English, Español, Français, 日本語
One of my “To do list in my life” includes “Mastering 5 languages I selected”.
This week, I did a brainstorming on what language I would like to learn next. Although I have a lot to improve with my French, Spanish, English (and even my native language Japanese), I thought it would be a good time to try new one to reach that goal.
After checking several articles and asking myself over and over, I came to think that Chinese Mandarin might be the next one. This time, however, I will not write about how I decided it. Instead, I would like to write about other essential question I kept asking to myself:
Why do I learn other languages?
And Below are 10 reasons to that question (in my case, but applicable to many others).
There are many people who wrote on the same topic, and I agree with some of them and not with others, but I wanted to keep the record for myself and ideally for others, too.
Everyone writes about this and I totally agree (e.g. without English and Spanish, I could not have worked in Mongolia and Chile respectively )
2. Gather information
The more languages you know, the more you tend to get more specific and locally relevant information (book, online, TV, etc.).
Knowing more languages will help you explore more and motivates you to travel more and get to know something/one new.
4. Good for Brain
Research says that knowing other language is good for your brain (and even good to prevent Alzheimer)
5. Learn about your language/culture
You tend to realize about your mother tongue (which reflects your own culture) when you learn other language (by having something to compare).
6. Learn about yourself
I tend to consider one language as a room of my mind. When I speak Spanish, I act and feel more laid-back than when I use English. I think the environment in which you were exposed to that language affect your personality. Just like #5, by having something to compare, you get to know about yourself.
7. Having things to do
You have to invest you time and effort (and sometimes money) to learn other language, but at the same time, it’s good to keep yourself busy.
8. Joy of leaning
In general, learning is very intangible. But language learning is relatively more tangible (if you get to speak or understand, you will realize) which brings to you priceless joy.
9. Learn to learn
To learn language, you have to go through learning cycle (set a goal, plan, get resource, practice, make mistakes, learn and set another goal, etc.). And this skill set is applicable to all sort of other learning.
10. Meeting new people
I put this at last deliberately, since for me, this is one of the most important things. Without doubt, knowing language provides you more opportunities to meet new people.
Usually, I don’t think about all of the above (probably #8 and #10 are more often than others).
This time, I learned that:
There are many reasons to learn other languages, but most important ones for me are to feel the joy of learning and meeting new people.