The Benefits of Learning a Second Language!

Second Language; Golden Tongue!

Being an Anglophone, I have to admit, I was arrogant about my language for the first 20 years of my life. I believed it was all I would need to succeed, and I was completely in love with the English language. I loved to learn new words and use them, almost haughtily, in my conversations. Touting little known expressions made me feel quite intelligent. And I foolishly believed that English would be spoken the world over, and for me, that made the need to learn a new language obsolete.

Now I know that that kind of stupidity and naiveté comes from youth. My brain was not rational, and very self-centered as almost all teenage brains are. But when I met my husband to be, 8 years ago, my ideals were shattered, and it was not easy to accept the reality I was faced with.

Before getting to the point, however, I need to give you an insight into the kind of person I was, and sometimes, still am.

Arrogance

 Never a subtle person, I was not afraid to voice my opinion. I could argue a topic with a passion, and very rarely gave up. Conceding defeat was very difficult for me and using my talent in the English language, I didn't concede very often. But I was also a little hotheaded and said things I shouldn't have without even thinking. I would also, instead of listening, talk over people and think no matter what, my view was the only view. Rude huh?

When I met my husband to be, we struggled a bit communicating because Christian was just learning English and I had a very limited knowledge of the French language. Arrogantly, I let Christian learn my language, almost expected it of him, and gave no thought to learning his. Even after 4 years of being together, my knowledge of the French language wasn't even functional. I blatantly disregarded the gift I was being offered to learn a new language, even while my daughter was speaking both languages, and I continued to speak only English.

Humility

 The rest of that story is well known to most who know me. We moved to Quebec, I became a recluse, struggled to even answer the telephone, and all because I didn't speak French and no one here spoke English. It was a huge awakening for me. I realized that English is NOT spoken the world over and, even in my own country, I could feel like a foreigner.

Finally after getting over myself, I threw myself wholeheartedly into learning French during my second year here. I had lost a big part of my personality because I could no longer express myself in English, and I missed my confidence in that area of my life.

Understanding and Learning

 But as I learned French, I also learned other things. I listened more often now. I no longer had the ability to listen with half an ear, because I had to really concentrate on what people were saying so that I would understand fully. I learned to think before I spoke as well, because I no longer had the ability to shoot off my mouth at random for fear of saying something wrong, or not having anyone understand what I was talking about. It was frustrating to say the least, but it taught me so much about myself that the importance of what I was learning was worth much more than my frustration.

Of course, I am still the same person. I still love a debate, and I still love my language. I still say things I shouldn't and I still want to be right, but these traits in my personality surface a little less frequently than before.

I explore my thoughts much more than I ever have and I think it helps me to make better decisions in what comes out of my mouth next. I think we should all give a little thought to learning a new language. It's not just the outright benefits of having a second language that will amaze you, its all the little things that you will learn about yourself and who you are that will give you a new perspective in life.

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Comments 6 comments

Dad 7 years ago

Hi Megan. This is great. Good thoughts. Truly enjoy reading your writings. Will send this on to all family members.

Love you

Mom and Dad


Kathryn 7 years ago

Hi Megan,

Enjoyed your article and realize that you're very much like me (go figure). I too, shoot off my mouth and use my command of the language to crush anyone foolish enough to get into a debate with me. It's not an attractive trait, and has got me into lots of trouble over the course of my life. I found your article very good and would like to publish it in my newspaper if that's alright with you. Let me know.

Aunty Kathy


nadiaazhar profile image

nadiaazhar 6 years ago from kuwait

i like your writing,i'm a total opposite of u.AN Introvert. but i need to change myself and want people like you to inspire me.

Best Regards,

Nadia


learn2ndlanguage 6 years ago

As a teacher I can truly appreciate the knowledge a second language brings. I had over 6 job offers as a first year teacher because I was able to speak a second language (Spanish). I used the Rocket Language system. I was surprised at how much I learned. The world is changing (especially the U.S.). We have to get with it. I strongly encourage people to learn a second language if they can. With technology now, it is easier than every. There a many good at home systems out there. I strongly suggest Rocket Language, but any system that gets you learning and feeling better about yourself is great!


Elearn4Life profile image

Elearn4Life 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing yourself with us, you have become a wonderfully humble person.Similar curcumstances happen to the best of us to keep us from floating away.

The loved one are certainly always there to catch us as our air excapes and sends us back to earth. Thanks for sharing! I am currently destroying I mean learning spanish.


Importance of Learning English 5 years ago

To keep pace with the changing world there is no alternative of learning a second language especially learning English as a second language can be a live saver. Great hub. Rated up

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