by © Monica Di Santi
One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.
Learning a foreign language is an enriching holistic experience that bombards you with new perceptions and sensations.When you know a new foreign culture you discover a new way of looking at life.It's a new start!.
To achieve you goal, you need a plan of action, detrmination, perseverance and motivation.You'll go through a challenging period till you master the new language but your benefits will be many.
Understanding and speaking a foreign language takes you out of your comfort zone.This is good news because you tend to stick to your routine and familiar surroundings. It's confortable and safe but you're stuck.
Andy Molinsky ,Professor of International Management and Organizational Behavior makes clear that most people trick themselves when they don't want to come out of their comfort zone. They rationalize their behavior creating reasons for not doing an activity when the real reason is fear is creeping up on them.
If you fear speaking a foreign language in public you may tell yourself that speaking is not essential in the process of learning a language. After all, you can learn the new language reading or watching movies. That way you create reasons to go on with your routine.
Learning a foreign language and inmersing yourself in its culture is a fscinating way of looking at life from a new angle. Every culture has its own ideas about relationships, love, meals and much more.
In English-speaking countries you only shake hands when meeting people. Hugs are kept just for close relationships. On the other hand, the French are keen on kissing everybody when greeting.
Would you have supper at 6 P.M like British and Americans do?
When you invite your friends to drink alcohol in Japan, you have to serve everybody but you can't serve yourself and drink unless somebody else pour alcohol into your glass?
Eating typical meals is a wonderful way of enjoying a new culture. You don't need to travel abroad to taste them. Find ethnic restaurants and taste mouth-watering regional dishes of Spain, Italy, China and many more.
How about eating dog meat like in China, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Polynesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Arctic and Antarctic and two cantons in Switzerland?
French serve a cheese course after dinner. An amazing tasting experience you don't have to miss.
Dessert without cheese is like a beauty with only one eye,
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
Many Americans eat their meals with a glass of cold milk.
Being in contact with languages, art, culture and people from different walks of life will put your prejudice to the test and you'll find that's not good or bad to be English or Italian. People are just people everywhere and everybody loves warm welcomes and enjoy sharing their own culture with you.Relax and enjoy!
Although you may be skeptical when you deepen your knowledge of a language and its culture, your personality will change.
If you learn English or German you'll have to comply with the linguistic rules and social etiquete to be a successful speaker of that language. And of course, if you learn Italian of French you'll have to become more extrovert and take longer time to enjoy meals and chatting. You see? Each culture will set pressure on your socila behaviour.
Research has shown that language structure detemine the way its speakers see events. The psycholinguist Panos Athanasopoulos of Lancaster University considers that two or more minds co-exist within a person who's fluent in several languages.
Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
One of the best consequences of inmersing yourself in another culture is to have the opportunity to look at yours objectively and see both sides of the coin. You'll be able to love your culture much more and to be able to spot some weaknesses all culture have.
This will help you understand foreigners point of view on your country as you'll see your culture through a foreigner's eye.
Learning a foreign language can help you keep your aging mind healthy and active.Research in the University of Edimburgh concluded that people who speak more than one language get their cognitive skills in better shape when they become older because languages have boosted their intellingence and reading comprehansion along life.
After reading and learning how to speak in a foreign language you will certainly be motivated to travel, to visit that culture and have a first hand experience. You caertaintly want to put your language skills at a test while you have a great time.
After considering all these points you have to agree with me that learning a foreign language is a wonderful opportunity to run away from routine and spice up your life.
Share your experiences with languages here. I'd love to hear about them.