Why You Should Learn a Foreign Language
by Brent Van Arsdell, Editor of Language101.com
You can learn Russian, Spanish, French or German at Language101.com
(18 April 2010)
It is worthwhile for you to learn at least one foreign language. In fact, there is a educational movement in the United States to require students to learn a second language.
The following article provides the rationale to on why you should learn another language. It is based on the author's personal experiences of how he got started, the importance of knowing about other cultures and how practical it is.
Questions you may have include:
- How did he get started?
- Why is learning a language important?
- Why learn about other cultures?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Imagine that you could travel to a magical place where people were 10 times nicer to you. They smiled at you more, laughed with you more, and made you feel much more at home than you even do at home.
Would you want to go there? Of course you would.
If you learn a foreign language, that can happen for you like it did for me when I learned Russian. Here’s what happened to me and here’s how to make it happen to you too no matter which language you want to learn.
I started by learning phrases like, “What’s your name?” and “Where are you from?” Then I immediately started looking for Russians to try my phrases on. They absolutely loved it even though I really didn't know much.
When they felt good, I felt good too!
The more I learned, the more fun I had every time I met Russians.
Suddenly I found that I could make instant friends with almost any Russian I met by saying things like “I love Russia” and then saying a few phrases of famous Russian songs or poems.
Knowledge about other cultures important
We are raised to believe that everything about our own culture is the best in the world. I'm an American and I certainly love my own culture, but every culture has a few things it does that really are the best.
For example Russian hospitality is the best in the world. If a Russian man considers you his guest, and if he has one bed, he will let you sleep in the bed and he will sleep on the floor.
I am not an apologist for the many bad things that have been done by many countries over the years, but I don’t focus on them and I don’t thing you should either.
When you learn a new language, always be looking for the things from that culture that are the best, then make them part of your own life and the things that you love.
As you learn your new language, you will find that once you have a word for something you can understand it and experience it in a way that was not possible before. For example Russian has two words for friend. One means deep, real, true friend, and the other word means acquaintance.
When you make the word for deep real true friend a part of your life, then the experience of having a deep, real, true friend can be part of your life in a way that it really couldn't before you learned your new language.
It is practical
Should you study Spanish because it's practical? Well, there is nothing wrong with being practical, but I suggest learning Spanish because you love talking to people who speak Spanish. Believe me, there is a lot to love about Spanish speaking cultures!
As you learn your new language keep looking for more things that are worthy of your love. You will find them in every language!
Now that I can speak basic Russian, my life is rich in ways that yours will be soon too when you learn the language you love.
People are nicer to me, I get invited out more, and I know the things that are good, beautiful and wonderful about Russian culture as well as American culture too.
Decide to love your new language from the very first day of your study. Look for people to talk your new language, and say things that will make them feel good.
The language you learn will be your ticket to a magical place where people are ten times nicer to you, and your journey though life will have layers of happiness that you had no idea even existed.
And then, when it comes your time to die, you will know that you really lived.
Expand your knowledge
Resources and references
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Why You Should Learn a Foreign Language