Learning a new language

10 06 2008

So you speak English, why would you want to learn another language? 

People tell me that English is the international language and that they don’t need to learn another language. I specially hear that the US is the big superpower and that others should learn English…This is just a little tiny bit arrogant, do you think?

Granted that English is a global language and that has been at the head of globalization. But that is changing, the new face of globalization has people speaking several languages, do we want to be left behind?

I decided to learn French next, so people at work ask me why do I want to learn more languages. To me learning another language is more that just learning grammar, learning another language opens new windows in my mind. When you learn another language you learn about a different culture, how they communicate, how they think, and why do they do things the way they do. It helps you get in the mind set of other people, what if we all spoke more than one language, and were able to understand instead of fear the other one? That would be tremendous. Language communicates thoughts,  a way of life and gives us a new way to experience the world.

Why learn another language:

  • Communication, it helps you communicate with people all over the word as well as in your home town. I was so excited when I was learning Italian and started chatting on the net with Italians, that was awesome.
  • Develop an understanding of another culture and its people.
  • It might help you improve the knowledge of your own language.
  • It would give you a global perspective, the world would no longer be limited.
  • It is empowering
  • it is also good for you mind, to keep your faculties and to improve your brain activities.

Expand Your Horizons!!

Please share your experiences with other languages.





3 responses

13 06 2008

You are absolutely right. Learning another language opens your perceptions immensely as you learn how another culture THINKS. But you just can’t explain this to anyone who doesn’t speak more than one language.

Margot, in Marrakesh

16 06 2008

I got an F in high school Spanish. My Amero-centric arrogance worked to convince me (foolishly) that I didn’t need to broaden my linguistic aptitude. I plan to correct that. Great post D.

21 06 2008

When people tell you that about English, it is because when you tell them you want to learn another language, you are threatening their world view. By indicating you think it is important, you imply (not on purpose, but by your actions) that English is NOT the be-all and end-all. You know, birds-of-a-feather like to flock together. People who don’t want to learn other languages don’t want their ideas (of the supremacy of English) threatened by those with a more global viewpoint. You can’t do much about work colleagues, but at least you can choose like-minded friends!

Best regards,
Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas (in the Middle East)

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