Hi guys! Its Omo here! I recently released a video on, "Why I Like to Learn Languages" and now, here I am writing an article about it too!
In this article I'll mention some points from the original video while explaining them in a little extra detail, along with throwing in a few extra points (because who doesn't love a few extra goodies, eh?!).
And for those of you who don't know yet.........I absolutely love learning languages...and i'm about to tell you exactly why!
Abit about my language learning journey
People seem to assume those who learn languages just have a natural talent for it, and honestly, that is not the case for me.
During school I was really bad at English (my native language). I even had to get 1 to 1 tuition just to help me understand a little bit better.
So during high school, I learnt both French and German. I actually took French as a GCSE (I sort of had no choice - due to being in top set because my maths was amazing I had to chose a language so I went with French).
I personally don't like French and wasn't good at it. But I studied it for 5 years and managed to pass the GCSE (I can't remember any French now).
German I learnt for 2 years, however we had alternating weeks for French and German.
Currently I'm self learning Japanese + Spanish with a side dish of German.
However I'd also love to learn Dutch, Swedish, Korean, Chinese, Polish
Side note: I actually believe school teaches you languages in the wrong way. They tend to teach you how to pass the exam rather than how to express yourself, communicate and just generally actually speak the language. I feel this is why I now dislike French.
Why I Like to Learn Languages
FINALLY WE'RE AT THE ACTUAL BIT
So, why do I like to learn languages? Languages can take a long time to perfect but I think its nice to remind yourself that languages aren't about perfection!
I was out of education and work for about a year, I did the odd job here and there and voluntary work at a photo studio but overall I was out of having a regular schedule and I needed something to mentally stimulate me.
Learning languages helped do this to me!
If you're an adult, learning languages is probably one of the best ways to do this (while also being beneficial to you). It also doesn't have to take up that much time, which...leads me to my next point.
It doesn't have to be time consuming
This point probably seems odd seeming as languages are.....huge. But the truth is, you don't have to learn everything in a day, or ever in fact.
A few of my favourite apps are duolingo + memrise.
These apps you can spend as little as 5 minutes a day and have learnt some vocabulary.
Unlike maths where you have to sit down and spend 1 hour to learn the equation and understand the equation, with languages we can just go on your phone and chose to learn some vocabulary in a couple of minutes. Or you can spend a lot of time and sit down and learn some grammar structures.
At first it is going to be difficult when starting a new language as you'll be trying to learn the sounds too, but once you've started and got used to that then you can just spend a few minutes a day learning vocabulary.
(I tend to just go on memrise or duolingo in bed quickly before I sleep!)
Being able to make friends / Meet new people
I'm on the internet pretty much all day everyday. The internet is world wide in most areas and I've met some lovely people from different countries. Some of these friends sometimes aren't the best in talking in English and sometimes I wish I could speak in their language to be able to get closer to them and get to know them that little bit better.
Along with this, I also see people on Instagram/Twitter who I'd LOVE to be friends with but unfortunately, they don't speak English and I don't speak their language either. So by not knowing their language I'm missing out on knowing some lovely people, maybe one day I'll be able to befriend them tho!
Not only does it open doors of people who speak that language, I've also been able to make friends with people who are English but learning the same languages as me.
Making friends in a different language
One thing I find super cool is when two people don't speak each others native language, but, they both speak the same language as a second language. Languages can bring people together and I think thats pretty amazing!
Personally this hasn't actually happened to me yet, but I think that'd be awesome to witness one day!
Learning a language opens up doors
If your from an English speaking country, a lot of people say that English is the dominant language and so widely spoken that you don't need to learn another language.
But, is that really worth closing all them doors to friendships and opportunities just in hopes that the other person will have learnt English?
Honestly, there is a lot of discouragement with this when learning a language, I'm from England and people mock me and belittle me for learning Japanese etc when I already know the "dominant" language, but to me, learning a language is much more deeper than that.
The music and entertainment
Yep, I love anime! To me, learning a language is worth it for all the entertainment it opens up to. You can enjoy music despite not knowing the original language of the song, but learning the language to understand the meaning makes that song SO much better.
Talking of music, I'd just like to mention that Palace Pet GraveKitten shared their spotify playlist full of Spanish songs after I shown interest in the language - languages can bring people together.
Also books, I personally only read manga, but I assume more literature based books will be so much better to read in their original language, for, it was wrote to be read in that language. When translating into a different language, sometimes quotes and culture are lost in translation.
Some words don't have a direct translation into another language, so this may adjust the original meaning.
Learning a second language can strengthen your memory
Apparently, I don't know how true this is, but learning a second language can help prevent you lose your memory quickly at an older age.
It can also help improve your memory in general tho and help you absorb information easier.
People get happy knowing you are learning their language
This doesn't happen always, but sometimes, people get really happy when they learn that you want to learn their language. It makes them feel appreciated and, well, loved?
Most non native English speaking people are expected to learn English, while the English speaking tend to ignore their language, so when someone actually wants to learn their language despite already knowing the wildly spoken language, it helps them feel a little bit special.
My friends who speak to me in English that find out I have an interest in learning their language are always so quick to wanting to help me out and ahh it's just such nice vibes!
It can help you feel productive/successful
Sometimes, we all go through them patches where we feel a bit useless and like we can't accomplish anything, and thats not a good feeling.
I've personally found that learning a language can help me feel less like I suck.
When I listen to a song in my target language and recognise some words, it helps me feel like I'm making progress and accomplishing something.
With school, work, life etc, it can be hard to recognise your successes.
But with languages, you slowly begin to recognise words in posts on the internet, in songs, on tv shows etc, and it just helps remind you that you are making progress in something.
Side note: You are probably making progress in other parts of your life too, but when in that dark hole it is harder to notice, but trust me, they are there and progress is being made!
I think I've covered most aspects as to why I like learning languages, below is my video based on this topic;
I'm just curious, but are you currently learning languages? or do you plan to?
If you're interested in learning Spanish and/or Japanese, I'd love to be learning buddies and help each other out!c:
Let me know your language adventures ~ I hope this article was useful and gave you a little insight on why I'm so obsessed in learning languages.
Omo, over and out!✌️