Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Why learning a language is hard but totally worth it

Learning a language is hard. There are verbs to remember and pronunciation to get right  and darn it, what was the word for "slowly" again? (Also, Dear the French language, you and I have some issues to work through. I've booked a couple's counselling session for this weekend. Don't be late. Sincerely, Victoria.) (Also, by the way, I'm in no way fluent in French. Just so you know.)

But let's just hop right into the list, shall we?

Loire Valley, France

1) It stretches your brain. Learning a language uses different parts of your brain, and it helps you learn how to memorise stuff. After all, you're learning vocabulary for a whole new language. That's quite a bit of stuff to remember, and the more you work at it the more your brain stretches and the better you get. You know, like Spider-Man. The more you beat up bad guys the better you get at it. 

2) It's amazing for travelling. Road signs, directions, ordering meals, asking for something in a store. The locals are always a lot more helpful if you speak their language (which, you know, makes sense because I don't know a word of German and if someone came up to me speaking only German expecting me to speak German as well, I'd probably be less than helpful. (Then again, if a German was in Australia they'd be speaking English better than I would be)).

3) It opens your mind to other cultures. I've learned so much about Japan just from my sister taking Japanese. I know so much more about France because you pick up cultural stuff when you learn the language. For example, most kids don't have part-time jobs because school goes until five o'clock, but everyone goes home for an extra long lunch. 

4) It's a great feeling when you can understand someone. Because dude, you're speaking French and I understand what you're saying. And I shouldn't, because I speak English. So this is weird. But cool. Anyways. 


Tokyo, Japan

5) It's better for your career. You're more likely to get hired if you speak another language, especially in bilingual countries. It's so much easier to become a teacher or work in the government in Canada if you speak French.  

6) It gives you an excuse to travel. (As if you needed an excuse :) )

7) You find all sorts of new music/movies. My favourite French songs are Papaoutai by Stomae, Petite Soeur by Ben l'oncle Soul, Le Festin from Ratatouille and Je Vol from La Famille Bélier. I haven't seen many French movies, but I really like The Intouchables, La Famille Bélier and Belle et Sébastien. (And if you're watching a movie in another language, just throw on some subtitles and enjoy.)

And do you know what the best part is? It's easy to start! There's so much stuff online, and 98% of the time there's classes near you. 

Are you learning another language? Is it worth all the work? Have you ever been able to use it in your travels? If you could learn one language, what would it be? 

14 comments:

  1. I wish I'd been able to take more Spanish...mine's getting rusty. One of my teachers would teach us History and Art lessons in Spanish and it did wonders for helping me learn the language. I think it's definitely worth the work, though I haven't had much opportunity to use it (hence the rust).

    I'd definitely be interested in learning German in addition to Spanish. Beyond that, I'm not sure.

    What are your favorite online language resources?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that's so cool! Immersion is definitely the way to go. And yeah, it definitely is difficult to learn when you can't use it. I think that's why so many Europeans are bilingual, because they can actually use it. We only speak English in Australia :/

      German would be cool. I don't think I could personally get any of the pronunciation down, but it's nice in theory.

      I really like Quizlet, it's online flashcards and there's tons of flashcards that other people have made for pretty much every language out there. About.com has activities and stuff you can do for verbs and sentence structure, and I also go on YouTube and watch French videos just for practice. Thanks for commenting, RM!

      Delete
  2. Love this post! I've always wanted to learn Gaelic or Japanese. Or Latin. Or FRENCH! But I lack time. . . and people who would talk to me. XD

    I love point #4.

    And you MENTIONED SPIDER-MAN!

    Ahem. I did learn American Sign Language in college. I think that was my favorite two classes. You learn so much than just a language. Also, I don't talk a lot especially in class settings. And when I'm comfortable around someone I can be really animated when telling stories. So ASL was actually a really good language for me to learn and it was so much fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Japanese is a pretty cool language to learn. Yeah, it is a pretty time consuming activity :/

      *HIGH FIVES FOR SPIDER-MAN* (If you click on the "Spider-Man is awesome" tags in my tag cloud thingy then you can see how often I've mentioned Spider-Man on here... He may or may not be my favourite superhero, and CIVIL WAR WILL TOTALLY ROCK.)

      Wow, that's so cool! It sounds like it was a great experience!

      Delete
  3. I love learning languages! I'm pretty good at Spanish, and I'm learning French now. The one problem I have is speaking - no matter how well I can read in French or Spanish, it's always SO much harder to actually say anything. I also spent about four years in Hebrew school a while ago, but since then, I've forgotten everything but the alphabet. I'd love to start again, though! I just need to wait until I'm not quite as busy.

    Some of my favorite French songs are J'Arrive A Toi by Carla Bruni and Cap Diamant by Coeur de Pirate. I'm definitely going to be listening to the ones you recommended. Music is one of my favorite ways to practice languages!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, TWO languages? That's awesome! Good for you! I totally get you there, speaking stuff is a lot harder than reading or writing, or even listening. Hebrew school sounds really cool, I've never even heard of that.

      Thanks for the suggestions, I'll definitely have to check them out!

      Delete
  4. AHHH! Languages! Now you're speaking my language ;)

    I am currently learning Spanish and Korean. I have been learning Spanish for about 5 years in school and I have lacked off but now I'm picking it up again. Last year, I started to learn Korean. I really like learning Korean because there are so many subtitled shows and youtube channels and kdramas *heart eyes* kdramas...

    However, it is difficult to find spanish shows that I actually like. But I found the Easy Spanish youtube channel which is a life saver because it has subtitles! Thank God!

    My favourite apps are HelloTalk which I use to speak to Korean natives and memrise.
    I love the website howtostudykorean.com too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, I see what you did there ;)

      That's so cool that you're taking both Spanish and Korean! Oh goodness, kdramas are amazing. I watched one once (not speaking a word of Korean) and it was the best thing ever.

      I hope you find a good Spanish show :/ May I suggest Extra en Español? I watched the one in French and while it was a little cheesy it was pretty good, it's just on YouTube.

      I'll have to check out HelloTalk, that sounds awesome! Thanks so much for commenting!

      Delete
    2. YOU WATCHED A KDRAMA?! (calm down Grace xD) Which one?

      Delete
    3. Oh, I have no idea. We came in during the middle and didn't finish watching it 100%, so I have no idea. Sorry :/

      Delete
  5. I've been doing Spanish for a few years, but I'll be taking a break this next semester, perhaps forever. Learning a language is fun, but I think it also entails some difficult lessons that are worthwhile, but not for everyone. Still, I've enjoyed learning Spanish for so many years...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true, learning a language isn't for everyone. I'm glad you've enjoyed taking it so far, and I hope you decide to pick it back up again, if that's what works the best for you.

      Delete
  6. OOOHHH, cool post! I took French last year and the year before, and once I got the hang of it, it really was awesome. Especially learning about the culture and the moments when you suddenly realize that you actually understand another language. It's just this really weird, but really cool feeling.

    I too am not by any means fluent in French, though, because I got out of practice when I stopped taking it. But yes, learning a new language is cool. :)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES. French is awesome. It is the best feeling in the world :) It sucks, doesn't it, how you have to stay in practice or lose it. Can't it just sit in my memory and pop out when I need it? Thanks for commenting, Alexa!

      Delete

Feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions! I'd love to hear from you. Please note that I reserve the right to delete comments that I think are hurtful.