I hated my parents because they made me took English classes. I kept telling them that I didn’t want to go anymore, that I got bored, basically that I really hated it. Thank God they didn’t listen to me and I attended English classes for more than 12 years. Now I live in London and earn money because I speak English. But that’s not everything.
This is what knowing a second (and third and fourth) language has given me. And they are also convincing reasons for you to learn a new language, or to make you children go to classes.
It makes the world accessible
Spanish is my mother tongue. Even though it’s one of the most spoken languages in the world, it was not enough. The ability to speak English is a gift a lot people are born with, but that doesn’t mean you have to relax and pretend the world to speak your language. As I said before, I live in the UK now and I have my life here. What would have happened if one day my parents had got tired of me complaining and decided not to send me to English classes anymore? I wouldn’t be here. And if I were, things wouldn’t be the same.
Not only does a second language give you the opportunity to move to another country, but to access the world from home. Open your laptop or unlock your phone and the entire globe will be in your hands. Search anything in Google or YouTube and you could virtually be in another continent within seconds.
It happened to me many times that I couldn’t find what I was looking for in my language, so I had to search for it in English. And there it was! Exactly what I was looking for. Just imagine all the information that is available in your language out there. You have access to that, don’t you? If you spoke another language, all that info would be doubled. That’s a huge advantage.
It gave me my first salary (and more)
I have never worked in my country. I moved to London to look for my first job. I got it and I got the first salary of my life a couple of months ago. That’s all because I spoke English! If I hadn’t been able to do that, I wouldn’t have get payed! Knowing more that one language makes the range of possible business destinations much wider.
And I’m not talking only about “normal” jobs here. I also received £10 for a couple of articles I wrote in Medium. I’ve just started and I have a lot of things to improve, but the fact that I’ve earned money for doing what I love for the first time in my life means a lot to me. And all thanks to knowing a second language.
Etymology, my new passion
Most of the people in my country have an Italian background. I started to learn Italian a couple of years ago and I realised that most of the slang I’ve been using my whole life has an Italian origin. That totally blew my mind, now everything makes sense! I also speak German. When I read an article in German, I can understand some words because they are really similar to English (or Spanish sometimes).
What’s even more interesting, is when you start to compare grammatical structures. Where to put the verb, the preposition, how to conjugate, when to use this tense, etc. All those things are different in same languages, but sometimes they are the same in others, and that saved me a lot of time when learning new stuff. German has a little bit of English, some Italian grammatical structures are similar to the Spanish one, but some Spanish verbs are more than the German ones, and so on. There are also really beautiful words that only exist in one language which are used to describe really particular feelings, actions or objects. It’s an amazing world!
Socializing is part of it
Learning a language can be a social activity. Being part of a group with the same goal and getting to know new people is always a positive thing. It can let you make connections for business, new friends or even find love. After realising about the positive impact English would have on me, I really enjoyed my time at the learning centre I went to. We would laugh a lot during the lessons and we would organise dinners or nights out.
Personally, I prefer private classes. It is true that I’ve lost that feeling of group learning, but the relationship that I’ve made with my private teachers have been amazing. I’ve learnt a lot from them and not only about the language, but about their countries, travel experiences, and much more. Both group and private lessons are really nice things to take advantage of.
And there’s even more…
- Learning is always positive. No matter what. A language, how to play an instrument, anything. It keeps you busy and keeps your mind working. They even say it helps to prevent Alzheimer!
- If you’re travelling it would give you the opportunity not only to communicate but to speak to locals and get the most of your experience.
- What about watching movies in the original language? It’s the best way to get the real thing, accents, expressions, voice levels. The more original, the better.
What do you think now? Go there and join some language classes! If you still aren’t sure about it, at least send your kids to classes and do them the same favour my parents did for me.