Why should you learn a new language?
Great question. So why do it? You probably aren't planning on traveling anywhere, or maybe you don't know anyone that speaks the target language.
There are greater benefits to learning a new language than just getting a better job or learning to get around during your vacation. Aside from improving your memory and building your current linguistic skills, the world might actually come to you someday.
It only makes sense that you are prepared for that too, right?
I'm sure we can spend hours breaking down that last part, but we'll keep things easy as usual. I'll leave semantics for the other rogue writers.
Let's dive in.
Start With Three Languages
I may be a complex man but my ways are simple.
When I said "every" language, I didn't mean you should quit your job to become a full-time polyglot. Three is a very easy number to get in just about anything, so you should begin there. If you can't do three, try at least two.
"Well, why not just one additional language?"
Because I'm only giving you five phrases to practice with. It's not like I'm asking you to become a legal interpreter or something like that. Plus, it's far too easy to learn just five phrases, so you'll get bored quickly.
When you learn these five in at least two or preferably three different languages, you double or triple just how interesting you could become.
Want to become even more interesting than that? Carry your own pen.
Moving along, the most difficult part of this will be choosing which three languages you'd like to start with. To keep it simple, try your hand tongue at the languages that you're most frequently exposed to.
For example, I live close to Korean and Vietnamese communities, so I often look for opportunities to pick up new words and phrases in both. This could happen at my favorite tea shop or the grocery store. There's always something new to learn if you remember the following:
The simple act of listening attentively, reading closely, and practicing whenever you get the chance will set you up for success in learning a new language anywhere with anyone at your own pace.
You can also try your hand tongue at several languages simultaneously until the easiest one for you sticks. If you prefer to be a little more organized, find the languages that are most closely related to your native tongue. (Think Germanic, Romance, etc.)
Once you've determined which languages you want to focus on, here are the five phrases you ought to learn. Obviously, words like hello, yes/no, and please are critical but far too easy. These are some of the ones that I've noticed are often missing in most dialogues, but could bring about a world of value. No pun intended.
Have A Nice Day/Evening
This one is pretty straightforward. There's no better or easier way to end any conversation or transaction. You could even just use it as a passing comment when you're out and about.
Thank You (Very Much)
Say what you will, but politeness markers are critical in just about any conversational exchange regardless of whether you choose to learn a new language or not. If you're looking to become your best self, give yourself the chance to express gratitude in more languages than one.
You're Welcome/My Pleasure
Another one of those small phrases that add an extra layer of quality to your everyday speech. Regardless of what language you choose, make sure this phrase is on your list.
I Don't Know/I'm Not Sure
Surprise: you don't have to know all the answers in the world. It's okay to pause, humble yourself, and let someone know when you've reached your knowledge limit. Use this in connection with other phrases or follow-up questions.
Speaking of pausing, maybe you know what you want to say next but you need a little extra time to remember. This will help you in gaining back some control of where a conversation is headed and how fast it gets there.
So, What's In It For You?
Once again, there are several reasons you might think of when taking on a new language. Your motivation might be a job promotion or a brand-new job altogether. It could be a round-trip vacation or a one-way trip to a new part of the world.
So why take it upon yourself to learn these five phrases? Why not just use Google Translate like everyone else, right?
Well, first of all, robots can't love and will never win in the end.
And second, you should do this to discover what it's like to connect with others on a human level. I mean really connect with another person in a way that sets you apart from most, Using technology is convenient but impersonal. Don't you agree that making things a little more human is motivational also?
The way I see it, given I've worked with many people from all over the world for years, it's no secret that we're more alike than we think. When you strip away titles, income, race, or geographical location, we're left with all the things that can bring us closer instead of further dividing us.
That is wanting to be respected, loved, cared for, recognized, and other very attainable goals that all begin with basic communication.
See for yourself what a world of difference you can make for someone by simply choosing to incorporate their language into your daily speech. You can learn one of these new phrases in the time it takes to make a cup of coffee or your favorite instant noodles. Or noodles in coffee.
You don't even have to be perfectly fluent right away, it's the simple attempt and developing an interest in getting better each day that counts.
Words often precede action, therefore you should learn to master words first so that your actions may follow in their greatness.
Who knows, maybe this little exercise will help you become multilingual and expand your boundaries. Maybe, you do end up getting more money, more recognition, or more opportunities. Maybe, you simply brighten someone's entire existence a little bit by surprising them with a small thank you in their language. Who knows, they might even surprise you back by doing the same.
Whatever the outcome might be, this is a foolproof method of getting closer to others and, perhaps, even getting closer to your own little slice of happiness.
You've heard of taking it one day at a time, right? Well, take it one word at a time now and see where it leads you.
Now get out there and be sharp. Merci and buona giornata!
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
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