Friday, February 26, 2016

5 Ways Learning Languages Has Enriched Our Lives

It goes without saying that here at The Lingua File we love languages; we just can't talk enough about them! Why do we love them so much? There are plenty of reasons to learn languages: to improve your job prospects, your health (there are plenty of articles documenting the benefits), and even your love life, if you're into that sort of thing.

Today I thought I'd mention the ways I've enriched my life by learning languages. I imagine a lot of these reasons are the same as yours, but perhaps there are some you haven't thought of or haven't experienced yet.

1: Meeting New People

I can speak to plenty of other people in my own language. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of different types of people who speak English, but when you speak to people from other countries and cultures, you learn things that you couldn't from people from your own country. They offer unique perspectives and ways of thinking about things.

Just think of where language learning might take you.
2: Travelling

This is one of my favourite reasons for learning a language. Travelling is great! Seeing new places, trying new food, experiencing new cultures. However, it's much better when you speak the language. I've never really had any problems when I've travelled, but whenever I've spoken the language, I've had a richer experience and better conversations with the locals.

3: Work

In recent years, learning languages has become increasingly important in society. In the modern globalised world, having a second language is a huge plus, and companies, both small and large, appreciate staff who can speak more than just one language.

It goes without saying that if you work for a large multinational company, having foreign language skills is greatly appreciated. However, even if you don't, the skills you attain from learning a foreign language can be applied to a number of vocations. Learning languages can improve your lateral thinking and help you become a valued asset to any company.

4: Media

There's something incredibly enriching about watching a film, listening to music, or reading a book in the language it was originally created. Of course, when it comes to cinema or literature, there are incredible translators that can capture the original message of the work almost perfectly. However, there's something so much more rewarding about enjoying a work's nuances and cultural references in its original language, without any need for a middleman.

5: Romance

If men are from Mars and woman are from Venus, it's probably better that you learn Martian or Venusian, right? If you're looking for love, you'll have a much better chance if you can speak your partner's language. Nelson Mandela said, "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." Of course, he wasn't really talking about romance, but the sentiment certainly applies.