19: Learn another language

Simple Things; 19; Learn a new language; languages“The more languages you know, the more you are human.”

– Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, founder and first President of Czechoslovakia

Are you going on a holiday somewhere soon? Do you live in an area where a lot of people speak another language? For your Simple Thing, learn some words or sentences in that language!

Language is one of the most important tools of communication. Without it, our world would be a very different place. Its importance is emphasised daily as we see the diversity of cultures and the array of people that make up our global community.

Learning a new language is a great way to challenge yourself and nothing is more rewarding than seeing the shock on a waiter’s face, or smile from a local resident when you ask them something in the local language. Aside from this, here are some reasons why going that extra mile can have a big impact.

Discover a new culture

Speaking the language is the best way to learn about a new culture. Expanding your knowledge and understanding of the wide world around you teaches you a new perspective of life, a gift that would enhance decisions in your social life, career and even your simple daily battles. Attempting to speak the language is a sign of respect and has the potential to open doors in the future.

“A different language is a different vision of life.” Federico Fellini

languages; cultures; untranslatable words; swedish; turkish; portuguese; spanish

Become more open-minded

Learning from people across the globe, shows you there is no one ‘right way’. The world is filled with different types of people who live completely different lifestyles and hold totally different values. When you know a new language, you start to see connections you didn’t see before because every language approaches the world in a slightly different way. The ability to speak to new people and understand their life choices is the best way to open your mind and learn to accept others, but sometimes more importantly, accept yourself.

To get started check out DuolingoRosetta Stone or visit BBC Languages.

 

Research and writing – Lucy Bainbridge

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