Have you ever asked yourself why you should learn a new language? There are tons of reasons why you should and everyone has their own personal reasons why they do it, whether it be because they fell in love with a foreigner or because they want to reconnect with family in another country etc. You will find seven good and relevant reasons for anyone who is planning on learning a new language in this article.
1. To broaden your mind
“You live a new life for every new language you speak.” I have found this particular Czech proverb to be true for myself. Whenever I started learning a new language, it felt like I immersed myself in a new world. If you learn how other people are expressing things, you will know more about how they feel about them. Speaking their language will give you the ability to step inside the mind of another culture and understand it to a much greater extent than without speaking the language.
2. To improve employment potential
Learning a new language can be extremely beneficial for your career. Employees who speak only one language can only communicate with people who speak that same language. Speaking other languages will improve your chances of going on business trips, negotiating contracts or getting a job in the first place. Granted, you probably will not get an instant raise or offered a better position when you start learning a new language. But it certainly will not hurt your employability.
3. To appreciate international literature, music and film
Very early in my life I noticed that watching films in the original version is way better than watching the dubbed German versions. And never did I understand that one could possibly argue against watching a film in its original form. I absolutely hate it when puns or cultural references get lost in translation or when the actors’ lips are out of sync. Most of this is true for literature and music as well. A translated text can never be fully true to the intent, style or uniqueness of its original. Music is almost never translated, so if you want to understand the lyrics you have to learn the language(s) used in the song.
4. To make travel more enjoyable
Learning the language of the country you are traveling in can make your travel experience so much better. Granted, in most countries people speak English in tourist areas. However, if you want to go off the beaten path and experience a country as it really is, you must speak the language or your travel can become frustrating or even dangerous.
5. To study abroad
If you plan to study abroad, you might want to learn the language of the country you are planning to go to. Very often it is mandatory for taking courses and even if it is not, it will make your stay so much more enjoyable. Any problems with housing, fees, deadlines etc. are less likely to appear if you speak the local language.
6. To make lifelong friends
Learning a foreign language can lead to long lasting friendships, whether it is through meeting tandem partners or teachers, through establishing a connection with pen pals in another country, or whether talking to exchange students at university or even doing an exchange year yourself. People appreciate the effort you put into learning their language and they will let you know, at least that is what I have experienced. The more exotic the language you are learning, the more surprising and rewarding it is for natives that you are actually interested in learning it.
7. To have fun
Last but not least, learning a new language can be surprisingly fun. While fun is probably not the first reason you will think of when hearing the words “studying/learning”, it is one of the best reasons to learn a new language. After all, life should be about having fun. And learning a language outside of the classroom definitely is fun! It is just not that easy so you will have to be able to stay motivated for a long time.
This list is by no means complete. Everyone has their own reasons to learn a language and that is how it should be.