Hello! Hola! Salut! Hallo! Здравствуйте!
In this post I want to impress on my followers and/or any viewers of my blog the importance of learning a foreign language in the modern world.
Not only can learning a modern language be intellectually stimulating, it can also lead to a world of goodness for the learner. Imagine delaying the onset of dementia or being able to converse with people of different backgrounds with ease. Imagine being able to go on holiday without the fear of language barriers, especially in potentially life threatening situations.
Learning a language should be something that everyone attempts to achieve within their lifetime, even if only mastering the basics.
I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite – I won’t pretend to be fluent in any foreign languages, or even conversational, but I have noted the importance of acquiring proficient language skills, even if I don’t intend to pursue them academically in the future. Believe me, I would give almost anything tomorrow to wake up and find myself fluent in French, Spanish, German and Russian.
I am currently using websites (linked below) and books (which I have given the details of below) to aid me in learning the foreign languages I have mentioned above, which are really helpful and have found that I have had relative success using these methods, despite being deprived of time to do so.
Languages are beautiful and very helpful in succeeding in the world. Working at an international firm or heading a business, you could converse with a colleague abroad or someone you are making a deal with in their own language if they have difficulty with yours.
I’m not saying that learning a foreign language is the most important thing in the world, and I know that many people struggle with learning languages, but learning a language is an invaluable skill! How many people would like to retire in a hot country when they reach old age? And in how many of those countries is a foreign language the official language?
Learning a language has also shown positive signs neurologically. Studies have shown that people who learn a foreign language (especially in their younger years) develop any form of dementia later than usual, if at all.
I apologise if this post is perceived as pretentious and if you feel it is laced with hypocrisy.
Most useful websites:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/mividaloca (this is, as the URL suggests, for learning Spanish)
Collins Easy Learning Spanish (Grammar, Conversation, Vocabulary, and Verbs)
Collins Easy Learning Frech (Grammar, Conversation, Vocabulary and Verbs)
Collins Easy Learning German (Grammar, Verbs and Vocabulary)
Collins Easy Learning Dictionary for French, Spanish, Russian and German.
The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners (designed to take the complete beginner to A Level standard)
BBC Talk for French, Spanish, German and Russian.
Collins is a publishing company that provides dictionaries a learning guides for many different languages, not just the ones listed above.
Please comment below if you have used any of these, how you found them, and list any suggestions you have.