Language Learning, Why bother to Learn a Language? :: yago.sg

Language learning: the difficulty, the fun

Have you ever met a polyglot? Someone who enjoys language learning and speaks many language. Youtube has a number of polyglots on them, like Luca, an Italian guy who speaks 8 languages: English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish and Russian.

(Singapore has language courses for all those languages, by the way.)

I personally have kept my language learning to a "modest" five languages: Dutch, English, German, Spanish and Mandarin. That is to say, I studied more languages (French, Latin, Ancient Greek) but consider myself level too far of to really claim I speak them as a language.

What do people who are good at languages have in common?

They see the value of language learning
You're always going to struggle with languages if you learn languages for an external reason only, such as getting a degree or passing a class. Language learning goes quickest when it's pursued to really connect with new people. That's probably why falling in love with someone who speaks a different language than you can be such a powerful accellerator to the learning process. When I was in Ghana, I learnt some words of the tribal language Twi and found it a very quick way to break the ice. I didn't take the learning further than a very basic level, because most people in Ghana speak English anyway.

When choosing which language to learn, you can find inspiration by thinking of your career and personal interests.

They enjoy the language learning process
Luca, the guy of the youtube clip above, mentions this in another video on his approach. It should be fun. Fanatic language learners see the fun of the mental challenge of mastering the language. Where others may enjoy swimming or jogging to challenge themselves mentally, polyglots learn languages to challenge their brains. Since every language has some different style figures and logic to it, learning a new language constantly provides their brains with new 'food for thought'.

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