high school, Sofe intended to study the makeup of language as a linguistics major at BYU; however, he quickly realized his love of language extended beyond linguistics to the culture, people, politics, and traditions of countries. The Middle Eastern Studies/Arabic (MESA) major combined all of his interests with its focus on Arabic, Middle Eastern politics, and an in-depth study of Islam. His continued study of Spanish has helped him understand the “how” of learning a language before attempting to master a language so unrelated to English as Arabic.
From a small town in eastern Oregon, Sofe’s first experience with international affairs was his service as a missionary in the England London South Mission. He spent much of his time in inner-city London speaking with people from countries all over the world—immigrants from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean—along with native Britons on an almost daily basis and received assignments periodically to speak to Spanish and French wards. This rich immersion in cultures and languages made his mission a springboard for his interest in international affairs.