I wanted to write this post for a while but now that I’m writing it, I feel like such a hypocrite. I haven’t been to my language class in so long I’m not even sure of the last date. When push came to shove it has had to give way to my Masters degree, but I do hope to pick it up again as soon as I can. I loved the process of learning a new language (although my skills can only be described as basic at best!) but basically here are 6 reasons to learn a new language.
- Although it sounds ridiculous, learning a second language in your spare time can be extremely relaxing. When I’m in class, or racing to do my homework on time I can think about nothing else other than the task at hand. German grammar is so mind-boggling strange, that it leaves no room for distractions. If you’ve got something on your mind, you have to push it away to focus on which verb moves where. So in a way, it gives you a bit more breathing space.
- You learn how to really communicate. OK, so you can speak and write and read. You do them all daily so your pretty good at communicating already right? Learning another language though teaches you how to make yourself extra-doubly clear. When you’re in the middle of a role-play and your partner has a lower ability than you it forces you to really think about how to get your message across (albeit in the other language.)
- Challenge Leads to Growth – They say you’d never learn anything new if you didn’t try anything new. Learning a new language can be daunting; I’ll freely admit public speaking was never really my thing. That said, after you’ve stood up in front of a group of people and described a situation using words that are 20 letters long (here’s looking at you: lebensmittelgeschäft) it gives you a little boost. If you can give a presentation in a second language, you can sure as hell give one in your native tongue.
- You Never Know What is Going To Happen – OK, gunna be honest here I don’t use German very often in my day to day life. I know, shocking. However if I’ve learnt one thing this year it’s that you can never be certain where life is going to take you. Learning a new language can open up a range of opportunities. I’m not just talking about the one country who speaks that language and maybe moving there. You may meet new people on holiday from that place, or meet someone from somewhere else who also has it as a second language.
- Become a Clevercloggs – There have been more than a few studies that have proven that when people are learning a language they tend to also perform better on tests. Some people claim it also makes you more logical, I guess that’s because you have to get back into the habit of breaking words down into separate individual meanings (eg. Breakfast = literal breaking the fast you experience overnight)
- Become more Employable – When I was at uni, I hated that word ‘employable’ or even worse ‘employability’ but it’s a fact, being able to speak more than one language means you can have a head start in some industries. And that’s no bad thing, is it.
So there you have it my top 6 reasons to learn a new language. And only one of them mentions employability, because to be honest all my old college teachers would be horrified if I didn’t sneak that term in there somewhere.