In today’s world, being bilingual is almost a necessity, however, there are still several practical reasons for learning a new language, which are on a more personal level.
Although many think that learning Mandarin or Hindi is the natural choice in this day and age, there are also quite a few that recommend learning any language for your own pleasure, as long as you are interested in it.
Aside from exercising your brain, here are some other practical reasons for taking up foreign language lessons.
One of the most basic reasons for learning a foreign language is to bridge a language barrier, due to a business relationship, friendship or because of love.
Learning another language or two increases your employability. Likewise, if you can speak at least one foreign language, you are likely to enjoy some prestige and be looked upon as a woman or man of the world. English is still touted as the international language of business, but some other languages, such as Japanese, French or German offer a rich and different set of linguistic patterns that are not found in the English language. There is a bit of fun and romance when you learn to roll your tongue to pronounce words or even bring out the nasal resonances of some words, which are not present in English. Foreign words also have a way of arousing your feelings.
Language is closely related to a culture. Therefore when you learn a new language, you also learn about the country’s people, its religion, customs and traditions and its history. Even if your colleague speaks English, making the effort to learn his or her language elicits a good first impression. It also shows that you are willing to go to great lengths to keep the relationship going. In some cultures, this is indicative of deep respect and could be instrumental in opening some doors for you.
Maybe you haven’t realized it but the desire to learn another language could be to satisfy your own inherent curiosity. You might be wondering what makes the other language different or similar to your mother tongue, or maybe how difficult and easy it will be to learn it.
Likewise, your reason for learning a language might be because it awakens your revivalist and social nature, because you have learned that a language or even the language of your ancestors is already on the endangered list. It even has a nice term for this reason – heritage learner.
You should not approach learning a language just for learning’s sake. Approach it with passion and great interest, because it will help you learn the language faster. But more than that, speaking one or two other languages helps to improve your general intelligence. It makes your brain more flexible, as it gets more exercise from the paces it had to go through as you do your linguistic exercises. It is a fact that at the initial stage of learning a language you will be struggling, as you try to find the ways to understand and think about something that is unfamiliar.
Whatever reason you have for learning a new language, remember that it will enhance your life. Even if you do not use the new language immediately, you will definitely enjoy the time you have spent learning it.