Learning a foreign language can be intimidating but one thing is certain – it is fully worth it. Not only do you broaden your horizon by acquiring new language skills you also discover a whole new world and you simultaneously grow as a person. But the list of arguments for learning a new language is endless. It ranges from being able to watch movies in their original language to connecting to people and exploring a new culture as language, culture and identity are interconnected. There is something really exciting about going on holidays abroad and being able to speak the local language – you suddenly feel less like a tourist and more like an actual part of society and chances are that you’ll get a better insight into local culture. Having the ability to communicate with locals in their language feels immensely rewarding and definitely boosts your confidence. The funny thing is that when you learn a new language, you never just learn just one – there are always similarities between different languages and certain languages have an incredibly lot in common. In the end learning a new language leads to acquiring a new way of thinking, it leads to tolerance and understanding and once you catch the ‘language bug’ there certainly is no going back.
As a lot of you may know I recently came back home after travelling France for 3.5 months. Apart from the fact that I love exploring new places my main reason for going to France was my interest in the French culture and the French language. This language wasn’t completely new to me as I had already studied it school for some years but still, my French skills weren’t anywhere near perfect (to put it nicely). I remember sitting at home a few days before my departure watching French YouTube videos (and literally thinking ‘merde‘.) Right there I realised that I had a long road ahead and that improving my French skills would take a lot of hard work and dedication. Learning French was certainly one of the biggest challenges I had faced in a while and I sat there wondering if my vocabulary would ever exceed ‘croissant’, ‘chocolat’ and ‘rendezvous’. On my first day in France it definitely didn’t and telling someone to move his luggage turned out to be the biggest challenge of the day. But from that point things only got easier and looking back, I am incredibly happy about my decision to go to France. Language-whise it was the best thing I could have done and when I left France I actually felt sad about switching to my native language again and my sadness intensified at the thought of leaving behind French pastry. And lovely Nice of course. The funny thing was that I went to Italy afterwards and despite not speaking a word of Italian I was able to understand quite a lot – until then I had never realised how close French and Italian were. Anyway, going abroad is definitely the most effective way of learning a new language as you’re practically forcing yourself to speak it (in a good way of course). But even if you don’t go abroad, there are still plenty of methods to learn a new language at home and I decided to list my favourite ones.
I hope these tips are helpful and if you need a bit of extra motivation why not plan a holiday abroad to use your newly learned skills? I can promise you it will be incredibly rewarding.
Do you speak any foreign languages? Is there a foreign language you would like to learn? x