Surprising benefits of learning a new language
There is a very famous saying in the Czech Republic. It goes: “The more languages you know, the more humane you are.” To explain, it basically means that if you speak one language, your mind is equal to a 1 human being. If you speak 2, its equal to two human beings etc. Thus, the more languages you know, the more humane you are. Why is it so important to know multiple languages and why you should bother learning them? Discover the treasures of speaking multiple languages below!
When I was just a few years old, a kindergarten student, my parents signed me up for an English course. I didn’t know what to expect from it, but I remember the first leaving the class totally amazed and happy that I could show my parents what I’ve learned. I still remember the word “pear” with a picture of an actual pear above it on our worksheets. The fact that I still remember must mean that I really enjoyed it. This is probably also the reason I can sit here writing this post. Thanks to my parents’ decision more than 15 years ago.
When I joined the elementary school, I joined their English course as well. This was obviously a bit harder, but I still really loved it. I think I still remember the song about colours going: “red and orange, yellow, green…” and I still remember winning a singing competition in the 2nd grade with this song. Later in my middle school, I had a class with a native tutor twice a week. It really gave me a lot. Then my high school came and I got into the best English class of my year. However, I never really spoke fluent English. Until I moved to China. In Beijing, I visited an international school that was fully English-taught. Well, fully apart from my Chinese lessons. Studying in this school, I finally understood how much a language actually changes a person. I became much more open, much more outcoming. I learned how to talk to people I’ve never even met before. In short,…
…I found an “extra” person in myself.
Learning Chinese was another great change in my life. It was a language that most non-chinese students in my grade gave up on. It was something special for me. And it still is. I couldn’t speak a proper sentence in Chinese before I joined this school, but when I left, I had no issue leading a conversation with common people in the stores, on markets or in other public places. Furthermore, I have been given a “special discount” for meat or fruits just because I surprised locals with my Chinese. Learning Chinese gave me not only a very unique language skill that not many European people have, but it also taught me a great lesson in terms of Chinese culture. When I left China, I realised that the two years in Beijing provided me with another “extra” person.
Does that mean that I have been split into multiple people with different mindsets and different values when I lived in China? Not at all. The only thing that changed is my perspective and my perception of different values of different cultures. I learned how to not only understand how these nations speak,…
… but I also became aware of their values, of their culture and their ways of thinking.
This is the true meaning of finding an “extra” person in yourself. If you want to learn a language, you have to understand the people who speak it, as well as the ways they think. You learn to see multiple perspectives and you become truly open minded. This is what learning a language really means.
If you want to hear a bit more about my journey, or why you shouldn’t give up on anything, visit our post on potential!!
How are your language and cultural skills? Let us know in the reply section below!!
“However, I never really spoke fluent English. Until I moved to China” – If you want to learn a language properly, you need to come into contact with that language on daily basis, you need to practice it on daily basis, otherwise, you will forget everything. Slowly, but surely.
“I became much more open, much more outcoming. I learned how to talk to people I’ve never even met before” – Learning a language is a great experience. You become more open, you will gradually learn how to understand different people’s views and most importantly, you will become much more confident.
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