When you think about why you should learn another language, you’ll probably come up with the same reasons you hear all the time: career, travel, you want a challenge… to name but a few. But when I think about why I love learning new languages, other things spring to mind. For me, there are far better reasons! Let me tell you my favourites:
To experience books and films in a different way
Reading a book or watching a film in its original language will change the impact it has on you. It’s a whole different ball game. Not only does it allow you to immerse yourself in another way of seeing the world, but being able to read Jean-Paul Sartre, Patrick Modiano or Simone de Beauvoir in French will make your reading 100 times more engrossing! And of course, Almodovar’s films are DEFINITELY funnier to watch in Spanish! If you need to, get a translated version of the book or use subtitles to help you out. Get stuck in and enjoy!
So you can be sneaky (for good and bad)
I don’t know about you, but I can be a bit nosy at the best of times… so eavesdropping on other people’s conversations is one of my favourite pastimes! Being able to speak many languages means I can listen to lots more people talking, whether it be on the train or just walking around the city. It can also be amusing to hear what people might say when they think you don’t understand what they’re saying! Once, when I was paying at the supermarket, the woman at the till started talking to her colleague about me in French, saying how cute they thought I was! Well, they were pretty surprised (to say the least!) when I replied with a simple “merci”…
I’d love to hear some of your stories!
So you feel more independent
This one is great, especially when you’re travelling. When you speak more than one language you can do so much more without struggling or having to ask anyone else for help. Let’s say you’re visiting a friend in London. If you can order a coffee or ask for directions in the street by yourself, you won’t have to rely on your friend as much. So you’ll end up feeling more empowered and confident. Yay!
To be more culturally aware
Fully discovering a new culture starts with the language. So, speaking other languages gives you a wider insight into the world around you and makes you more open-minded. Being able to interact with locals is priceless and completely transforms your travel experience. They will definitely appreciate your efforts!
To meet new people and have friends all over the world
Last but not least! This one is my favourite. If you speak more than one language, chances are, you also love travelling and you may have even lived abroad. Keep in touch with friends you’ve met whilst on your travels – it’s always great to see them again in their hometown… not forgetting the fact that you’ll always have a place to stay and your own personal tour guide!
So why not make learning a language YOUR New Year’s resolution? Start learning with busuu now. By this time next year you could be watching films in French, listening to Spanish conversations on the train or making friends with the locals in Rio! Happy 2018!
Eloy (centre) is one of the French Language Experts at busuu. He can’t go a day without swimming and he absolutely loves all things vegetarian!