“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” - Frank Smith
Taourirt – The other night I was watching a television series in Spanish with English subtitles. I did not enjoy the series as much as I could have, though, because I had to follow the subtitles and move my eyes up and down like a robot. I was trying to understand every single word of the dialogue.
Though my English is good, I was not really enjoying the series. Needing to work to catch the dialogue without having to look at the subtitles was an incentive for me to pick up Spanish. I was irritated that I could not understand words in the original language. More importantly, I was deprived of cherishing the beauty of that language.
Probably most of us experience some similar frustration, whether it is watching television or something else, before taking up a language. This may sound ridiculous to some, but it really is not. It always starts like this! You only start learning something when you really need it.
Everybody has their own motives for learning a language, but the most important is securing a job or maximizing chances of getting promoted in a current job.
One of the languages in most high demand in today’s world is English. Getting a job requires that you have a good command of English; otherwise, you will not be selected by the largest employers around the globe.
This may seem less important in countries where industrialization does not exist or is still in its infancy. However, this language is in high demand in industrialized and technologically advanced states because it meets the demands of the job market. Almost all companies prefer employees who can speak more than one language, especially those dealing with clients from non-English-speaking countries.
It’s not all about the money
Seemingly, you cannot build cross-cultural friendships and explore other cultures without being able to express yourself in the target language. People who can effectively express themselves in more than one language have a wonderful insight into the myriad of cultures that constitute the world and get the best of both worlds.
Think of how many friendships you lose out on every minute you spend on social networking platforms caging yourself into the one language you know, especially if it is not spoken outside your country. By adding one more language to your repertoire, you can establish more relationships, have more friends in your life, and most importantly enjoy the diversity and the beauty of world cultures.
What is it like to have an outside perspective about your own culture? People who can speak more than one language know how interesting it is. If you step outside your own circle, you will be amazed at how much you are missing about your own culture.
The things you were once familiar with will seem different to you when you read about them from another perspective. The point of reading is not getting more knowledge but asking more questions about the beliefs and the “truths” you have always taken for granted.
Getting the outsider’s perspective not only opens your eyes to new things, but it also helps you change your perspective on issues around you.
It’s the best self-help tool there is
Why watch videos on YouTube about becoming a better learner when the answer is as clear as day? Learning one more language helps you spot your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
There is no better way to know the things that work best for you than picking up a language. You will figure out more efficient methods to make your learning more interesting and less stressful.
For example, simply devoting some time every day to learning will make you a more disciplined learner, and you will be able to make the best of your time along with doing something that will be of great use to you in the years to come. Once you have learned one language, you know the “formula,” and it gets easier with the next language.
In addition to all of the above benefits, translations of creative art often fail to convey the real meaning of the original. Reading in the original language makes you more appreciative of the authentic products and able to understand them better.
Let’s take for example great literary works such as Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe,” Charles Dickens’s “Oliver Twist,” and George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” which were all written in English and have since been translated into many languages. People who can read the original versions will better appreciate their charm.
If you are still deciding whether you should pick up a new language or not, you are wasting your time. Get ready for a journey that will boost your morale and change the way you see the world. It is not something you have to pay for or something that will take too much of your time—one hour a day or less can do wonders.
What are you waiting for? It is time to get started!
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial views.
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