French, Polish, & Italian, oh my!
Je commense a reapprendre le francais cet ete avec d’autres langues et j’espere le suivre. J’apprends et pratique tous les jours et j’ai deja tellement appris.
Some people do puzzles and crosswords, I learn languages. To me, it’s very much an equivalent because it’s kind of like a game when you do it for fun. For hours I could sit and learn the meanings of words in other languages, writing them in textbooks and practicing them in my head as I do my daily tasks. It’s almost an addiction.
Never having been to another country, it’s like a small piece of other cultures that I can offer myself. Languages are typically seen as a division in society, but languages are meant to link us. Communicating effectively with others in languages foreign to your person is an underrated skill. Instead of assuming everyone should know English, why not take the step to make an immigrant or tourist feel a little more welcome by knowing even just a bit of their native language.
Learning other languages has had a strange impact on the way I understand things and the way I reason. This is especially with the Latin languages I have been learning — French, Spanish, & Italian. These languages feed off each other in a way that allows you to somewhat understand the others based on aspects you already have learned with the other because many words and grammar manners are the same. I’m not quite sure how to explain this in a way that makes much sense to anyone who hasn’t learned other languages, but it has helped a ton with my trivia skills.
One physical benefit of learning languages is that it improves your memory and concentration, which I can already attest to, and it prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s. Taking a few hours out of your week to play around with other languages is well worth it.
If anything, languages are dying in the wake of globalization, and learning them is the only way to preserve their culture.
Because I have experience in French I have been able to work quickly through the first quarter of Duolingo so far and have discovered a fun little thing on their online website where they have stories. Each story is read out to you and questions are asked intermittently to ensure understanding, and it’s a very handy tool that gives real experience with the language.