By learning a new language, you can become a more intelligent, open-minded, happy and confident person.
If you like the sound of that, we invite you to read our list of personal reasons to start learning a new language:
When you learn a new language, you also learn about the people who speak that language, about the country they live in and the culture they grew up in.
You will notice this during the entire learning process, but especially once you start interacting with native speakers.
Think about it;
How often do you reveal something about yourself during a conversation?
Unless you're a secret agent, a fugitive or a vampire, you do this all the time.
Social interaction and curiosity are integral parts of human nature.
Studies have shown that satisfying these desires will lead to a happier, more fulfilling life.
The process of learning a language offers a great way to accomplish this!
You can learn about other people’s daily lives, their history and traditions, their beliefs, their holidays and favorite pass-times, their cities and sights, their food, their art, and so much more.
Before long, you’ll be able to actively approach people who speak the language that you’ve been learning and actually interact with them.
Think of how amazing that would be! You could personally ask them all of the questions you’ve ever had about their country, talk about cultural differences that you’ve been curious about and make new friends in the process!
“So... someone told me that, in your country, when someone takes their dog out for a walk and the dog poops, that person has to pick up the dog’s poop and throw it away...
That’s just a myth, right?”
By learning other languages, you gain entirely new perspectives on other cultures, your own culture and the world as a whole (which may soon be ruled by dogs).
Obviously, when you learn a new language, you will have to remember a lot: new vocabulary, new grammar rules, new expressions, new sounds, perhaps even an entirely new alphabet.
Recent findings in the field of neurology tell us that, through consistent repetition of newly acquired knowledge, you can actually modify and strengthen parts of your brain, including the parts that are responsible for the creation, storage and retrieval of memories.
It's possible to amplify this process, called neuroplasticity, by using a wide variety of learning methods.
Doing so will challenge and stimulate your brain in different ways, allowing you to create stronger memories more rapidly.
This kind of mnemonic training will not only benefit you as a language student but will also help you become better at remembering other things.
"Hang on... what language was I learning again?"
Once you’ve learned another language, you will be an absolute GENIUS with unparalleled mental abilities.
You’ll put Leonardo da Vinci to shame!
No... of course that’s not true.
BUT, learning another language has proven to be a great way to keep your mind sharp and improve your mental abilities in all kinds of interesting ways.
For example, when you try to actively use the language you’re learning and talk to someone in a real life situation,
you might realize that you don’t know as many words as you thought you did.
Or perhaps you’re too nervous and just can’t think of them spontaneously.
You just have to be a little creative and describe what you’re trying to say, until the other person understands and teaches you the word you were looking for.
It’s like waiving a magic language wand.
After a while, you’ll become so good at this that the people you’re talking to will quickly guess the words you’re trying to say.
“How may I help you, sir?”
“Hm, how do I describe a hot tub...?”
“It’s round and there’s water in it...
Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes it moves violently...
People go there to sit and relax...
They often bring something to read...”
“Oh, I understand, sir.
The toilet is at the end of the hall.”
When you learn a new language, you will inevitably compare it to your own.
You'll find yourself translating back and forth and discover different ways to express yourself.
By doing so, you will not only become better at the language you’re learning, but you will also become more proficient in your own language.
You will frequently come across words that you don’t understand.
Most of the time, when you look them up, you’ll think “Oh, that’s what that means! Alright!”
However, there will also be times when—after looking up an unknown word—you’ll think:
“Huh? I’m confused...
I don’t understand the translation either!”
As a result, you’ll look for the definition in your own language and BAM!
You’ve just learned a new word or expression in your native language, just by learning a new word in your second language.
“Wow, who knew?!
ʻOmeletteʼ means ʻa dish of beaten eggs cooked in a frying pan.ʼ
So the French DO have a word for that!”
Certain languages, such as the Romance languages
French, etc.) are part of the same “language family”.
This means that, if you already know one of these languages, it'll be much easier for you to learn another, closely related language.
Many other languages, however, have no connection to each other what so ever (like German and Japanese, for example).
By picking a language that is difficult to learn, e.g. one that is not related to your native language,
you can make the language learning process far more challenging (even if you’ve already learned another language).
So if you're someone who enjoys a good challenge, consider this:
Learning a new language is hard work.
To succeed and avoid getting fed up with it, you will have to be disciplined and follow a well-structured study plan.
You will also have to determine what type of learner you are and which types of exercises are best for you.
Luckily, it's very easy to accomplish these things when you use a good language course.
A good language course will help you analyse your study habits and keep track of your progress.
You'll quickly find out which types of exercises work best for you and how to use them most effectively.
Once you've identified your preferred study methods, you might be able to apply some of them to other things you're interested in learning.
You may also be able to think of creative variations of your preferred study methods or come up with entirely new ones, making your learning process even more fun and diversified.
By seeing how quickly you progress when you use the right exercises, you'll become more confident about your learning abilities and feel very proud of yourself.
And you should – learning another language is a great accomplishment that relatively few people achieve!
At first glance, this reason may sound a bit strange, but we're serious about this.
By learning a new language, you can, in many ways, become a different person!
Similar to your appearance, the way you speak (and sound to other people) is one of your most defining features.
The process of learning a new language can be can used to reshape your personality and restructure your social network.
This kind of an intentional "fresh start" can help you develop a greater sense of freedom, confidence and joy.
For many language students, this happens completely unintentionally.
Learning a new language typically exposes people to other cultures and different ways of life.
Because only a few or perhaps none of the people you communicate with in your new language know the “old you”,
your personality can undergo significant changes that you may not be fully aware of until one day, you realize that you are not the same person in English as you are in Italian:
“Hello. My name is John and I work in accounting.”
“Ciao bello! Come stai?
Ho perso il mio numero di telefono, potrebbe prestarmi il suo?”
If you just used Google Translate to find out what that cheesy Italian pick up line means, you now know that translating pick up lines is a bad idea (almost as bad as using them in the first place).
When you learn a new language, it's extremely important that you expose yourself to it sufficiently (the more the better).
Thanks to the Internet, it’s very easy to listen to native speakers of virtually any language.
It will not only help you become familiar with the sound of a language and all of its unique characteristics, but will also help you learn new words by listening for clues within the context of each conversation.
Just as in your native language, you will have to learn to understand people when they mumble or speak with an accent,
when there's a lot of background noise, when you talk on the phone, etc.
Also, whether you like it or not, native speakers are going to speak fast and use words that you haven't learned yet.
To overcome these challenges, you will have to become a more attentive listener.
This doesn't just benefit you, but also the people you care about.
“Hi grandpa, how was your day?”
“Great! You won't believe the fun we had at Bingo night!”
“I can't wait to hear all about it.”
While there are certainly a few aspects to language learning that are challenging and a little tedious
(like memorizing grammar rules, for example), it's generally an incredibly fun and rewarding process.
To get the most of your language learning experience, it's very important to choose a language course that is comprehensive, entertaining and personalized.
Such a course will allow you to quickly expand your vocabulary and start speaking in your new language, which will make you feel great!
At first, you'll able to introduce yourself and name a few objects around the house.
You’ll be very proud the first time you order a meal and actually get what you wanted.
After a while, you'll even be able to read a book or watch an entire movie without having to look up every second word!
It makes it so much more enjoyable.
Eventually, you might even start thinking and dreaming in your new language and using words and phrases from in everyday life, just because it sounds better.
“¡Hasta la vista, baby!”
Becoming fluent in a foreign language will take time, but with some proper motivation, a few friendly native speakers and a good variety of effective and enjoyable study methods, you will come to think of it as a fun hobby that you'll look forward to every day.
Not convinced yet?
Click here to learn about the many compelling social reasons to start learning a new language (be careful: this article may set you on a path to becoming a more attractive, even irresistible person).