There are some of you out there, we’re sure, who read all our lovely articles about learning languages then click out them thinking, that’s just not for me (please don’t do that!!). But we are here to assure you, that learning languages truly is for everyone. Whether it’s time, circumstance, or attention span that is the thing you feel is getting between you and another language, we promise; learning that language is worth it, and is most definitely for you!
Obstacles and excuses
We all have them. Start the new diet Monday, look up that career change idea after the weekend, empty the recycling bin that’s brimming over with wine bottles you have no idea how got in there in the morning… there is always a something holding us back from doing something right now. But the great thing about deciding to learn a language is that you don’t have to do it all in one go!
There is nothing stopping you at all from starting out small, be it a subtitled series on Netflix, or pondering what that dish is on the menu in your favorite restaurant in its original language (Brits, c’mon, you’ve never debated what the con carne in your chili con carne actually means?).
Too much like hard work
No! Language learning does not have to be hard at all, that is the beauty of it! You can be as structured or as lackadaisical about it as you wish! Let’s face it, you aren’t going to be exam-ready within seconds of picking up some vocabulary, so why pretend this is some grueling class in school? Learn fun stuff, the things you are interested in; who cares at this stage if the only Japanese you know is for your favorite anime series, or if following the careers of Pio Marmaï or Marine Vacth are the only reasons you want to understand French?
It’s too late for me
…since when is age an obstacle?! If the residents of care homes across the country can take up Spanish classes in between bingo and ballroom dancing, well, then so can you, whatever your age! There are numerous studies pointing to learning a second language being an excellent tool for combating things like dementia by keeping the brain active. So not only is learning a second language a great thing to do in terms of adding a new string to your bow, it could have the best kind of impact on your mental agility and cognitive skills as well!
But where to begin?
…you only need ask… that’s kind of what we’re here for ?
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Which language to choose?
Now that is a tricky question, since if there is not already a language of choice wedging itself in your heart, there are so many languages choose from that this is a real hurdle to getting started. Practically-speaking, think first about what you want to do with the language.
If it’s just for fun stuff, communicating internationally with other people from your fandom for example, then whatever language you see most people conversing in might be the one for you. If you have a specific job or country in mind to further your career, that almost makes it easier for you; we are sure there is a need somewhere for Finnish speakers in Japan, for example, but if you’re wanting a career there perhaps Japanese might be the better choice!
Learning for the sake of learning
If what you’re after is just any language for the sake of learning or for having a skill to add to your CV, well, there are a number of popular languages. French, Spanish, and Mandarin all sit heavily on lists of best languages to learn, so if popularity is what you’re after perhaps it’s best to go with one of those. Alternatively, if you want to think in terms of the ease of learning a language, some people find Romance languages like French and Spanish easier to master, whereas others might want to stick to Germanic. There is nothing stopping you experimenting with a few to see which fits you best.
Alright, so we’ve worked through some of the excuses not to and reasons why you should learn a language. The choice is now entirely up to you! Which language are you going to explore?