Some of the most common reactions and questions that I get from people when they find out I am learning multiple languages include: “Why are you learning so many?” or “What’s the point of learning (specific language)?” or “How do you have the time?”.
As many of you would know, learning languages is one of my biggest passions in life (for now, anyway). When I learn languages- which isn’t just limited to sitting down and studying from a book, but involves any situation where your brain is exposed to a different language- it makes me feel so alive, fulfilled and genuinely happy. And because I love it so much, I prioritise my time towards it. Everyone experiences the same amount of hours in a day, but when you put ‘first things first’ and give certain amounts of time to doing the things you love, you will always have time for it! It doesn’t have to be a lot, and what you do within that time matters too. After years of trying new methods, I have pretty much figured out which ways of learning are the most efficient for me, therefore I practice them when I give myself time to learn the language. So that answers how I have the time to learn multiple languages- I am passionate, I simply prioritise, and I study smart. That’s it!
But aside from being passionate and finding joy in the learning process itself, why else do I learn languages? A while ago, I made a video on ‘The Perks of Being Multilingual‘, basically summing up my many reasons. There are honestly so. many. benefits of learning languages- you really don’t have anything to lose. If you have always wanted to start learning a language, now’s the time to begin. Don’t wait for ‘the perfect time’, or ‘when I do this, then I’ll start’, because with that mindset, unfortunately you will never get started. There is no other perfect time than now. Now is all we have, and our time is precious. You can do it, and I’m here to support, help and guide you. If you need a little more motivation, that’s exactly what I’m about to give you. Including the points I talked about in my video, here are some of the reasons why I learn languages:
- You can make friends from around the world and connect with more people. This has got to be one of my favourite parts of learning languages. It brings together people from all over the world, perhaps living completely different lives, and I just find it an amazing thing. Not only do you get to learn about daily life in the country where your new friend resides, but you get to make a new friend- and who doesn’t like that?! For example, a few years ago I made a Korean friend on Instagram as I saw her comment on my account and replied in Korean. We have been chatting ever since, and in fact when I visited Korea last year, we met for the first time, and it was such a special experience. Another example is simply through my YouTube Channel. I still find it absolutely incredible how we have built a community of multiple nationalities, of people speaking so many different languages, through my videos, and it makes me so beyond happy. It has also allowed me to communicate directly with you through messages and emails using the languages that I have been learning, and to me, that makes you a friend♡
- It makes travelling so much more easier and genuine.
I am sure we can all agree that when you travel to a country where you understand the language, it makes the experience a lot more convenient. You can read local signs and local restaurant menus, talk with the locals (which also come with many perks such as discounts if you’re shopping), increase your safety and reduce your chance of getting lost and/or paying too much for something. Being able to have this local interaction also makes your travels a lot more genuine, because you truly get to be immersed into the daily lives of people there! Just incredible 🙂
- It allows you to gain broader perspectives of the world.
It may not seem obvious, but when you learn a language, not only are you learning new words, grammar, pronunciation, etc., but you are also learning a lot about the culture of the language you are studying. This is because languages are just about based completely on the culture. For example, when I started to learn Korean, I had to learn how to address those older than me to use in my speaking. So not only did I learn new words, but I also came to realise that Korean culture really emphasises on respect, as you cannot directly call out someone’s name if they are older than you (in general). By understanding more about the culture, you sure are widening your world perspective.
- It opens up many more job opportunities and you become the prospective employee.
Being able to speak more than one language truly benefits you when it comes to searching and applying for jobs. You really do give yourself a head start, and although I always reiterate that life isn’t a race and we don’t need to compete with others, which I do certainly practice, that is more for personal growth as when it comes to your career, sometimes you need to be competitive in a good way to get where you want to. And that’s just the reality. Many businesses and companies love to hire people who can speak another language as it means you can communicate with more people, in turn giving them the opportunity to reach a wider audience. Not only that, but you have more opportunities to choose from, as many jobs out there require you to speak more than one language, such as translators, language teachers, interpreters, or other specific roles.
- You allow your brain to be exercised more, helping to boost memory performance.
When we learn languages, our brains are constantly taking in new information, and when we put into practice what we have learned, this jogs up our brain’s memory. For example, think about all the new vocabulary you have learned/will learn. All of that information is stored in none other than our most precious form of storage, our brains, which means it has got to memorise these words! And when we practically use these words, we activate the memory part of our brain, which we probably wouldn’t be doing as much if we weren’t learning a language. This then, in the long term, can help us boost memory performance.
- It contributes to world peace.
I stand by this reason with all of my heart. Truly, if we are able to communicate with more people around the world, this can make extraordinary differences to our planet and make our Earth a better place for all living beings. I strongly believe that communication is key to healthy and happy relationships, or in other words, to reduce conflict and create agreements. If we take this to the biggest level, we can ultimately create a more peaceful world, as real communication can allow us to be more understanding to other cultures and to feel ‘closer’ to one another, rather than distant due to a language barrier. You may only be one person, but you are making a difference.
- You can understand more conversations.
Alright, this is a cheeky reason I’ve gotta say. Doesn’t feel cool though, when you’re on the bus and someone next to you starts calling on their phone in a language that you understand? Not that you would take advantage of that in a not-so-nice way, but you never know, sometimes you may even be able to help that person. For example, once I was walking through a train station, and I heard a group of people speaking Mandarin behind me, trying to find a specific place. I turned around and helped them out, speaking in Mandarin, and that was an experience that really made my day.
- It is an ongoing, almost life-long process.
Before this seems like a turn-off, hear me out. You see, this is the beauty of languages. There is always something to learn, and no matter how ‘fluent’ you are or become in a language, you will still learn new things and that’s a fact. Even though English is my native language, for example, I’m always learning new words, even pronunciation! And that’s what’s so great about language learning, because you will never have to worry about running out of things to learn! It’s also a part of human nature to have the desire to learn- to grow, improve and gain knowledge, so you’ll almost always be satisfying that psychological need, which means a happy you 🙂
I really do hope that these reasons have now motivated you to continue learning or pick up that language you have always wanted to learn. Again, it’s all about prioritising your time, feeling that passion and doing it for yourself only. Language learning is a wonderful thing that I am so grateful I can do, and practicing gratitude most certainly is another way I motivate myself to learn. In my eBook, ‘How To Learn Any Language’, I talk a lot about motivation, as well as my best tips and tricks to master language learning 🙂
If you have any other reasons why you learn languages that I didn’t mention, feel free to share them below in the comments! Or if you have any questions, do let me know too.
Best of luck and sending all of my love,