Learning a new language is a great goal to set yourself, but all too often it stumble right out of the gate. To help you stay motivated in 2018, Babbel has pulled together a definitive list of the best reasons to learn a new language. It’s definitely worth it.
- There Are More Ways Than Ever To Immerse Yourself. One of the big deterrents to learning a language is other people saying, “Well, the only way to really learn a language is through immersion.” That’s a bit defeatist. With all of this technology at our disposal, hopping on a plane is no longer our only option. There are tons of ways to fold language-learning into your everyday routine.
- It Makes It Easier To Order Food. We’ve all been there. You’re excited for your big pasta dinner, but then you realize you can’t even begin to imagine how conchiglie is pronounced. The best way to fight this fear is to gain complete command of your favorite cuisine’s language. Start with the food vocab section.
- You Can Teach It To Your Dog. Sure, Fido is great, but isn’t he a little…monolingual? Give your dog some culture by following the example of New York City canines. It’ll help you practice the language, and also makes for a great party trick.
- You’ll Avoid Terrible Embarrassment Abroad. You’re out on the town at a Spanish nightclub. You’re being a good wingwoman and trying to talk up your friend to the locals. You think the word for “hot” is caliente, because after all, that’s how you describe food. Little do you know you’ve just told a group of people that your friend is horny. Oh, the horror! This is but one example of the embarrassing things that could happen to you if you don’t learn the language well enough.
- You Can Dig Into Your Ancestral Roots. Chances are if you’re an American, your ancestors didn’t speak English. Or at least one of your ancestors didn’t. If you want to connect with your origins, it’s worth it to learn the language they spoke.
- It’ll Keep You Mentally Sharp. Not learning is the worst. Maybe you’ll disagree, but after a while of just puttering along, you can almost feel your brain start to atrophy. Fortunately, learning a language can help you avoid this. It helps you keep your brain active, and is even known to delay the onset of memory deterioration.
- Do It For The Memes. After you’ve looked at every meme in the United States, you have to wonder, “Where can I find more memes?” Memes are all over the world! You just have to learn other languages to access them. Next time you “hang” with your “bros” or “biddies,” you’ll be able to tell them all about that time you learned a language thanks to memes.
- Learning A Language Can Help Your Career. Have you tried applying to a job lately? It’s not pretty out there. It can be incredibly difficult to stand out from the crowd, especially when you’re straight out of college. Learning a language is one of the best ways to improve your résumé. Studying one of the seven languages mentioned in this article will likely improve your prospects.
- You’ll Be Able To Connect With The Locals When You’re Traveling. Traveling is a thoroughly enriching experience, but as Bill Murray in Lost In Translation taught us, it can be lonely. Going to a country when you don’t speak the local language will really limit your options. Don’t miss out while traveling, because meeting new people is one of the best parts of going to a new place. Plus, locals will be able to teach you all the fun swear words.
- It’s A Better Use Of Your Free Time Than Candy Crush. We’ve reached a point in time when we are basically always using our phones. With this great power, though, comes great possibility (also responsibility, yes, we’ve all seen Spider-Man). With all these apps and resources at our disposal, there are so many times you could be learning throughout your day.
- You Might Get Better At Planning For The Future. This might sound a little odd, but according to some researchers, the language you speak can predict how well you plan for the future. While I can’t promise learning a language will make you put more money into your 401k, it’s worth learning a new language to expand your mind.
- You Can Exercise Your Brain And Body At The Same Time. Sure, you love going to the gym to beef up, but what about the biggest muscle of all? The brain. Actually, the internet has informed me that the brain is not a muscle. In any case, research shows that exercising and learning at the same time can improve your memory. I would not recommend Babbeling and biking, but there are certainly ways you can incorporate body-building and brain-building into your routine.
- You Can Turn The Subtitles Off On That Foreign Film. The local theater is showing Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and you’ve never been more excited. After all, the acclaimed Swedish director’s work can’t be fully appreciated out of theaters. However, some artsy employee decided to screen a version without subtitles for even more authenticity! Alas, your Swedish just isn’t good enough to understand the film. To really enjoy this and other famous foreign films, you’ll want to brush up on your language skills. After all, dubs are no good.
- Automatic Translation Is Still Pretty Bad. For years, people have said that the need to learn a language will go away because of translation technology. If you’ve ever used a translator, though, you know that they are sometimes very far from accurate. This might be funny when it happens to others, but it’s a bit less so when it happens to you. Sure, machine translation will improve over time, but it will never fully take the place of knowing how to chat in a different language anywhere, anytime, without a mechanical mediator.
- You’ll Be Able To Translate The Untranslatable. What does it mean for a word to be untranslatable? Well, on one level, it’s just we don’t have a word in the English language that means the same thing. But on another level, it means that every translation leaves something to be desired. Yes, you can find a dictionary definition of a foreign word, but to learn the emotional power of words, it’s necessary to understand the language.
- It Might Get You A Date. Let’s face it: speaking another language is sexy. Can it get you a date, though? According to data put out by the dating site PlentyOfFish, the answer is yes. Sure, there are people who are just attracted to certain accents, but overall, it seems that speaking a second language can show that you’re worldly, and that you’re not afraid of commitment. Commitment to learn a language, I mean. You still might be afraid of commitment. Don’t put that on your profile.
- It’ll Make You Happier (Really). If you’re a romantic, happiness is what you’re in constant pursuit of. If you’re a scientist, it’s your brain releasing certain chemicals. Learning a language can, at the very least, do the latter. When you learn new vocab, the reward center of your brain is activated, which triggers the same response as if you were eating chocolate.
- You’ll Become A Global Citizen. The United States is a global outlier in its monolingualism. The majority of people on this planet can speak two languages, usually because they are required to by necessity. To truly become a global citizen, learning a language is vital. Yes, this can sound idealistic and sappy, but being able to speak to a whole new group of people is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have.
With a subscription starting at $6.95 a month, Babbel is one of the most cost-effective decisions you can make! Our slick easy-to-use app has allowed users to start speaking a new language in under 3 weeks. So what are you waiting for?