Learning a new language can either be a rewarding hobby or a daunting task. It is widely acknowledged that studying new vocabularies can have a range of beneficial effects, and in today’s increasingly interconnected world, the demand for language skills is only rising. Here are some reasons why learning a new language could set you on the right path for 2020.
An Active Hobby
Nowadays, we are all victims of simply switching on a screen and blocking out the world for hours. Instead, testing the waters of a foreign lexicon is a far more active and stimulating way to spend your free time. Your skills can then also expose you to the range of foreign films at your fingertips – just look at Bong Joon-Ho’s thriller Parasite, which just made history for being the first non-English feature film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Speaking a language other than English can be a great way to meet and connect with new people. Especially if you are travelling abroad, many locals will appreciate your efforts to learn and use the native language of that country. Furthermore, technology now allows us to keep in contact with these friends we make, despite being on the other side of the world.
At no point in history have this many international businesses and job opportunities existed for people to embrace. Many people now travel far – and frequently – for their careers. Analysts predict that today’s globalised market and economy will only continue to connect people deeper across national borders, hence a rise in the demand for multilingualism in many industries.
You will undoubtedly experience failures while learning a new language, but as with any learning experience, trial and error is vital. Whether it be that you forget the word for ‘bread’ at a French bakery or you accidentally call someone a cow in Vietnamese, pushing past these failures allows you to conquer your fears of making mistakes; and this can be transferable to any aspect of your life. It’s easier than ever to pick up a foreign language, with apps and websites such as Duolingo, Memrise and Babbel helping to turn what can be an intimidating beast into entertaining games and challenges.