Nowadays learning languages has become a necessity, not only for work reasons, but also at the social level. It is a complex challenge. Speaking another language does not only imply knowing its grammar and structure, but also means thinking in different way. This seems a bit difficult at first, however with time, dedication and practice can be achieved by every language student.
What is the main reason for learning languages?
Learning languages can change your life completely and open doors to a completely new way of life.
I have been teaching Spanish for a long time. Long before that I was a language student myself. From my personal experience I believe the only way to truly learn a language is to immerse yourself in its culture. And this language immersion, in one way or another, transforms you.
For years I studied English at school as a child, and later at private academies. Despite all the effort it wasn’t until I went to England and started to experience its culture when I really began to internalize English language. By internalize, I mean I stopped translating in my head, and started to create new mental schemes. The best way to tell whether you really speak a foreign language is when you are able to express an idea in that language in a way that you are not able to do it in your native language. And that is the greatest gift that speaking another language can give you, learn to think in a more diverse way.
But this is not the only advantage of speaking foreign languages
Expand your abilities
Developing new knowledge makes us able to show greater cognitive ability, that is, when we face an unexpected problem or an unknown situation we will have more tools to deal with it and resolve a conflict. Learning a language involves becoming confident and being aware of our mental processes, so that our brain capacity develops and creates new cognitive connections. To all this we must add that there are studies that have demonstrated that speaking several languages prevents or stops the appearance of the symptoms of deterioration in the brain.
Develop your personality
When we learn a language, we meet new people, new cultures and therefore our personality evolves, we reinvent ourselves and we develop our capacity for adaptation. Knowing languages allows us to travel and relate to different people and environments, in which we have to behave differently. It motivates us to be more flexible and tolerant.
Travel around the world
I have traveled a lot and lived many years abroad. During my travels I have met people from all over the world, with lifestyles and beliefs completely different from mine. In many cases, not having a common language has not been a problem, but rather has motivated the creation of alternative communicative forms. But this has only been possible, because since I speak languages I am more inclined to understand concepts and accept structures that do not fit my natural logic.
Learning languages has opened a new world that never ceases to amaze me and has greatly improved my perception of reality. And you, how has your experience been?