We all learned secondary school French, and perhaps Spanish or Italian too if we were good at languages, but how many of us actually remember what we learned at school in our language lessons? I for one can’t remember anything beyond ‘Bonjour’ and ‘Au revoir’. However, as an adult, I’ve always loved the idea of learning a second language.
I have friends who are fluent in other languages and I must admit I am super jealous of them. Whenever they go abroad they don’t need to worry about not speaking the language, they get to really mingle with the locals and learn more about the culture, and because they can speak the language, their trips are always greatly enhanced.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about learning a second language – in case you have been too, below I thought I would share some of the reasons to learn a second language.
Travel can be easier
One of the many benefits of learning a second language is the fact that travel can be far easier. When you speak a second language, you can opt to choose a county that speaks that language you have learned, that way you should find your trip much easier to negotiate. For anyone who lives with dietary requirements like I do, being able to speak the language of the place that you are visiting makes life far easier. I have a serious nut allergy, so eating out when abroad can be tricky. However, if I am with a friend who speaks the language, it makes life far easier.
You feel more linked to the culture of the place you’re visiting
It’s impossible to really immerse yourself in the culture of a country that you’re visiting when you don’t speak the language. Because unless the locals speak English, you can’t communicate with them, and communicating with the locals is the best way to learn more about the local culture. You would be amazed at the things you can learn by taking the time to chat to local people, from knowing where all of the best beaches are to learning what the most incredible cuisines are to try.
Travel can be more enjoyable
When you speak a second language, you have a far better chance of being able to make friends while you are traveling, which is one reason why you should consider learning a language. Say, for instance, you choose to travel the world, if you speak two languages instead of one, you have a better chance of meeting people who you can easily converse with. Plus, by speaking the language, you should also be able to read road signs and navigate more easily when traveling around.
Worthwhile hobby to have
Learning a language is most definitely a worthwhile hobby to have; it’s interesting, fun and comes with a purpose. There are so many hobbies to choose from, but the fact is that this is a hobby that offers you a real benefit. You’re working at something and learning and improving yourself as you go along. Plus, you can choose to learn a language in a way that suits you – whether that is via heading to a language learning evening class or via specialist websites like Listen & Learn, you can choose how you learn your chosen language. You will also find plenty of support to help you on your way, from online support forums and Facebook groups to apps that can make it easy to learn new words.
Learning a second language is a great way to spend your spare time. It’s fun, interesting and exciting – what better hobby could you have?