1. Improve your English – I know this might not make sense at first but hear me out. As a person who speaks only one language you have no basis for comparison; all you know is English. In different languages the same idea is often expressed in different ways. Knowing another language gives you a great measuring stick. It will help you better understand tenses, prepositions, and all the other parts of speech we normally take for granted. You will find yourself speaking and writing more precise creative sentences. There is a reason most great writers and poets are students of many languages.
2. Enhance your travel experiences – Traveling is one of the great joys of life and also one of the most expensive. Why not get the most out of your experience? As a person who doesn’t know the native tongue you are completely excluded from the culture. The locals shun you and you are relegated to sightseeing and taking cheesy photos. Knowing even a few phrases of the language will make a huge difference. You will meet many more people and find it much easier to get around. People are much more receptive if you make an effort to speak their language. This can turn a frustrating experience into the trip of a lifetime.
3. Languages are beautiful – Language is what makes us human. It is the medium we use to share our thoughts with the world. Could you imagine thought without language? Great language also has a wonderful musical quality. Learning a new language is like learning a new way to think and a new way to sing. I am often struck by new phrases that are profoundly meaningful and melodic. At those moments I feel grateful to be alive. Don’t sell yourself short by stubbornly ignoring every language but one.
4. Join the global community – Believe it or not, the majority of the world does not speak English. We are so isolated that we hardly realize this. The truth is new thoughts and ideas are happening everywhere and they are not being immediately translated. The world is getting smaller and we are coming into contact with more non-English speakers all the time. Gain an advantage for yourself in business and personal relationships by being able to communicate with people in their language. This will set you apart and gain you immediate respect and credibility.
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5. It’s just plain sexy – I’m not saying you should learn a few corny Italian pickup lines and go saying them to everyone you meet, but knowing a foreign tongue and applying it tastefully is undeniably attractive. It implies education, good taste, and refinement, and it will certainly make you standout against the competition. Imagine saying a beautiful phrase with perfect pronunciation to a lovely coed. You will immediately have her attention; she will be dying to know what it means. I know this from experience.
Now that you are dying to improve your mind by learning a foreign language you are probably wondering how to go about doing it. The task appears daunting at first, but have no fear, in my next post I will detail how to teach yourself a foreign language in less than an hour a day. I’ve developed this method through personal trial and error, and trust me, it works much much better than the way your were taught in school. And best of all, it’s tons of fun. Once you start making progress you won’t want to stop.