I have always been fascinated by languages. Think about it- a mere combination of just 26 alphabets helps us to manifest, express and communicate our thoughts, feelings and opinions. Besides, that is just one language. Now imagine there being more than 6500 languages. In other words, 6500 unique ways in which we can communicate the same message. Spellbinding, isn’t it? Having the power to articulate each and every word in more than one way, in more than one language is what intrigues me, and this was why I delved into the sublime world of languages.
Being a bilingual or multilingual has its own benefits. The foremost being the ability to communicate to a multitude of people. Well, not just communicate, but also, connect.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Ever wonder why we tend to speak or rather switch to our mother tongue when we are being hysterical? That’s because we tend to express ourselves the best in our native language. For this reason, learning a second language helps us to communicate as well as connect with people in their first language, making the conversations more convivial and the discussions more profound.
I am also of the opinion that the more languages we know, the better we enunciate. This, according to me, is because of two reasons. Firstly, we are likely to stumble upon new words and expressions while learning a new language, hence expanding our lexicon of both the languages. Secondly, we are likely to get acquainted with certain words which are untranslatable in our native language (for instance, déjà vu), thus aiding us to convey our ideas more effectively.
Second-language acquisition proves to have enduring effects on our personality as well (it certainly did have on mine). It not only makes us more expressive, but also pertinent and more self-confident. We are also likely to become more patient, dedicated and persistent in the course of learning a new language. Furthermore, it is proven that the linguistic differences between two languages help us to develop a new perspective, thus giving us an alternative vision of the world (if you wish to know how, watch this video).
“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.”
Language learning also allows us to enjoy the works of art in their original versions. Therefore, learning another language additionally implies being able to relish not only the movies, songs, books or poems, but also the series, quotes, jokes or even memes of that language in their authentic forms, without having to face the language barrier (Trust me, I have never been happier than while reading “The Little Prince” in French). Because, let’s face it, the essence of a word is lost in translation, perhaps due to the fact that we are subjected to the translator’s understanding of the idea and not the artist’s.
Further, in the course of learning a new language, we are unreservedly exposed to the culture of the people speaking that language. This might be either through the didactic materials via which we are learning the language or through the works of art mentioned before. Moreover, it is quite possible to have friends who are native speakers of that language (by means of travel, pen pals, exchange programs or educational visits to the host country, to name a few). This, I speak from experience here, helps us significantly to familiarize ourselves with several social and cultural aspects, consequently giving us a genuine and non-stereotypical insight of their culture and lifestyle. And this is why my exchange program and chats with French correspondents give me a much deeper understanding of the French culture than any movie or book could ever give.
I personally believe that the aforesaid merits are the overriding benefits of language learning. However, there’s more to it. There are numerous other advantages which are commonly known to all, and have therefore not been elaborated upon. These include the various cognitive, health, professional and economic benefits which are briefly summarized in the infographic given below.
Thus, as can be inferred, there are innumerable ways in which learning a new language pays you. And I, as a multilingual, encourage you to not give language learning a second thought, because whatever be the motive, personal or professional, I assure you that it will definitely change your life for the better, as it certainly did change mine.
PS: Let me know in the comments below your perspective on language learning, and its perks and effects on your life!
Au moment où j’écris ces mots, je surmonte une de mes plus grandes peurs, celle de m’exprimer à cœur ouvert.
Je suis introvertie depuis ma plus tendre enfance. La simple idée de manifester mes pensées, surtout devant un grand public me fait peur. Qu’est-ce qui se passera si je me trompe? Si les gens ne partagent pas mes opinions? S’ils me jugent? S’ils ne m’aiment pas? Ces questions m’ont toujours empêchée de m’exprimer de mon plein gré. C’est pourquoi le faire était un rêve inimaginable.
Cela m’amène à « ma raison d’être ». Franchement, ce sont mes amis qui m’ont encouragée à commencer à écrire mon propre blog. Il est vrai que j’avais toujours rêvé d’écrire ce blog, mais ce sont eux qui m’ont donné le courage de le faire.
Les bons amis t’aident à retrouver ces choses importantes lorsque tu les as perdues; ton sourire, ton espoir et ton courage.
Les amis jouent un rôle indispensable dans nos vies. Ils sont notre soutien, notre source de bonheur, la famille que l’on choisit. Ils nous incitent à nous améliorer et nous poussent à faire l’impossible. Mais le plus important, c’est qu’ils ont confiance en nous, même au moment où nous ne croyons pas en nous-mêmes.
Alors, comme je commence cette aventure, je voudrais remercier tous mes amis qui m’ont motivée et m’ont inspirée à réaliser mes rêves. Merci de me faire croire en moi-même et de me donner du courage, de me pousser au-delà de mes limites. Je voudrais également vous encourager, chers lecteurs, à remercier vos propres amis. Dites-leur qu’ils sont importants. Dites-leur à quel point ils rendent votre quotidien meilleur chaque jour; car après tout, votre personnalité, votre vie, sans eux, ne seraient indubitablement pas la même.
Maintenant, revenons à nos moutons; écrire, en général, est quelque chose de nouveau pour moi. Je suis comme une chrysalide dans un cocon voulant devenir un papillon. Alors, accompagnez-moi lorsque je partage mes expériences, mes pensées, mes opinions. N’hésitez pas non plus à commenter ou à m’écrire sur n’importe quelle plateforme (Facebook, Instagram, Gmail). Faisons de cela un échange. Commençons cette aventure d’expression de soi.
PS: Ça fait trois ans que j’apprends le français. Alors, n’hésitez pas à commenter les erreurs s’il y en a et/ou vos suggestions!
As I am typing these words, I’m letting go or rather overcoming one of my biggest fears: the fear of self-expression.
I have been an introvert ever since my childhood. The mere idea of expressing myself, especially in front of a large audience, makes me jump out of my skin. What if I slip up? What if people don’t agree to what I say? What if people judge me? What if people don’t like me? These questions have always daunted me; and pulled me from expressing myself freely. And this was why starting my own blog always seemed a far-fetched dream.
This brings me back to “ma raison d’être” (ma-rehzon-DETre) (literally, my reason of being). Honestly, the credit to expressing myself on a platform such as a blog, goes to my friends. It is true that I have always dreamt of doing it, but it is them who gave me the courage to turn this dream into a reality.
“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.” -Donna Roberts
Friends indeed play an indispensable role in our lives. They are our support system, our cheering squad, our chosen family. They urge us to be a better version of ourselves and motivate us to aspire for the impossible. But most importantly, they make us believe in ourselves, when we ourselves don’t.
Therefore, as I commence this journey, I would like to thank each and every friend of mine who motivated me, had faith in me and inspired me to achieve my goals. Thank you for making me believe in myself and for pushing me to go beyond the limits. I would also encourage you, my readers, to express your gratitude towards your friends. Tell them that they matter, tell them how they make your little world a little better each day. After all, you, your personality, your life, without them, wouldn’t be the same.
Now, coming back to my blog; Writing, in general, is something very new to me, let alone being a blogger. I’m like a chrysalis inside a cocoon, wanting to become a butterfly. So, bear with me as I share my experiences and my thoughts on things that matter to me. Also, feel free to comment or write to me on whichever platform you like (Facebook, Instagram, Gmail). Let’s make this an exchange. Let’s begin this journey of self-expression.