I have always wanted to learn a new language or two when I was younger. Two years ago, right before I left for Paris, I started learning a bit of French. Just a simple “Bonjour” et “Comment ça va?” “Je voudrais un croissant, s’il vous plaît?” Of course, it felt good to be able to say these words in confidence when I was there but once they started replying with more words, I would look at them in complete bafflement and said, “Tu parles Anglais? (Do you speak English?).” Nonetheless, I came home after the trip with this profound need to learn the language and so I did. I can proudly say that I have learned about five more sentences in French…..
Surely, it is intricate and therefore, is a challenge. Malay language is pretty straightforward and English too but with French, I don’t quite get why they put the alphabet in there if they are not going to acknowledge it! And yet, I still find the language to be beautiful and oddly beckoning. I think, everyone should take up an extra language. It could be Mandarin, Italian, French, Spanish, Japanese or even sign language.
And here are some of the reasons why you should:
You can understand when people talk smack about you
I am sure it is an absurd reason but think about it! Wouldn’t it be cool to have the chance to say “Bihhh, what did you just say?!” when people started talking smack about you in their language in front of your face? How many times have you been in that situation where you know they’re saying something about you and you’re just standing there entirely clueless and wish you knew?
You get to unravel more job opportunities
Firstly, you get to work abroad. You could be working in an embassy at the other side of the world. You can make side incomes like being a language teacher for instance or even a translator. The world is ever changing and more and more companies are going global and have you ever wanted to be like those people you see in the airport on ‘business’? Hey, that could be you!
Surely, you are able to stand out apart from other applicants if you have the ability to speak in a second language.
You get to give your brain a boost.
have shown that by learning a new language, you are exposed to more cognitive
benefits. For instance, memory improvement, longer attention span, better
problem-solving skill, ability to multitask, and you manage to reduce the risk
of age-related cognitive decline like dementia.
You get to boost your confidence
You can’t always expect to be perfect when you are new to the language or when you are doing anything in particular. It takes a multitude of mistakes and possibly, embarrassments before you could be confident with something. It is a part of the learning process and the upside is the amazing sense of accomplishment when you are able to communicate with someone in their native language. (I managed to have a little bit of conversation with a French lady once and even though it was short, but it was a wonderful feeling.)
More excuses for you to travel around the world because it is easier and cheaper
In certain places where they do not speak English very much, being able to communicate their language should be a splendid reason for you to visit the country. Imagine being able to understand their culture even deeper. Imagine to be able to travel without a hitch because you can easily talk to anyone.
If the reasons are good enough, here’s how you could learn the language.
I have been practising French everyday with Duolingo and i think it helps me a little. You get to learn the basics and that is a good start. Duolingo is a free app but with limited access. I am not sure how it works you can read more on the website but I have personnally subscribed to Duolingo.
Watch foreign movies
I have started watching French movies on Netflix. Don’t be amazed because i understood so little and i hope to be able to watch the entire movie and being able to understand every word. But by watching movies or videos even, it helps you familiarise yourself with the pronunciations and it helps.
Jot down every word you learn
I usually do this on my phone and once in a while, i will go through each word and create sentences using those words.
Start using the language everyday
Truthfully, it can be challenging because i have yet to meet anyone whom i could practice my bad French with. So i talk to my cat in French and it somewhat helps a little….. No kidding. So talk to your cat or to yourself.
Register for class
I am sure there are plentiful of classes available locally. If you have the money, you could fly all the way to the native country and learn the language there. I am sure it helps even more because you are able to practice the language better.
Enjoy the process!
The most important thing is to love what you are doing. You are able to enjoy every inch of that moment you spend on the process and therefore, you could remember it better.