Haruki Murakami, the renowned Japanese author quoted “Learning another language is like becoming another person”. The journey of learning a second language is indeed a beautiful one. For a language carries within itself the ethos of an age old civilization, its traditions and the glorious tales of its evolution. It is rightly said, ‘To learn a new language is to posses a second soul ’.
Sounds fascinating right? From the groovy Spanish number “Despacito” to watching Korean TV series or going gaga over the K-pop band BTS , we’re are all in awe of these rich languages. Sometimes that fascination of ours leads to learning. Yes, you guessed it right; we embark on the journey to learn that language. And if you haven’t considered learning a new language until now ,then let me introduce you to the benefits learning the lingo!!
· Travel: Are you a wander who loves to explore new places and cultures? Travelling across lands is one to the most enriching experience if done right. By right I mean immersing oneself into the local culture of the place, far away from the luxury hotels. Interacting heart to heart with the locals. That’s where knowing the language comes into play. Who knows what hidden gems, tales you might discover besides making memories of a lifetime. Hey you!! Do add a language holiday to your bucket list for a cherishing experience.
· Friends, Family and Culture : With new language comes new friends and the world feels like a family. Exchange of ideas, coming together of speakers of different languages inculcates a sense of mutual respect, empathy and admiration towards other traditions. Imagine going to Brazil and cheering your favorite football team or appreciating the all time classic French movies in their original form. From deciphering the Arabic scripts on the Islamic tombs or the new found confidence within you on being able to read those complicated street signs in Chinese script. It’s no less of euphoria than the “Eureka moment “, right?
· Food for the Brain: Here comes the good news! Did you know learning a new language not only boosts your brain power but also enhances your memory? Studies prove that multilingual people have an edge at multitasking and decision-making skills compared to their monolingual counterparts. Also, learning the lingo keeps Alzheimer’s at bay.
· Career Boost and CV skills: Having a second language on your CV is like cherry on the cake. It gives you an upper hand over others, opening new career avenues. As a student, it increases your chances of selection for Student exchange Programs and being a part of global immersion. On the professional front, one can apply to Embassies, language translator and various other promising profiles.
· Diving into the world of literature : Learning a new language helps one discover the real gems of literature whose essence is lost in translation. Be it the original works of Persian poet Rumi, Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, the heart wrenching tales of Nazi Germany expressed originally in Dutch by Anne Frank in her Diary. They all offer insights into the realities of world ,broaden our perspectives and help us embrace the world with kindness. Romance languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian) have similar roots and knowing either of one makes it quite easy to learn another. Having prior knowledge of Portuguese myself, I found Spanish quite easy to comprehend.
Still wondering when, how and where to start from?
Let me help you with this. The answer is pretty simple.
· When: If not now then when? There’s no better time to learn a language than now. It all starts with a simple step.
Just set aside an hour from your busy schedule everyday and start learning the language you’ve always dreamt of being fluent in.
· How: Here’s an interesting answer. Pick that one language you are passionate about. It could be as simple as impressing your love with French ( most romantic language in the world ) or maybe German cause you want to move there for higher studies . I’m sure you have plenty of reasons to pick your Lingo! ( For me , It was reading the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho in Portuguese )
· Where: Start from the basics, build a strong foundation. There are plenty of online resources available such as Coursera , Duolingo , Memrise along with various podcasts and resources available on the internet . There’s an entire ocean to choose from, you just have to pick your pearls.
Remember, “Change is hard at first, Messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” This journey of learning the lingo might be frustrating. There are gonna be times you’d feel frustrated and wanting to giving up. Be consistent because Rome wasn’t built in a day. Eventually, you’ll fall in love with the journey and the language itself.
P.S. Carpe Diem Folks!! (Live the moment, Live the lingo)
Happy learning !