Want to do something interesting, new and challenging this year? Why not learn a foreign language? Think about it – how long has it been from the last time you’ve actually sat and studied something? Did you, for example, know that only 5,6% of the world’s population speaks English as a primary language? But, here, let me list some of the best things you can get from this challenging experience…
1. Desire to Travel
Learning French could definitely inspire you to go to France, test and perfect your knowledge and find out more about their culture, slang terms and other little gimmicks only a native living in its own country could teach you. Furthermore, knowing a language of the country you’re visiting will make your tourist experience much more pleasant. You will be able to understand what people around you are talking about, you’ll never get lost and you’ll always manage to charm the locals and get them to tell you about the good places to go out and eat.
2. Better Learning Capacity
A brain might not be a muscle, but it certainly works like one! If you focus on learning a new language, you will actually exercise your brain and improve your memory. Nothing stimulates the mind and helps develop new and brush up on the old, long forgotten mental skills, better than learning. You’ll have a lot of words and grammar rules to memorize and wait until you get to the point where you have to apply them! Now, that’s quite a workout and it will result in some serious verbal and mental skills you didn’t even know you had.
3. Desire to Read
Knowing another language opens a whole new set of doors – library doors! You will actually get to enjoy reading the books in their original, non-translated form and, believe me, that’s something to look forward to! Nothing beats the original and no matter how good the translation might be, it’s still just a translation and, that’s just a thing about translations – things always tend to get lost in them.
4. Better Communication
Now, if I couldn’t speak English, we wouldn’t have been able to have our little chats here, wouldn’t we? Doesn’t that make you curious about just how many new, interesting people you would have a chance to meet and talk to by simply speaking one language more? It feels great to have friends in more than one country and, believe me, that’s what really makes a person rich – it’s better than money and shines brighter than gold!
5. To Feel Good about Yourself
Let’s be honest, knowing stuff makes us all proud of ourselves. I’m proud of my English skills, proud because I can carry out a decent conversation on Spanish and ask for directions, introduce myself, ask general questions and thank anybody from the French speaking countries. I’m still struggling with Greek but, hey, it is a very difficult language, especially because Greeks tend to speak so fast, that even they have problems to understand each other. Now add my own mother tongue to this bunch and throw in the ability to make something out of most other Slavic languages and you’ll understand just how great it feels to be able to understand and be understood. You see, these things have to come up at some point – you’ll either speak about it or get in the position do demonstrate your skills and, boy, wouldn’t that make you feel just great?
6. More Job Opportunities
English is still the dominant “business language” but, from what I’ve heard, that’s about to change too! Did you know that many businesspeople from English speaking countries focus their mental skills on learning Japanese? The prospects of sealing a deal with an international client are much better when you know you have an employee that is able to impress the future partner by speaking his native language. Some job opportunities are quite obvious but, like always, there’s more than meets the eye so you might find yourself making some really unusual career moves, too. Like becoming a tourist guide or even a writer!
7. It’s Sexy
Believe it or not, knowing a foreign language can jumpstart your love life! Many surveys have been carried out to test this claim and, guess what? People actually find this skill attractive. Knowing a language other than your own will make the opposite sex see you as more intelligent, sexy and attractive. You see, muscle mass is not the only thing that is considered to be sexy so three times hurray for the sexy gray matter!
What do you think about foreign languages now, huh? I’d say this is one nice list of pros and I’m really hoping I’ve managed to put you in a mood for learning. So, what is your language of choice? Which languages do you speak and are there any others you would like to learn?
Top Photo Credit: Velaia (ParisPeking)