This Article is About
new language
learning languages
mother tongue
prime reason
going on holiday
web traffic
rural area
real reason
personal experience
Should I Learn A New Language?
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Many of us will have learnt a second or even a third language at school, and if my personal experience is anything to go by it was not easy. I actually used to dread the language classes coming round at school as I had no aptitude for learning languages - getting to know the intricacies of my mother tongue, english, was enough thanks. So I saw no real reason why I should learn a new language.

That was a while ago now though and in the past couple of decades the world has changed a great deal. We have all seen the explosion of web traffic, the increase in travel; some of us will have gone overseas to live, and work itself can now be a global exercise, not just dealing with companies in our own country. Does this mean that there are now more real reasons to learn a new language?

I think there are now many more reasons to learn that second language and not all of them are simply to deal with a situation such as buying a bottle of water somewhere overseas. Let's look at a couple of solid reasons before we look at the emotional intelligence ones.

1. Overseas travel, despite the recent increases in cost of doing so, is a prime reason for learning the language of the country you are to visit. Even if you only get a few phrases cemented into your memory they can be very useful. Suppose you are out in a rural area of a country and get a puncture (flat). Try telling the local community in english that you need help, and what if they don't understand?

2. If you work in a global company as I did, then they may well send you overseas, and this will be a great opportunity to get that new language under your belt. Imagine how valuable you will be to your company if you are successful at your job and also speak the local language - wow.

But wait a minute - let's more closely define this phrase "learn a language", as it will mean many things to many people. If you are going on holiday it will mean getting the phrases for "taxi please" or a menu in a restaurant. It doesn't mean learning enough so that you are only speaking this language whilst you are in the country you are vacationing in. On the other hand if you are studying or working or even living in another country it can mean a whole lot more, and think of the advantage for your kids! In any event it takes your time and effort (lot's in my case) - so is it worth it?

I think it is and in trying to answer that question let's consider the other side of language learning, the emotional intelligence aspects, wow what does this mean? Well for me it means the phenomenally great feeling I get when I actually manage to make someone whose natural language is not the same as mine understand exactly what I want when I use their language. I could be in a shop and need something I cannot see and have to ask for it, even if I have to look a word or two up in my pocket dictionary. For you there could be a host of situations where you will get this great feeling. Suppose your partner has a natural language different to yours - how will you communictae with his or her family - it would be easy to say through your partner, but just think how good you will feel if you can do it yourself?

Think also that if you communicate to someone in their language how good they will feel about you. They will not have the frustration of trying to understand the words you are using, even if you only have a few of them. But more about this in future articles. If you are wondering about learning a language or have to and really don't know why, these thoughts may help you. For more thoughts keep watching this space, and I would love to hear of your experiences in this learning process both good and bad.


Street Talk

Hi Keith, having moved to France and not having any formal learning of French at school I'm finding it difficult at times here. I guess it must be sinking in by osmosis but French is so different from English in its construction, grammer, gender anomalis and whether one is speaking to a friend or stranger. Just 4 things that make it 4 times more complicated than English!

Reply
  about 8 years ago
You May Also Like
Learn A New Language In Retirement?
In previous articles I have looked at the issues of language learning, and also looked at the dreadfull prospect of retiring with nothing to do. Let's try and put these two thoughts together and suggest how good it is for retirees to learn a new language. What !! I can…
By:  in  Self Improvement  >  Achievement   Apr 10, 2012  
1
  Likes: 1

Two More Thoughts on Learning That New Language
Two new thoughts. In a previous article we talked about making key decisions before setting out on the road to learning that new language. Here are two more thoughts which I found very interesting. Before you set out on the road to text books or phrase books it might be…
By:  in  Self Improvement  >  Achievement   Apr 14, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

Five Ways to Think About Learning That New Language
Yesterday we talked about how there are benefits for those recently retired in learning a second language. Today we put forward five ways to think about how you would meet this challenge, and these points actually are applicable to anyone who undertakes this challenge, regardless of age. 1. Decide how…
By:  in  Self Improvement  >  Achievement   Apr 11, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

Learn to Speak and Write Spanish In Two Weeks
I'm assuming you are someone who is seeking online materials to help teach you the Spanish dialect fast? In this day and age, it is possible for anyone to learn to speak Spanish, even those as young as toddlers. Yes toddlers! Perhaps you already know Spanish and want to enhance…
By: daniel j watson in  Reference and Education  >  Languages   Jun 27, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

language learning sites
Language learning websites are now increasing to fill in the demands of many people who are willing to learn a new language that is foreign to them, But the problem rises here is, the inability to find the right place online or the right method. That’s why I create my…
By: magdi in  Reference and Education  >  Languages   Mar 10, 2011  
0
  Likes: 2

Moving to A Different Country With Kids
Moving abroad must be one of the biggest adventures anyone can have in their lifetime. It can also be the most stressful if you don’t go about it in the right way especially if you have a family to consider. If you are planning to move abroad and have children…
By: pam in  Travel and Leisure  >  Adventure Travel   Jul 13, 2011  
1
  Likes: 2

Help Yourself And Your Children With Spanish
Hi there Today we are talking about children learning a second language. Do not waste any more time! If you do have children, it is never too early to start learning a new language but any day that passes by can be too late. Many people get anxious or confused…
By: Isabel in  Home and Family  >  Early Childhood Education   Feb 28, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

Translate Your Teen Messages
What if your teen speaks a different language? How on earth will you be able to make sure of his safety? Most kids now are talking CODES and parents don't have a clue what they are talking about. Studies showed that most kids between 12 and 17 years old are…
By: asmaa moussa in  Home and Family  >  Parenting   Nov 09, 2011  
1
  Likes: 0

One Or Two
Etes-deux langues valent mieux qu'une? If you already know the answer, than this article will help you try and decide on your own. For those that do not already know the answer, you will at least know what the question is by the end. Either way, you can cheat and…
By: Joseph Primm in  Health and Fitness  >  Mind Body Spirit   May 02, 2012  
4
  Likes: 3

Breaking the Language Barrier?
Our excuses or barriers to even starting to learn a language. Anyone who has tried and failed to learn a langauge will have at least at some time had some of these thoughts: It is too difficult and I just can't do it. I don't have the patience. It will…
By:  in  Self Improvement  >  Achievement   Apr 28, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

How to Get My Girlfriend Back After A Break Up
So many times I asked myself "how to get my girlfriend back after our break up" that I almost thought it was impossible to get her back after what happened between us. If you are in the same boat as I was, then please read this article since I will…
By: Veronica Martinez de Escobar in  Relationships  >  Dating   Mar 31, 2013  
27
  Likes: 0

Working Abroad For The First Time
It is hard enough to work every day for your living, but I may assure you that there is much more difficult when you start working in a country that is not the one in where you were born. Yes, I am one of the millions who left his mother…
By: SARAHESPOSITO in  News and Society  >  Pure Opinion   May 09, 2012  
8
  Likes: 4

Learn Online Spanish - Is It More Efficient?
Getting good at Spanish means that not only are you going to start thinking in your new language, but you'll get good at conversing and speaking with native speakers and even communicating via the web. To effectively learn online Spanish, you need to know the basics. Let's assume you're past…
By: H duBruyn in  Reference and Education  >  Languages   Apr 05, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

How to Learn to Speak French Quickly
In this article we are going to talk how to learn to speak French quickly once you know how to do it. There are a lot of different reason why you might want to learn to speak french. You could be travelling to a country where they speak French and…
By: vincent in  Reference and Education  >  Languages   Apr 02, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

The Easiest Way to Learn Spanish - Ten Tips
The Easiest Way To Speak Spanish I suppose it lies in human nature to look for the easy way of doing things. In learning a new language this would certainly apply too. Many people are led to believe that learning to speak a second language successfully can only be achieved…
By: H duBruyn in  Reference and Education  >  Languages   Mar 13, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

Article Views: 1543    Report this Article