by Julie Petersen
Learning a new language will enhance your life in many significant ways. You may not realize it at first, and it may be in ways you could have never imagined, but whether you’re a novice or an active language learner, be prepared for your life to change throughout the learning process.
You may be surprised by some of the skills you start to form as a result of learning a new language. It’s not simply being able to talk, read or write in a different language. Yes, these will be part of the journey, as you would expect. However, they will come along with a world of opportunity knocking at your door.
It can be difficult to know what to expect at first. And with the intense amount of knowledge you will be studying, practicing and learning, it can be easy to become unaware of your progress. Check out the five following ways language learning will help you open your mind and put them into action to increase your overall success.
Music, movies, food, drinks, books, magazine, poetry, theater, fine arts, design and architecture are just some of the wonderful and interesting things that culture brings to human life. Many say language and culture are one in the same. And while you can’t really have a culture without language, culture itself embodies so much more than just a language.
Communication is the foundation of culture. However, once you open the door and really start to discover a language and culture of a people, the experience becomes more enriching and enthralling. You may be able to study the location, geography and history of a place, however without understanding the communication and language of it, you cannot fully absorb the characteristics. You can learn a lot about a place. But to really feel it, without traveling, you’ll have to start with the language.
We live in a world of constant connection and global communication. Technology has made overseas and cross-country business a much bigger reality. It’s likely in many professions to come across new promotions or positions that require different language skills. Often, the person who is bilingual (or trilingual, or more) is going to win the job over another candidate.
Various studies prove that knowledge of a foreign language create economic benefits as well. If you are able to effectively communicate and develop interpersonal relationships with colleagues, clients and work associates, your value as an employee rises and your chance to reach new goals increases.
Traveling should not be just pretty pictures and social media posts. While these platforms are fun and collaborative ways to share your experience, you must first indulge in a place and it’s culture to truly have anything interesting to share. Learning a foreign language, even its basic and simple phrases, will make your travel experiences so much more fun and worthwhile.
Not only will your efforts be noticed and appreciated by the locals, they may even offer chances and friendships you never expected. It will allow you as a visitor have a deeper understanding of the history of the people and language you’re exploring.
As you learn and begin to comprehend a new language, you also begin to understand the worldviews and how they are contained in practical systems of the language. Language, like we said before, is a foundation of cultural identity and development. Learning a foreign language and its associated culture leads to a more open-minded view of the world and its people.
Once you know and appreciate parts of a culture and its systems, you begin to judge less and observe more. Your mind begins to free itself of previously understood notions. You will learn that we’re all products of our specific culture. Seeing the world from a different perspective, and understanding where you and others come from, are priceless and valuable lessons in acceptance and tolerance.
Learning a new language requires a lot of memory. You will be accessing a huge batch of new words and phrases, and to form the appropriate memory requires honing your listening skills. There are various techniques and exercises you can use. A good start is to think mnemonically. This is when you study to retain information through association. The French word for garlic is ail (pronounced like the English word “eye”). I know that aioli is a garlic-based mayonnaise and this association helps me naturally remember the meaning of the French word for garlic – ail is in aioli.
Listening will be imperative to your learning as well, especially when you practice pronunciation. And forming excellent listening skills is important in effectively communication with the people around you, no matter what language you are using. Listening is not only a necessary skill for learning a new language; it’s also a primary and useful life skill that everyone can work on.
Learning another language will provide unforeseen opportunities and give you perceptions of the world and its people that you might never have learned before. And your professional, personal and social experiences will be greatly enhanced. It’s an all-around intelligent and advantageous goal.
The evidence is clear and the list of benefits is long. Language learning will give you a healthier memory, a more active creativity and a surge of confidence. You will broaden not only your education but also your life’s horizons. So do not hesitate. Get started today and begin exploring all the world has to offer.
Julie Petersen is a private language tutor and a content marketer. She is the owner of AskPetersen.com essay writing blog, and a contributor to such websites as Freelance