Yesterday, I talked about five different ways to learn a new language. Today, I’ll give a brief overview of why you should consider learning a new language.
Learning a new language expands your awareness of other cultures.
One can gain a better awareness and appreciation of other cultures by studying their language. For example, in Spanish there is a distinction between ser (to be) and estar (to be). In one form of using these words, the first means how you are, while the second means how you are right now (I haven’t taken Spanish in a while, so correct me if I’m wrong!). There are interesting distinctions like this in other languages, and in learning them you open yourself up to new ways of thinking.
Learning a new language exercises your brain.
There is no doubt that learning a new language involves a great deal of brain work. Not only do you have to learn how to speak and understand the language, but if you really want to go in depth, then you also have to learn how to read and write the language, as well as learn the cultural context surrounding different expressions and idioms.
Exercising the brain is good for your mental health, and learning a new language is one of the best ways to do it.
Learning a new language opens new opportunities
In learning a new language, doors open for you that weren’t open before. You can travel overseas and actually understand what the locals are saying, work internationally, and make friends with people around the world.
My own journey
Starting today, I will be taking night classes in Mandarin twice a week. This is the third course I am taking, so I am already a bit beyond the beginner level (but still very much a novice). As this will be on top of full-time work, I’ll have a bit less time for blogging, but I will still try to keep up the posting. I’ll still be around, but I’ll be just a little bit busier than before.
这个学期我很忙。 可是， 我不走了!