Why Should I Learn a Foreign Language?

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    Sometimes you may wonder, "why should I learn a foreign language?". There are many reasons, but as a unique person you may resonate with some of these reasons more than others.

    1. Ability to travel

    The best way to travel is usually to become friends with the locals, who can show you cherished parts of the culture and country in which they live. When tourists come to an English-speaking country, they are often expected to try to communicate in English. This makes sense, as they are visiting an English-speaking country. But often times when we go abroad, we often rely on people in other countries to help us in English. This is kind of a double standard, where everyone but us must do the work for communication. I don't mean to suggest that everyone should learn the language of every country they visit, but a small book of phrases and an attempt at communicating will go a long way.

    2. Communicating with people from other countries and cultures

    Most of us usually do not think about culture as we go throughout our day. We're content with the way things are -- the way we grew up with them being -- even if another country may do things completely differently. Sometimes we talk about culture shock while visiting a foreign country. Even if you don't agree with some cultural phenomena, it's important to learn about each other's cultures to better understand each other.

    3. Community and social bonding

    There are many communities of language learners on the internet such as Langful, and in most cities. I have made many friends by participating in these communities, and myself and friends have even come across employment and travel opportunities from the people we’ve met.

    4. Expanding the way you think

    I’ve once heard that our native language helps shape the way we think. I confirmed this for myself once I started learning languages like Esperanto, and American Sign Language (ASL) that require a different way of thinking.

    Esperanto made me realize the structure of my native language -- which exceptions exist, and which mistakes I was making. As a computer programmer, it was directly in line with how I think. As for ASL, I’ve never been very good at reading social cues or emotions. It forced me to be attentive to these signals, and showed me that a nonverbal language could be just as poetic and expressive as a verbal one, even more so.

    5. Boost your resume

    A foreign language on your resume can present to potential employers that you are willing to take the initiative to learn, and that you have good communication skills which can help you stand apart from other applicants. Even if you are not proficient enough to conduct business, these skills will still be valuable to your potential employer.

    6. Keep your mind sharp

    Learning a language is like solving puzzles. People often play Sudoku, crosswords, or other mental games to occupy their time, keep their mind sharp, and entertain themselves. All of these things are possible with learning a language as well, with the added reward that you will be able to communicate in this language for the future.

    That's why

    If you weren’t planning on learning a language already, then I hope these reasons gave you some things to think about. If you currently study a foreign language, then we would love to hear your reasons. Either comment below, or you can also reach out on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

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