Live abroad

8 good reasons why you should learn a new language

Joanna Horanin

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English is an international language. If you know it, you can communicate practically everywhere. That’s why so many native speakers feel it’s unnecessary to learn a new language. I’ve heard so many of them admitting that they just felt a little lazy and comfortable communicating only in English. Even travelling doesn’t seem to make some people learn at least a few new phrases. There are always plenty of excuses for why they don’t do it.

I’ve always felt that knowing a couple of words in Thai, Spanish or German is useful and I can give you millions of reasons why learning a foreign language is great for you. These are just a few of them.

It’s a great addition to your resume

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In this global world, where companies from different countries work closely together, employers look for people with language skills. Putting it on your CV, even if it’s not a requirement, lets them know that you have interests and that you want to develop yourself. Just remember to be honest and admit on what level you actually know the language to avoid a situation similar to the one above.

It’s a good training for your brain

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It always amazes me how a brain works. Polish is my first language and yet I can understand people speaking English without translating it to my own mother tongue. Isn’t that a wonderful mechanism?

Learning a foreign language is great for your brain. You will improve your memory, attention span and reduce a risk of age related cognitive decline. There are plenty of research that prove it, so if you don’t want to be an old, sad and sick person in the future it’s better to start learning now!

It makes you understand different cultures

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When people greet each other in Thai they ask “Gin khao reuyang?”, which means ‘have you eaten rice yet?’ It is used as our ‘how are you?’ and proves how important the food is in the Land of Smiles. Would I know that if I hadn’t studied Thai? Probably not.

In every language there are words that cannot be translated and you can only understand them by knowing a little about the mentality and culture of the country, so the more grammar and vocabulary you know the better you will understand other people.

It makes travelling so much easier

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This is a great reason to learn another language. You can ask for directions, go to a doctor’s, order food in a restaurant, have a chat with locals and other travellers, make beautiful memories and enrich your experience even more.

It’s really cool

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People often say that learning a language which is not very popular, such as Hebrew or Hindi, might be a waste of time. I think the opposite: knowing how to speak in a different tongue is cool and the more exotic and unusual the cooler it is. You can really impress others by making a small talk with a Chinese person in their own language, or exchanging pleasantries with someone from Greece.

It lets you enjoy things more

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In Poland foreign movies are translated pretty well, but some things are replaced with a Polish phrase, which makes the whole scene a little less funny, or dramatic.

When you speak another language you can watch films, read books and listen to music without subtitles and translations. You can enjoy your favourite things ‘raw’, just as they were created.

It gives you a boost of confidence

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You are learning something useful and you can put it to practical use. Your friends ask you for translations, or just simply ask you to say certain phrases in your new language for fun. You can impress people and you can communicate with others while travelling. You feel confident and sure of yourself.

It brings people together

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Of course communicating without any knowledge of another language is also possible, but it’s so much nicer to be able to speak with someone from another country in their own tongue. You can share jokes, stories and you can be sure that there always will be something to talk about if you both learn new skills from one another.

Do you speak another language? What other advantages do you see in learning it?