You may study a language for several reasons: you might need it for a job, to travel, as part of a syllabus, or you may just enjoy studying a new language. However, studying a language other than our own has many additional benefits. This time, I would like to focus on five of them.
It is good for your brain and memory
The activities involved in learning a language –reading, listening, acquiring an entirely different grammatical system, writing, making decisions on what structures you need for speaking, etc.– put your brain to work. They also help you develop skills like decision-making and critical thinking. Furthermore, it boosts academic performance in other areas, delays the onset of mental diseases like Alzheimer and dementia, and strengthens your overall memory.
It opens your mind to new ways of thinking
Each language’s structures reflect as well as shape the way their speakers think. Learning another language helps us broaden our perspective, we become more flexible and appreciate other ways of discerning and doing things. Our lives become richer when we understand other cultures better. We could even find ways to express what we think and feel with new resources that we did not have in our language.
You can enjoy different kinds of entertainment in their original language
Learning a new language opens a door to another culture’s literature, poetry, music, movies, and TV shows. Even if there are translations available in our language, no matter how good they are, some things are hard to transfer to another culture. When you get to know the original language, you gain access to a lot of material.
You get closer to the people who speak that language
We may know people who speak another language, but who can speak ours, so we think, ‘Why would I learn their language?’ Well, it shows respect and appreciation to that culture, and it is a way of telling that person that we care for him or her. If you know someone whose mother tongue is other than English, try just saying hi in their language. You will see what a positive effect it has.
You get to understand better your own language
When we focus on a foreign language, we pay attention to the way we speak, as well as the differences and similarities between the language we are studying and ours. We start thinking of what we say and how we say it.
Studying another language is no doubt a huge investment of time and effort –with many rewards. It also gives a feeling of accomplishment which invigorates as and boosts our self-confidence. No matter your age, you can learn a new language and find the motivation you need to study and reap these benefits and many others.
Would you like to learn a new language? Which language would you study? Why? Your opinions and suggestions are welcome! Did you enjoy the article? Like it and share it with your friends!
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