Learning a second language opens your mind
Language is a Prison
First I want to talk about the importance of language and what it does for us as a people. Years ago there was an article that was written that talked about language being a prison. The language that learn would essentially dictate the way we view the world. English is a very scientific language. When looking at nature we tend to focus on the physical characteristics of plants and animals. Other languages, however, will tend to look at the use of the plant or animal or what the plant or animal does for nature. The language that we learn has an influence on the way that we view the world. In this sense language is a prison. I affects the way we view the world and it affects the way that we express our feelings and the way that we comprehend what we are feeling.
The Importance of Language
If language is a prison then why is it important? The obvious answer for this is communication, but what else does language do for us that makes it so important? Learning language and communicating in general help establish neuron connections in our brain which helps us progress cognitively. These connections are important for our intellectual development. Learning language also helps make our thoughts more complex and essentially lets us think "outside the box". Could you image thinking without language? Language adds structure to our thoughts and allows to identify specific things about general objects or themes.
How do we break the out of the Prison
So how do we break out of the prison and think outside of the box that our language has put us in? Learn another language! Learning another language will expose you to the thought process of the language and even the people that speak it. It allows us to learn more about the theme in which that language focuses on. I was able to learn Spanish after living in Guatemala for two years. The Spanish language puts a bigger emphasis on emotions than the English language does. From learning about the Spanish language I was able to learn a lot more about my emotions and specifically about love. Learning a different language exposes us to new thoughts, ideas, and even feelings.
How many languages are you fluent in?
What are some other benefits of learning a language?
Besides opening up our minds and allowing us to think outside of the box and look at the world in a different way there are many other benefits of learning a language. One that I have enjoyed is learning about the culture that comes with the language. An important part of learning a language is spending time with people that speak it. When you immerse yourself in the culture and the people then understand the language better, and not just because your are required to speak it more but because you start to understand why they say things the way they do, and why certain things have a bigger emphasis in that language then they do in your native language. You will also start to understand that culture a lot more then you did before.
This is another reason why learning another language is very beneficial and probably one that all of you thought about. Why are employers willing to pay you more money when you speak a second language? It's because you can help more people, and therefore you'll have an influence on more people, then the average person can. It will also open up more international business connections for you and your business.
Honestly learning a second language has brought a lot of joy to my life. It enabled me to make friends with people that I wouldn't have ever been able to be friends with. I gave me a lot of experiences that I couldn't have had otherwise. One of the things that my wife actually found attractive is that I was able to speak her native language, and we were able to communicate in two different languages (which we think is pretty cool).
Do you want to learn a second language?
What do you say?
Let me know what you think about the importance of learning languages, and if you already know more than one how has it benefited you in your life?