Why learning a new language?

  • It is a way to get a superpower

…you get the ability to understand and communicate with someone from another country.

… you feel less isolated and empowered. When you move to a new country it’s  common to feel that part of your personality disappears because  you can’t be 100 % yourself. All of a sudden, you become the silent and boring person in the group because you are not able to joke or express yourself in the new language.  Nevertheless, when you start learning the language you slowly get back your personality.

…language is pretty much about power, learning a new language is a way of taking control of your life. You will be able to know your rights and claim them.

  • It radically reshapes your way of thinking. 

….you get to experience new ways of thinking by learning the language of other people. When Daniel Everett, a famous anthropological linguist,  learned the language of the Pirahã community (an indigenous group from the Amazon Rainforest) he realized they had a completely different approach to life.  They only spoke in the present.  The past and the future didn’t exist in their grammar. Their way of speaking was also reflected in their lifestyle. 100 % mindfulness.

In their language, numbers did not exist either, and neither did money. They also had a  sharing community.  Everyone took care of the children born in the community.

This is just one of many examples of how learning a new language reshapes your way of understanding the world.

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  • It is healthy 

Our body needs exercise to be healthy, so does our brain. Studies have shown that learning a new language protects our brain from getting dementia later in life (read more here)

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  •  You build bridges instead of walls

When we learn a language we learn about the culture and the history of the country. We start understanding how this has influenced the people living there. We also often discover that we have more things in common than things that divide us. If there is something we find weird, at least we will get a better understanding of  why they do it. Learning a language is therefore a great way to stop prejudice and start building bridges instead of walls.

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  • It is possible to learn a new language no matter your age.  

When we know about the benefits of learning a new language we get more motivated. When we learn a language we should not seek for perfection. Our goal should be to communicate with others and understand somewhat what they say. If we think like this, it wont take long until we get there. Sometimes it is only a matter of weeks.

Many peole say that they are “too old” to learn a new language. It is true that children learn fast, but not because they are young. It is because they don’t care about making mistakes. We also encourage them to try and fail over and over again… until they make it. They also play and have fun when they learn a language which is crucial to keep the motivation to continue until success.

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/ Даниэлла (Daniella)

 

 

 

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