Today let’s take a look at some of the reasons why it is a fantastic idea to start learning another language, even if you feel like you have no language ability. There are ten great reasons why learning another language can be a wonderful thing:
1. Employment. If you can speak more than one language, you have an advantage over many of the other people who are applying for the same jobs as you. This is especially useful in today’s internationally-minded world.
2. It’s good for your brain. Getting your head around complicated grammar structures, plus memorising lots of vocabulary, is great exercise for your mind. The older we get, the more we need to keep our brains sharp, and language study is perfect for this.
3. It’s interesting. There’s nothing like that “eureka!” moment when you see sense in language. For me, studying Chinese characters and Korean language at the same time was a wonderful, stimulating experience. I gather you can have the same joy if you study Latin and other European languages.
4. Meet new people. Learning languages inevitably brings you into contact with other people, often from other countries, cultures and walks of life. Whether it’s in an evening class or an online forum, learning a foreign language is the perfect route to meeting people.
5. Improve your first language. It’s surprising how much we can improve our own language. I would never think of myself as someone who needs to learn English, but as time goes by and I study more foreign languages, I see gaps in my knowledge of my own mother tongue. Learning a foreign language helps us see the room for improvement in our own language.
6. It’s sexy. Listen to anyone speaking English with an accent from say, Latin American countries, or listen to someone speaking French, and you will see how attractive it is to speak other languages.
7. Travel. If you can already speak English, you will find that many doors are already open to you in terms of communicating when you travel. But there comes a point where you need to dip into other languages. It is amazing how welcoming people can be if they see you are making an effort with their own language, and you might just find yourself invited to people’s homes by virtue of the fact that you said just a few sentences in their own language.
8. It’s inexpensive. You don’t need to spend a fortune to study another language. Especially with the internet, you can choose just about any language you fancy and find excellent free resources available for you to study. In particular, people who want to learn English online free are incredibly spoilt in terms of the resources available to them.
9. You can be creative. One of the beautiful things about learning English or any other language is that you are your own master. Unlike more disciplined subjects like maths or science, when you learn a foreign language you can choose fun topics that interest you. If you like sports, learn some of the vocabulary and phrases associated with sport. If you are a fan of movies, watch some movies with the subtitles turned on in the language you are learning. Better yet, watch some movies from the country which speaks the language you want to learn. It really is up to your imagination.
10. Get rid of stress. When you learn a foreign language, you can get away from all the stresses and trials of life. Forget about your problems at work, stop thinking about money, leave that health worry at home. When you are in an environment of learning, you can allow your energy to flow into positive experiences and leave your troubles elsewhere for a while. And that is pretty priceless, if you ask me.