Why learn a new language? I’ll bet our goldfish buddy is really glad that he knew how to speak doggie language, it saved his life! Your situation may not be as life threatening but if you have the proper motivation you can learn another language!
Your motivation may be that you are moving to another country. It is difficult enough to just move to a new town where you have to familiarize yourself with new grocery stores, schools, find the nearest the pharmacy, find a job, etc. However to relocate to a totally different country has the same challenges plus the added need to communicate all that in a foreign language. Hundreds of thousands of people immigrate every year and find that they have to know how to speak the language of their new country.
Because people are moving all around the world new relationships and even new families are formed. You may find that you now have relatives who speak another language. You want to welcome them into the family and in order to do that and get to know them and their culture; you need to be able to speak their language just as they are learning to speak yours. The ability to communicate with you in their native tongue would certainly help make them feel at home and it will go a long way to help form a bond.
One of the major reasons to learn a new language is for business. Your job may take you overseas and you assume that your business partners or potential clients speak English. English is a primary business language that is true but it’s not always the case. Even if they speak English you will be missing out on the communication that is going on in the other language. That could result in missed opportunities that you would otherwise have been able to take advantage of. It is very impressive when you can speak the other language, it shows that you really want to work with them and you’re prepared to do so.
Research and innovation are going on all the time worldwide. New innovation is not the property of any one country. The research information may or may not be written in multiple languages. You want to be able to have access to what the new thinking is all about. There are new inventions in communication, medicine, and engineering to name a few being made all over the world. These are very exciting times we live in where men and women are moving forward very fast, sometimes too fast. If you are interested in these fields of endeavor you have to be able to keep up the pace.
photo credit: novelism
Travel, especially travel to another country that has another language is much more fun when you can speak their language. You’ll be able to get away from the touristy spots and experience the local culture. This is how you get to have a vacation you’ll always remember. To prepare for a trip you may not need to get into an in-depth with language class. An online course for example will give you plenty of practice with basic skills. You may find that this brief exposure has given you the desire to go ahead continue learning the language so that one day you’ll be fluent. A lot of people have started this way.
Studying abroad is also a great motivator for learning a language. Going to another country will broaden your world view as nothing else can. Talk about total immersion! The experience will show you the world beyond what you see on the television or on the internet, there is nothing like being there. You could be there for a quarter, a semester or even a whole year. It is always best to go prepared just as you prepare your what clothing you’re going to take. Of course the real life learning that will be a direct result of your being in that country which will increase your knowledge by leaps and bounds.
For those people who go to other countries to do church work or on religious missions it is imperative that they be able to speak the local language. There are also those wonderful people like the Peace Corps volunteers who go for humanitarian reasons; they absolutely need to be able to speak in the native tongue.
Finally there is the age old question, “Why not?” Learning should continue throughout life and learning a new language can be a great achievement. By learning a language you can also benefit physically. The brain gets exercise which could help ward off Alzheimer’s disease or simply the slowing down of the brain processes. Stay sharp! Learning a language can also open you up to new cultural experiences which you never would have thought of before.