No one likes to label themselves. However, our skills and experiences suggest certain things to other people. This isn’t a bad thing, though. Here are some positive things language skills say about you and some reasons why you might want to learn a new one.
Greater global understanding
It’s inevitable that by learning another language you’re also going to find out more about that nation’s culture—how its people live, work and play. This is only a good thing because, thanks to the Internet and faster modes of transport, the world really is getting smaller. A shared language helps break down barriers and promotes greater understanding.
Step into someone else’s shoes and see the world through their eyes. You may be surprised at how similar two cultures can be when they seem to so different to begin with.
It almost goes without saying that employers like candidates with language skills. Even if your chosen language doesn’t directly relate to your field, it still shows dedication and a willingness to rise to a challenge.
For an employer whose business trades or competes on a global scale, you’re hot property. Potential clients will love you too as you’ll be able to easily communicate with them when a deal needs to be made. Find a language that suits your employer’s needs at UIC London (http://www.uiclondon.com).
Patron of the arts and other cultures
If you travel to a place where you don’t know the language, it’s like going to an art gallery where every painting is facing the wall. Sure you’ll soak up a bit of culture but it’s likely to be seen through that “tourist” filter.
For example, you haven’t seen the real America if you’ve only been to Disney World. Having the skills to natter with the locals opens your eyes to another side of a country, revealing cultural gems that might have previously gone unnoticed.
When it comes to works of art—particularly theatre, film and literature—experiencing them the way they were meant to be experienced is far better than a translated version. We’ve all laughed at literal translations but it’s the subtle plays on words that get missed when you don’t understand the original, and that’s a real shame.
Social and networking butterfly
There are around seven billion people in the world but only a small percentage speak English. If you’re learning to speak a different language, it’s pretty obvious you want to chat with more people, make new friends and even network.
While you’re getting to grips with the verbs, being a social butterfly is great practice and will help you reach a fluent level in no time at all.
How and when
Feeling inspired yet? If you are, great! Let’s chat about the next step. It can be tricky trying to fit learning a new language around work and other commitments. Let’s face it, it’s going to take time and hard work but trust me, it’s worth it.
Try and set some time aside each day. This will help you focus and create a routine to stick to. Fancy going on holiday? Go to a place that will speak the words you want to hear. Immersing yourself in the language will help you cover speaking and reading, as well as writing.
Let’s not forget you non-English speakers out there too. There’s plenty of options right here to help you learn. Try English courses in London or find one where you live. Mingling with fellow learners will help you feel at ease and get you talking more.