7 cool things you learn when you start speaking another language

Becoming a polyglot isn’t easy – especially if you haven’t been raised in a multilingual society. That said, investing in learning another language comes with rich new experiences and mind-blowing moments. Stay motivated to keep studying and read up on the following benefits of learning another language.

 

1. You discover new parts of your mouth and throat

Each language is made up of different sounds and tones – even the exact same language can sound different depending on who is speaking. Learning a new language challenges us to master new sounds with our voices. Though it’s challenging to master these new words and sounds, it’s exciting to try something completely new.

 

2. It’s one of the most rewarding experiences you can have

Learning another language takes sweat, tears, humility and a good attitude. But when you finally make progress and start interacting in authentic ways, there are few other things that make you swell with pride. You’ll start to live experiences in this new language, hear life expressed in new ways and internalize these international experiences.

 

3. Languages are living and local

There’s a big difference between the Spanish you learn in school, for example, and what you hear on the streets of Colombia. It’s fun to learn about all the different regional words and phrases at your internship and on the streets. Seeing how vocabulary changes depending on who you talk to is a fascinating and real-world way to experience a language.

 

benefits of learning another language

 

4. Singing can help with memorizing new words

A University of Edinburgh study shows that singing a foreign language can actually double your ability to speak and retain vocabulary. Music helps our retention for new words. Moreover, listening and singing in a new language can help us practice pronunciation in a more fun way. Karaoke in a foreign country is especially useful for picking up the language, since you can sing and read new words at the same time and you get a taste of the local culture and music.

 

5. You appreciate small victories

Learning a new language always goes like this: two steps forward, one step back. It can be a painstaking process, forgetting words, speaking slowly, forcing the accent… it’s easy to get discouraged. That’s why it’s so important to stay positive, be patient and celebrate each small lesson learned. Successfully ordered a pizza over the phone? Time to do a happy dance.

 

6. You start seeing patterns

Languages, both in their spoken and written forms, share certain rhythms and patterns. There are always words you hear repeated frequently in each language, common sounds, expressions and cadences. Paying attention to these patterns makes it easier to pick up a new language, or at least start to identify sounds and words within speech.

 

benefits of learning another language

 

7. Many languages share alphabets, vocabulary and grammar

All languages have roots. The ancient language of Latin, for example, has strongly influenced Romance languages like French, Spanish and Portuguese. Because of these common roots, you can see similar words, sounds and grammar in all of these languages. Not only are these connections fascinating, once you learn one of these languages, it becomes easier to learn others.

 

 

These are just a few of our favorite benefits of learning another language. Apply now to boost your career abroad while learning a new language.

 

Sources: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/10188533/Singing-can-help-when-learning-a-foreign-language.html

Photos

1. based on Conversation, by Didriks, CC-by-2.0

2. based on Español, by Daniel Lobo, CC-by-2.0

3. based on In Conversation, by J Stimp, CC-by-2.0

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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