We should learn languages because languages are the only thing worth knowing even poorly. If someone knows how to play the violin only a little, he will find that the painful minutes he causes are not in proportion to the possible joy he gains from his playing… Solely in the world of languages is the amateur of value. Well-intentioned sentences full of mistakes can still build bridges between people. Asking in broken Italian which train we are supposed to board at the Venice railway station is far from useless.
This is a quote from Kató Lomb, a Hungarian polyglot, interpreter, and translator who learned altogether 16 languages mostly by self-effort and interest.
I totally agree with her idea that knowing a new language, even poorly, means a lot. After all, it’s a good attitude toward language learning, right? So don’t be shy if you can’t speak fluently yet. Because you don’t need to be an expert to use a language.
Feeling a bit motivated to learn a new language? Besides Lomb’s reason, there are still tons of reasons to learn a new language that will further inspire you. Here in this article, we’ll present you with 10 great reasons to start learning a new language this year.
Language learning is a rewarding journey
Why should you learn a new language? First, language learning is a rewarding experience. Because learning a new language doesn’t betray you. Whatever you’ve learned is always yours.
Looking back and seeing how you’ve struggled with the alphabet, spelling, and pronunciation at the beginning of your language learning journey, you are often surprised by what you can do now. There are plenty of rewarding moments in language learning that are worth remembering: the first time you held a conversation with a native speaker, understood a whole sentence without looking up dictionaries, completed another day streak on LingoDeer, wrote a short paragraph in your target language all by yourself, watched a video in your target language without subtitles…
All these small yet important cornerstones mark your language learning journey as meaningful. What’s even better, when all of the steps build up, you can finally enter a new world, a new culture, a new way of thinking, a new mindset, and a new life.
This kind of feeling is super rewarding and it’s probably good for mental health as well. On the one hand, you gained knowledge and feel accomplished and proud. On the other hand, you can progress even faster.
Language learning gets easier as you progress
Unlike learning math and physics, learning a new language gets easier as you progress (most of the time). And once you’ve reached a certain level, you can see the endpoint getting closer and closer. It’s promising, Though you may never end up speaking like a native, with knowledge gradually building up, you get to understand more complex expressions, sentences, and culture.
In some ways, language learning is like a meta-skill. Learning one language will facilitate your learning even more languages in the future. For example, if you’ve already known Spanish, you’ll find learning Portuguese much easier. This is how many polyglots learned multiple languages – putting their previous learning experiences into new learning.
Language learning is good for the brain
Is Language learning good for the brain? Multiple studies show a positive answer. Language is probably one of the most complex things human brains can process. In fact, our brains are pretty good at this, and have the potential to process multiple languages. In this light, to learn a new language is to actually see that proficiency take shape. Though we may never reach the level of a native speaker, we do acquire a lot of words, expressions, or even mentality. We can even read original novels and watch original films without translation, which are tremendously fulfilling.
In terms of our physical brain, there are actual changes from learning a new language. According to Cambridge, bilingual adults have increased white matter integrity compared to those who only speak one language. Using a second language can boost their brains’ reserves. But what about people who learned their second language as an adult? There are still measurable improvements in their concentration, memory, and communication skills compared to monolinguals.
Learning a new language brings practical benefits
After all, language is a skill that is still used by many professional translators and interpreters on a daily basis. Even if you don’t want to reach such high levels of language learning, knowing a foreign language is a valuable skill. It brings many practical benefits like more job and education opportunities.
In this increasingly multilingual and globalized world, language skills can surely give you an edge especially when it comes to doing international business. The demand for bilingual or multilingual professionals is rising significantly. Employers who wish to expand their overseas markets mostly think highly of those who have cross-culture backgrounds, leading to better salaries or bonuses. So if you know a foreign language, you are already ahead of millions!
Learning a new language provides new perspectives
Last but not least, learning a new language is like opening a new window, greatly expanding your knowledge and perspectives. It provides you with new points of view about the world and gives you access to a plethora of new things. It can be simply understanding a meme or joke in your target language, or it can be appreciating literature, movies, or art from in your target language and culture. Compared to monolinguals, people who know different languages are also more understanding, tolerant, and less prejudiced toward different cultures and opinions.
Knowing any widely spoken languages also opens you up to a whole new context of communication. For example, you no longer have to listen to whatever media in your native language feeds you about life in other countries. You can always look it up by yourself – by actually seeing what people of that country are saying on the internet. You can even communicate or interview them yourself. In this way, you get different voices and it’s up to you to compare and decide what is true. If you know people around you who speak that language, you may even expand your friend circle solely by speaking their native language.
Dear readers, do you feel motivated to learn a new language? Let LingoDeer help you start learning a new language today! Is there anything we haven’t covered in the article? Don’t be shy to share your thoughts with us in the comments.