10 Reasons Why You Should Learn Another Language Now

Learning another language sounds like fun! Or does it? If you need a little motivation to get started on your language learning journey, the list below can help you get started. Keep in mind that you do not need to be fluent in the foreign language to receive some of the benefits below.

So, why should you learn another language?

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ainet/869942883/
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ainet/869942883/

1) Traveling is easier. If you decide to travel to a non-English speaking country, you will find it much easier to speak with locals. Why would you need to talk to the locals? For one thing, you may get lost and need directions. Or, perhaps you have no idea what the correct procedure is to call for a taxi. Locals are familiar with local practices and where things are. Also, you may find yourself in a local market. By speaking the local language, you may be able to bargain for incredible items and get quite a deal. Speaking English at markets in other countries can mean that you will need to pay a tourist price (a price substantially higher than what locals would pay). Locals usually also appreciate visitors who have taken the time to learn a few words in their language. It’s okay to make mistakes—that’s part of the fun! Follow me on my own travels at my blog: Say "Yes" to Travel.

2) Stay in contact with friends abroad. On your travels, you will most likely meet many new people— you may even make some new friends. Let’s say your friend lives in Germany. Whenever you meet up with your friend—either in Germany or back at home—you could practice your German, while he or she practices English. If you are not able to travel so much, you could also practice your German by writing German e-mails to your friend.

3) Learn more about your family. Many people have family roots in different countries. By visiting these places, you have the opportunity to learn about where your ancestors lived and about their culture. And, maybe, you are lucky enough to have relatives living in a non-English speaking country so that you can practice speaking their language with them. And, you can share English or any other languages you know with them as well.


4) Can be a requirement for school/job. Some students are required to learn another language in school in order to graduate. Some university degree programs are now requiring credit in a second language in order to obtain a degree. Also, many jobs are now requiring employees to speak another language. Some companies are looking into expanding into more global markets, requiring staff to speak another language. Also, if a country has more than one official language, candidates will need to prove that they are proficient in two or more languages before they will be considered for a government position.

5) Impress your friends. Sprinkle some cool words and phrases into your sentences to give your speech more life. After all, some words are just more fun to say in another language. For example, instead of saying cockroach in English, why not try it in Spanish: “La Cucaracha.”

6) Online translators have their limits. For a simple phrase, online translators are fairly accurate. However, the more complex the sentence, the harder it is for an online translator program to communicate your intended message. Try this: Type a phrase in English, then let an online translator translate your text into a foreign language, and then back again into English. Does the message translated back into English still make sense? Does the text still convey the tone, vocabulary, impression of the original message?

7) Gain a new perspective. Some foreign words cannot be translated into English. Learning another language is a great way to open your mind to a new perspective of living. While you are learning a language, pay attention to what words exist in the language and which do not. For example, what words are used to describe a home in the language? The vocabulary of a language provides clues as to what is considered important in the language. And, since languages are constantly changing, it is fun to see which words are added into the language.

8) Deepen your understanding of English. The more you learn about the grammatical structure of another language, you will become more aware of the way English sentences are put together. As a result, you will pick your English words with more care.

9) Expand your vocabulary. Some languages are similar to one another. For example, once you learn Spanish, French will be much easier to learn, because many of the words are similar. More and more words are also crossing language barriers. For instance, the word “cool” is now a part of German; the French phrase “déjà vu” is often used in English-speaking countries; etc.

10) It’s a challenge! Learning a language can be tough— especially when the language you are studying uses different letters or characters from the language you are used to, or even uses a drastically different grammatical structure. For example, learning Chinese or Russian can seem daunting to an English speaker. But, if you make your new language your goal; and, you stick with it, you’ll amaze yourself with how much you have learned. Try reading a newspaper or watching a newscast in the foreign language, you’ll be proud of yourself when you recognize words and phrases you have studied.

Of course, studying a new language can be hard-- few people would disagree. However, learning another language is a great way to learn more about yourself and the world. Prepare yourself mentally for the task ahead and dive right in. Who knows what opportunities await you with your new skills!

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Comments 19 comments

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

I speak Tongan and a little Samoan and Hawaiian. It does broaden your understanding of others and also English. I think English is hard to learn because of the many exceptions to the rules. Some Polynesian languages have fewer letters in their alphabet and sound beautiful because they use vowels together - like Hawaii - Hauula, etc. Thanks for an interesting hub.

Time4Travel profile image

Time4Travel 5 years ago from Canada Author

I'm glad you enjoyed the hub, elayne001. Yes, languages do enable people to understand more about the world around them. I certainly love listening to the flowing phrases in some languages. Harsh sounding German is pretty neat, too.

MoneyCreator24 profile image

MoneyCreator24 5 years ago

I agree with point 6. Sometimes I use Google translator. But without any knowledge in english language all translations were incredible bad.

PurpleOne profile image

PurpleOne 5 years ago from Canada

My boyfriend speaks Spanish and I often try to translate his Spanish messages on google translator. This doesn't work very well and I'm left with the wrong idea a lot of the time! I'll be going to Costa Rica to live for a few months and hope to gain a better understanding of the language so that I won't have to rely on translators so much. :)

ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago

Really cool hub. And not sure what you read, T4T but thanks for the mail!

Time4Travel profile image

Time4Travel 5 years ago from Canada Author

Glad you liked the hub, MoneyCreator24, Purple One, and ahostagesituation.

Translators can definitely be tricky business. I sometimes like to put English songs into a translator, translate it into another language and then translate it back into English-- and then have a chuckle at the result.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

You’ve made some very good points in this hub. I especially like point 7! I find learning another language hard, but you’re right, it’s worth it.

Time4Travel profile image

Time4Travel 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks, AliciaC. I think persistence is key!

kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Sorry, folks, I disagree. Because before I learned English I had to learn German first. Some level is not enough. It is not. Learning a foreign language is really difficult and fluency is a must. When you don't have English as a crutch (as most people do - they go back to English when their feeble attempts to speak a foreign language fail), there is nothing to rely on. A bad job in foreign language takes you nowhere. BTW, German is not harsh sounding, it's a common misconception. And I compare it to Russian which is extremely soft.

So, I spent a lot of time learning German (never used it and forgot it), English (now I can reap the benefits, but it's still not equivalent of my command of Russian) and French (I gave up after six months), it was just too much.

You can have fun with foreign languages as I have now with Spanish (a phrase here and there), but to use it for all these points? You need to be serious. Did you ever notice when you utter one phrase in foreign language, another person takes it as a signal to switch from English to that language and you are nowhere near to be able to communicate at the expected level? "yo no se manana", oh, "you speak Spanish?" No, I don't, a few phrases are not enough.

Besides, I did notice how school children are not really motivated to learn French here in Toronto. They don't feel they need it - it's too hard of a job. I understand, I have been there, done that.

On the other hand, if you enjoy this activity - keep doing it, I agree that it is a good exercise!

Time4Travel profile image

Time4Travel 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks for commenting, kallini2010. I agree that learning another language is difficult. German was my first language, so I don't think that it is harsh sounding; however, it is often perceived that way.

By no means is English a prerequisite for learning another language, but I think you should have a strong grasp in at least one language to make it easier to learn another. Up until the age of three, I only spoke German. When I started learning English, I found the grammar really difficult, as I did not have a strong understanding of grammar in German. However, as I learned more about German grammar, it became easier to explain how English sentences were constructed.

I don't think you need to be fluent to travel to another country. I recently went to Mexico and the locals were very patient with me as I slowly tried out new phrases and words. Of course, if you are really motivated to master a language without reverting back to English, you can use other techniques, such as gesturing, to help deliver your point.

Yes, when working in another country where the people speak another language, fluency is helpful. And, as you mentioned, practicing a newly learned language is crucial if you do not want to lose it.

kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Danke für Ihre freundliche Antwort, es wird sehr geschätzt.

Ich glaube, dass ich meine Anmerkung schlecht schrieb, wenn Sie meinen Punkt nicht klarmachen konnten.

Of course, I had to rely on the online translator with this one. Is that one good enough?

Anyway, it is my fault if I could not make my point clear enough. I did not mean that German was a prerequisite. I had no choice in the matter. It was part in my school program. Then I decided to learn it on my own to make it work. Because even then I realized that being familiar with the language and speaking it are two different things. I had pen pals from Germany and what torture it was to write letters. Because the only knowledge I had to rely on was my German which was far from perfect.

After all that trouble, I began learning English and I was back to square one. It took me a long time to learn. And I have a very good grasp of grammar, and I have aptitude for languages, and I am dedicated. A lot of people never get to my level.

I feel like a soldier - reporting from battlefield. I know enough about foreign languages because it is an area of my interests. I have done it. Living in Canada, I often have to compare how other immigrants speak. Did they do a good job? Is their English enough? How many people decide that "pronunciation" is not important? To hell with it! The fact that they are not being understood is beside the point.

But if you learn a foreign language just to entertain yourself, maybe the level is not really important. I might sound way too serious and there is no way to test our opinions unless people start learning on their own and make their conclusions and share their thoughts afterward. Versus "Cool! Makes sense!" and nobody even picks up a book.

"My name is ..."

"What is your name?"

Der Himmel blau

Welcher Farbe der Himmel

Dieses Kleid Ihnen geht nicht

Even I see the mistakes. That is Russian grammar for you. We don't say "sky IS blue", we say "sky blue". Never mind. It is really, really hard for me to convey the point, but I am grateful for reading your post and comments because I might consider writing more about languages in the future and I have an opportunity now of thinking how to do it in the best possible way. I want clarity.

BTW, I cannot travel at the moment - there are no money. But there are "No English" territories within my vicinity. Chinese. Some don't speak enough English. Our dry cleaner. And that proves my point - we cannot use their service - with their broken language? Some supermarkets? Chinese only. I feel like being in a foreign country, where English is of no use.

haben Sie das lustige Reisen und das ganze beste

Time4Travel profile image

Time4Travel 5 years ago from Canada Author

Vielen Dank fuer die lange Antwort, kallini2010. Your German is good (don't worry!). I know that "mastering" a language is a neverending process. Languages are constantly changing and no one will ever be able to know everything about a language-- not even their own. Thanks again for the comment, and I wish you all the best in your language learning.

TroyM profile image

TroyM 5 years ago

Learning new languages- is my hobby...Great Ideas here!

Time4Travel profile image

Time4Travel 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks, TroyM. Glad you enjoyed the hub!

Emmyboy profile image

Emmyboy 5 years ago from Nigeria

i luv it when i spring some newly learnt French words to some of my friends and i luv it watching as their eyes glow in amazement and confusion...

Time4Travel profile image

Time4Travel 5 years ago from Canada Author

Yes, there's something magical about saying (and hearing) a foreign word. Thanks for the comment, Emmyboy.

Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 5 years ago from California

I definitely recommend that everyone learn at least one foreign language. In the U.S. the ideal choice is Spanish, of course. I've been trying to learn it, but my age may be getting in the way, I'm sorry to say. Thanks for the informative hub. And good luck in South Korea. Later!

Time4Travel profile image

Time4Travel 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks, Kosmo! South Korea will be quite the adventure, I'm sure. By the way, I think you're never too old to learn another language :) Glad you enjoyed the hub.

Spongy0llama profile image

Spongy0llama 3 years ago from Canada

Awesome reasons. I just plain enjoy learning languages and discovering the world through them :)

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