Perks Of Learning A Language

Languages - you love 'em, you loathe 'em but you can't live without 'em. 
 
(You actually can't live without languages. Unless you're a silent movie actress or a miming artiste)

Let's face it, learning languages, perfecting pronunciations and fighting a gruesome war with the grammar can be extremely taxing. 

But somehow, readers, learning a new language is actually fun.
 
I know what your reaction would be:
 
Dear Archie,
 
Were you dropped in your head when you were a toddler?
 
We don't mean to be rude, but... ARE YOU ACTUALLY INSANE?
 
HOW CAN YOU SAY LANGUAGES ARE FUN?!?! LANGUAGES ARE SO BORING!
 
Much love,
 
The readers who think you've lost your head.
 
And my answer to that would be:
 
Dear readers,
 
No. I'm not insane. My parents actually had me tested when I was two.
 
(But that was because I never spoke and people like my nursery teacher thought I was dumb and I suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder)
 
(But the doctor who tested me said that I was a perfectly - *COUGH* - normal child and I needed no further testing)
 
Anyhow.
 
I'm not insane and the truth is, contrary to what people think, learning new languages is actually fun.
 
Stay awesome as ever,
 
Much love,
 
Archie - who has NOT lost her head.
 
It's true.
 
Not the fact that I've not lost my head.
 
(That's nothing new. I've been tortured with enough "Have you lost your head?" questions my entire life)
 
But I'm talking about learning new languages.
 
Since the past three years, I've ended up learning one of the most trickiest languages in this world: German.
 
I know, I fully know the fact well that I don't know enough about German that I can actually speak ridiculously well. I fully know the fact that I can end up making mistakes regarding the Artikels, the verb conjugations, the conjunctions and even the right personal pronoun, at times!
 
But I also know that I've fallen ridiculously in love with this language and I've realised that there are so many incredible aspects of learning a new language!
 
1. Learning languages is like a fascinating backward-forward experience.
 
I don't know if this sentence makes any sense but it's true.
 
When you start learning a new language, you start off literally from the scratch.
 
You begin by learning the alphabets, the articles, the verbs, the sentence structure and slowly, slowly, you proceed to start understanding the entire complexities of the language. You understand why this preposition is used is there, why you have to frame a sentence in a particular way (even though it makes no absolute sense in your mother-tongue or English!) or why a verb is of a different type, why is it irregular, regular and why is it used in the place it's used.
 
It seems a bit dumb but it's actually how it works.
 
You're literally taking twelve dozen steps backwards and learning an entire language from the grass root level. You're literally revising all the basics of all the other languages you've already learnt. 
 
Which brings me to my next point:
 
2. By learning a language, you're also improving your skills in the languages that you already know.
 
It's a hundred and fifty per cent true.
 
When I started learning German, somehow, automatically, my English skills improved too. I can assure you that my English skills have improved phenomenally since I started learning German.
 
(My English is still okay. But it's much better than what it used to be).
 
Anyhow, my point is, as you learn a new language, you tend to observe the languages that you already know with a bit more scrutiny. You start analysing the grammar rules more, you start observing how the sentence structure is and you come to realise that you've actually started comparing your native language with the new language that you're learning.
 
A lot of language teachers say it's a no-no to compare two different languages but I personally think it's fascinating to realise how much commonalities our languages have, despite the fact that both the languages do not actually come from the same (or neighbouring) countries!
 
3. By learning a language, you are actually learning about the culture of the countries which use those languages and the history as to how the country (countries) shaped into what they are now!  
 
True. This is so true.
 
Say, if you take one of the ancient (and one of the most wonderful) languages like Sanskrit, you end up discovering a LOT about ancient Indian culture as well. You end up connecting the dots and you end up discovering (and understanding) the meanings of various words derived from that language.
 
4. By learning a language, you actually end up meeting a LOT of people and you realize that the world's ACTUALLY a small place.
 
I've actually ended up befriending (or being acquainted with) at least 50 people thanks to the fact that I took up a foreign language.
 
When you're learning a new language from a language institute, you actually end up meeting people from all walks of life and from a variety of cultures.
 
It's not just the culture of the language that you're learning, it's also the cultures of the people you end up meeting in your classes that you imbibe!
 
Going to all these classes is like what they showed in English Vinglish. You actually end up mixing with people from all spheres of life!
 
5. By learning a language, you end up becoming more versatile as an individual.
 
Learning languages actually makes you more versatile.
 
I'd read an article on The Week once, where they said that being multilingual makes you a lot more smarter, well-rounded and intelligent individuals.
 
First of all, your cultural knowledge boosts up like crazy. Secondly, you're very fluent in multiple languages so you actually overcome the major obstacle of understanding the people from different places. Thirdly, you end up replying exactly what you wish to convey.
 
6. When you're around people who're learning languages (different from yours) you actually want to more about the language they're learning too.
 
My soon-to-be-nine-year-old cousin is learning French.
 
So, whenever she comes over to my place, we end up sitting on the bedroom window-sill and start playing a strange game.
 
I speak to her in German and she replies in French.
 
It's another matter altogether that we don't understand each other at first. But as we talk more, we end up realizing how fun the game is and we end up understanding more about the languages we're learning.
 
This is actually a fun practice. You end up improving your own speaking skills and you end up knowing more about another language too.
 
No, you don't understand the new language, but you at least have an idea about it.
 
7. Grammar is actually fun. It's fun to block out grammar questions more than blocking it out math problems.
 
No matter how dreaded a monster Math is, Grammar is a few steps more intimidating.
 
With Math, you realize that no matter how much you break your head over it, there's always a problem and there's always going to be a definite solution to it. You're going to derive at the same answer.
 
(Yes, even in cases of proving a particular sum)
 
But in grammar, you actually have to think a lot more before you choose your answer. You need to really sit down, brainstorm over the choices you have, rule out the possibilities and and finally put the correct answer.
 
But contrary to what you think, it's actually a LOT of fun.
 
You're envisioning a lot of possibilities and thinking about how correctly and how logically sound the answer is.
 
It's a hell lot of fun!
 
***
 
So here ends my rant on the perks of learning languages!
 
I hope you enjoyed it and hope you found it relatable. I would love to know more about your views too!
 
I guess the process of learning a language is as beautiful, just as wondrous as this flower! <3
 
Stay awesome as ever,
 
Much love,
 
Archie 

 
 



Comments

  1. Ich kann ein bisschen Deutsch sprechen. ;)

    I can tell you, I wholeheartedly agree with your views. I started learning German two years ago mainly because I love Germany and I have immense respect for the country.
    When I started A1, I thought oh my god, this is so simple. I can do this. (You see, I was still in the Guten Morgen and Gute Nacht phase)
    And then they shoved grammar, 1001 exceptions and irregular verbs in my way and I was like what the hell is happening now?

    But nonetheless, I enjoyed it. I still do. One day, I'll be able to speak fluent German( and also visit Germany)

    Love,
    Saee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I SWEAR TO GOD THAT WE'RE LONG LOST FRATERNAL TWINS!
      OMG, WE'RE SO, SO, SO ALIKE, YAAR! :O
      I've finished two levels, now. I'll start with the next level in September (hopefully, depending upon my oh-so-packed schedule!).
      You know what? Let's go to Germany together! :D
      Stay awesome as ever,
      Much love,
      Archie <3

      Delete
  2. You're funny :) And I love the way you write.

    Dearest Archie, I wish that my parents had considered taking me for a test. Spending forever not really knowing if I'm actually sane...well, it doesn't sound fab. (jk. I'm okay with a little crazy)
    Yours truly,
    Tane

    I completely agree with your post. I'm currently learning French- and oh! It's a brilliant language, I might, perhaps, be madly in love with it. ♥

    J'aime votre blog.

    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, am I really funny?
      Thanks, Tane! :D
      And French... wow, it's a really lovely language, although the pronunciations are insanely difficult. I'll learn French, I hope, after I'm done with German.
      Ich liebe deine Blog auch! <3
      Stay awesome as ever,
      Much love,
      Archie <3

      Delete
  3. This is awesome! Learning new languages also establishes a whole bunch of new connections in the brain, which also has a lot of mental benefits! Just the science nerd coming out in me :) Good luck learning German!

    -smilesifyXO
    smilesnomatter.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, I swear.
      Languages are like some of the most complicated puzzles that you'll come across, in my opinion. And yeah, it's been proven that multilingualism leads to higher amount of intelligence! :)
      Thanks so much, smilesifyXO!
      Stay awesome as ever,
      Much love,
      Archie <3

      Delete

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Hey guys! :)
Now that you have taken the efforts to go through my neurotic rambling, why don't you post your views? :)

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