True and False: Learning Another Language

False (excuses not to learn another language):

1. One can get by fine just speaking ____: Sure, one can get by just fine, but that’s it. If one is content reading only things written in their language, watching television and movies only in that language, listening to music (with lyric understanding) in only that language, then one has no need to learn a new language. Of course, there is no reason to do anything new if one is content with what one has. No reason to learn mathematics, because one is content with only counting. No reason to learn to write or draw, because one is content without those things. For some that is all well and good, though for many a life lived like this would be BORING!

2. No time: This is probably the most common excuse not to learn a new language, or anything for that matter. However, unless one is running equations in one’s head or pondering a deep question whilst reading this, one has time to learn a new language. The internet is one of the greatest inventions in human history, it expands the possibilities for learning immensely. One can, even, use social media in the language one is learning. Time is no excuse!

3. No good at it: If one can read this, one can learn another language. If one learned one’s first language one can learn another. It isn’t a matter of skill, or “natural ability;” sure, those would be helpful, but learning anything is really a matter of practice and dedication. “Not being good at” learning language is no reason one cannot learn a new language. One might not be “good” at mathematics but give practice one may become good.

4. Too old: One is never too old to learn a new language, or skill. Sure, it is easier to pick up a language from simple exposure at a young age; however, some studies have found that being older actually makes you better at learning a new language.

5. No access to native speakers: Internet. Use it. Some are calling it the “information super highway.” There is tell of instant access to native speakers all around the world by using the internet.

True (reasons to learn a new language):

1. Mental exercise: The brain is a muscle and like other muscles gets better with exercise. Learning a new language works out the mind in a very beneficial way. It can help seep up memorization, association, and general mental tasks. Languages are oft seen as illogical, but there is always a pattern (always, always, always, always, mostly [as this writer’s old chemistry teacher would say]). Finding this pattern and using it to craft sentences is a nice work out for the mind. It also improves analytic skills.

2.  Increase cultural understanding: Language and trade both do a marvelous thing, the make the individuals involved get along better. Of course there will be people that don’t  like each other no matter what tongue they speak; however, one is more like to be friends with someone that speaks the same language as them. Language opens the door to increased trade and understanding.

3. It helps with other skills: Learning a new language increases creativity. It also improves understanding and use of one’s first language. Furthermore, some studies have found learning a new language increases math skills.

4. Be less boring: Having another language increases the literature one can read, the films one can watch, the music one can understand, and the knowledge one can acquire. There are some things that are not translated and can only be used by people that know the original language.

5. Impress people: Knowing another language impresses people. If that is something one cares about then learning another language is great. Also, one needs only know a little of the language to impress a majority of people. Most people will be content and impressed by a simply greeting in a different language, especially if it is a “weird” one.

It is time: no more excuses!