My first language is Dutch, which I still speak at home with my family. When I was 6 years old I was plonked into a totally English school. I did not know a word of English, but within a few months I had a reasonable understanding of the language. I had no choice but to learn the language to understand others and be able to communicate with others (this is the quickest way to learn any language). Today I can speak both languages fluently.
I did not write this post to brag about what languages I can speak. I love languages and all the different countries and cultures that are connected to them. I took French in high school as a third language and still spend time learning it. I don’t devote enough time to it to improve rapidly and am not fluent in it. My French is pretty average but I have a good basic understanding of it and can hold simple conversations about a number of topics. I want to improve slowly and not forget what I have learnt so I learn French by going to a tutor once a week for an hour and also by spending time with language software on my computer (more about this later).
It’s amazing to think that you learn to speak whatever language your are born into. If you are born in China, then you learn Chinese. If you are born in Spain then you learn Spanish, in Poland and you learn Polish.
We (being the amazing creatures that we are) are able to learn not just one language, but two or three or more.The younger you are when you start learning that other language, the easier it will be to beome fluent in it. Of course, if you apply yourself to learning a language, I think it is possible to become fluent in it at any age.
What Language To Learn?
Out of all the languages in the world that you can choose to learn, how do you choose the right one?
I don’t think there is a ‘right’ language. However, I think that if English is not your first language, it would be beneficial to you learning it as a second language and learning to speak it fluently. English is the most internationally spoken language in the world and you can get by almost everywhere with it.
Besides English, there is a choice of tens of different languages. Some of them are similar to one another and others are a world apart and use entirely different alphabets. The beauty is that right now, you have the choice to learn any language that you want like Spanish, Japanese or Russian.
Whether it be because you have family that speaks the language, or the country and culture appeals to you, or you heard someone speak it and thought it sounded really cool, the reasons are many. Personally the next language I would want to learn is Japanese. I have been fascinated with their culture for quite some time and that is the reason why I would want to learn their language.
Some Advantages of Another Language:
I thought about doing a list-type post of the benefits of learning and speaking another language but decided against it because I find list-type posts rather impersonal.
Learning another language is not just an ego thing or a trophy on the shelf. It is fun and practical too. It looks great on your resume and could help you get a job that was previously out of your reach. Any business with international clients or branches abroad now become a possibility of employing you.
You can travel to new countries and a whole world of opportunities and possibilities open up to you. Imagine being able to speak French on Reunion Island or Mauritus, lazing in the sun and at the same time learning from the locals. How about going to China and being able to speak their language? Imagine negotiating with the traders of a Souk (market) in Dubai in their own language.
With another language you can even impress your friends or impress that guy/girl you find attractive. A few seductive sounding words in another language can really win someone over. Of course you do not need to rely on another language to be able to get a girl / guy to date you but that is not a subject that I’m going to get into today.
How to Learn Another Language:
The best way to learn another language is to move to the country that speaks it. Take classes or lessons to learn the language while at the same time joining social activities like dancing, sports or arts. By surrounding yourself with people who only speak the language you are trying to learn, you have no choice but to learn it as fast as possible to be able to communicate.
If the above way is not a possibility (due to money, time or family) then there are two good alternatives that are best used in combination. Find a tutor, whether it be a friend, teacher or college class to attend. Besides a tutor, I highly suggest buying a software program to learn the language you want.The reasons why I recommend a software program to learn a language are the following:
It’s affordable ($99 for a Rocket Language Program)
It’s convenient – you can learn in your own time, as much as you want, when you want
It is 100% complete. Any questions you have are very easy to look up and if you are really stuck there are 24hr support forums where you can ask your question to a whole group of people who are there to help you out.
I personally learn French with a software program called Rocket French. It is part of the Rocket Languages Course and it costs just $99 to purchase. As you can see below, Rocket Language software is available for quite a few other languages besides French. Once you purchase it you are able to use it forever on any computer that you want. There are hundreds of different programs online that could teach you a language, but I have had a great experience with Rocket Language Software and that is why I recommend them to you:
Thank You in 9 Different Languages:
I thought it would be appropriate to end this post with the words “Thank You” in 9 different languages. I hope I have encouraged and excited you to consider taking up another language. It really is fantastic!
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P.s. I personally use Rocket French to learn French. Read my full Rocket French Review.