We are now living in a modern era where everything is interconnected to one another. You are not caged in your geographical borders anymoreâ€”everyone can interact with each other, anytime and anywhere. Given the fact that not everyone speaks the same language as you, learning other languages can open up so many doors of opportunities. It also has many other benefits for youâ€”read along to figure them out.
Why You Should Learn Languages?
Good for Your Brain
Many studies have shown that learning foreign languages helps your brain grow more. This is because speaking a different language than your own, forces your brain to actively engage in mental gymnastics. This increases the production of grey matter, resulting in a more enhanced cognitive ability. In short, you basically become smarter when you learn another language.
This benefit is especially impactful on kids, since they are still going through their golden developmental phase. However, even if you are an adult, learning a language would keep your brain sharp. Bilinguals or polyglots are better at problem-solving, memorizing, being creative, and multitasking.
Open Your Mind
Even if your target language is similar to your own, it would still have some differences that offer another perspective. Learning a foreign language gives you the opportunity to see things differently than you usually do. To some degree, it teaches you to put yourself in other peopleâ€™s shoes- and empathy is always a good trait to have.
Learning another language also means immersing yourself in its culture. You can enjoy watching foreign movies or TV shows more when you know the language. The exposure will eventually make you see people of diverse cultures in a less judgmental way, as you feel â€˜closerâ€™ to them. It will leave you a more open-minded and tolerant person towards differences.
The language barrier is one of the daunting things during an overseas trip. Itâ€™s scary to be in a place where no one can understand you, and vice versa. While technology has made it easier to navigate and survive in most places, knowing the local language can be super useful during travel. Even just knowing how to read the different alphabet can be a huge advantage for you to get by.
Knowing the local language while traveling isnâ€™t only helpful to survive by yourself. It can also help you to connect with unexpected strangers in the area. People tend to appreciate it when someone outside their culture speaks their language. This can lead you to get local recommendations, new friends, and just an overall nicer travel experience.
Understanding more languages opens you up to many kinds of opportunities in life. First, you get more learning resources that might be limited in your native language. For instance, you can learn better about fashion when you know French or explore more of East Asian culture by knowing Korean.
A foreign language skill might also help you advance in your work. It definitely broadens your options, especially with jobs that require you to interact with people from different countries. The combination of a technical specialization and language ability will open doors that can take you places. This applies especially with languages in high demand, like the six official languages of United Nations.
How To Learn Any New Language?
Enroll in a Course
This is the traditional way to learn a foreign language. Courses are great since they prepare a structured syllabus for students at every level. Whether you have basic knowledge or have just started learning, languages courses have the right teachers and sources to help you learn your dream language. If thereâ€™s no options available in your area, online courses can be a good alternative for you. Some of them might charge you several bucks, but there are also free ones you can access on YouTube.
As mentioned earlier, watching movies can be a good way to immerse yourself in another culture and language. If done regularly, it can affect your learning progress tremendously since immersion is an effective method for language learning. Simply open your laptop and go to your favorite streaming platform to find movies and series in your target language. You will unconsciously train your ears and brain to understand the language betterâ€”in a fun way!
Try Mobile Apps
People who are too busy with study or work might have difficulty in dedicating a few hours every week to a language course. If this sounds like you, head over to the App Store or Play Store and look for language learning apps. There are tons of options for many languages, free and paid, that you can pick from. A lot of them offer bite-sized lessons that you can do in your free time. Apps like Duolingo and Memrise can be a good start for your language learning journey.
Listen to Music
Another exciting tool to get yourself used to a language is music. This is very doable since the internet lets you find music from most (if not all) countries in the world. Donâ€™t just listen to it mindlessly; pay deeper attention to the lyrics as well. This will slowly help you build your vocabulary without cramming them into your head in a boring way.
A language is a tool of communication. If you want to learn one, you can start making friends who speak your target language. This way, you will get more exposure to how the language is used in daily life. Itâ€™s even better if they do not speak your languageâ€”you will have to put your best effort into communicating with them, thus increasing your language skill. You can find new friends in local communities near you, or online language exchange apps.
All in all, learning foreign languages could offer you a brand-new chapter in your lifeâ€”in many ways. People have different motivations to do it, whether it is for academic reasons, career development, or just for fun. Find your own reason, and the journey will be more bearable. Happy learning, fellas!