The Advantages of Learning a Second Language

By Elizabeth Summers / October 23, 2017 / No comments
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If the thought enters your mind even for a split-second and points to learning a new language as perhaps something like a hobby, dive right into it and proceed to learn. It’ll do you a world of good in many areas of your life, well beyond just personal development. You can learn at your own pace if you like with some great free online resources with which to get going and why not rope in the kids to join you as well?

Children’s particularly and instinctively inquisitive minds at this stage of their development will have them picking the language up much quicker than you though, so be careful not to fall into the trap of feeling like giving up because you don’t quite seem to be making the progress you think you should be making. Don’t compare you progress with that of your kids’ since language-learning has you in totally different leagues.

As an adult, you’re a bit more “set in your ways,” which includes what your mind thinks is adequate knowledge to survive and thrive.

Learning a second (or even a third, etc.) language affords you some advantages you might be surprised to find out you’ve been missing out on all this time.

The advantage of KNOWING

Competence in another language is more than just knowing how to speak the language itself or being able to communicate with and understand someone who speaks the language. What your competence in another language also affords you is a window into the cultures of the people who predominantly speak that language. In practice this can be likened to the type of competence a legal firm such as Johnston Law Firm has in that they cater to a specific area, and while their particular competence in that regard simply stems from the fact that they are area-specific legal specialists. From the point of view of knowing the language usage in a specific area you also pretty much know how things operate in that specific region, which is an advantage any which way you look at it.

A fresh perspective

Nothing demonstrates to you just how powerful your mind is quite like learning a new language, I don’t think. Case study subjects of people who endeavoured to take up rapid language-learning courses reported some astonishing results, with one learner delighting in the fact that they discovered just how much of a good memory they actually have. This learner delighted in the fact that they could recall some phrases they’d heard being spoken by natives when visiting a Portuguese-speaking country – phrases which were essentially played back in their heads, but phrases which they could now retrospectively understand.

It’s like a trip back in time, taking one through a journey which has so much more colour added to it since you can now understand all manner of different types of sayings, idioms, and yes, clichés as well.

For a writer this is very refreshing because it does indeed offer you a fresh perspective from which to create compelling content, but professionally one could even work as a translator or something along those lines.