Reasons and Challenges of Learning New Languages

There are more and more reasons to know one, two, and even more foreign languages. Everybody knows that knowing foreign languages gives a lot of advantages and perspectives in all possible spheres of life. Usually, when the person has the motivation and a true desire to learn a new language, he will succeed in mastering his learning proficiency level. The most important thing is not to be lazy and to realize that everything depends on you. Though there are some really serious difficulties which can provide an obstacle to language learning, the most common among them are the following:

  • Thinking in your mother tongue. Of course, when you start learning new languages, you think in the language that you speak. But that’s also a common mistake for the people who have been learning foreign languages for a long time. Thinking in your mother tongue and translating it into a foreign language makes communication difficult and the phrases too literal. That is why learning how to overcome this barrier in your thoughts is extremely important, otherwise, it will be almost impossible to become fluent in your target language.
  • The incompetence of the teacher. It doesn’t matter, whether you choose language courses or personal lessons with the teacher, sometimes it happens that you face an ineffective presentation of learning material, mispronunciation, and wrong accent. As a result, you adopt the wrong skills from the very beginning. Communication with native speakers can help you solve this issue.
  • Criticism towards yourself. Setting a bar too high and trying to achieve results as soon as possible is not the best tactic. There is a big chance that you will get disappointed in your skills if you don’t achieve what you thought you had to. You should understand that results in speaking the foreign language fluently can’t be instantaneous. And that doesn’t mean that you cannot learn languages. Also, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Practice makes perfect.
  • Big emphasis on grammar. Of course, grammar rules are extremely important in foreign languages, but not everything is based on grammar. You need to learn how to perceive speech by ear, otherwise, you will not be able to express yourself in a foreign language at all. So the process of studying grammar rules should not be separated from other processes of your learning journey.
  • Weak motivation. As was mentioned earlier, if some circumstances push you to study new languages, not your own desire, this is not the strongest motivation and you won’t last long. If you don’t have an interest in what you do, the brain subconsciously resists receiving new information.
  • Disregard for self-study. Some people think that it is enough to find a good teacher and he will teach them to speak a new language. They consider it sufficient just to attend classes and be a diligent student. Of course, it is not enough. Without constant self-education, you will not be able to learn your target language. Devote at least half an hour per day to studying new words and phrases, reading articles and books, watching movies in your target language. And you will see results much sooner. For example, if you are going to learn Japanese, you can watch anime, play Japanese games, watch TV shows and videos, as well as use a Japanese learning app like Encore. (read more about how to learn Japanese in their blog).

There are so many reasons to learn foreign languages. If you still think about whether you should start this journey or no, these arguments will help you make the right choice:

  • Knowledge of foreign languages helps to make a good impression. In many countries, bilingualism is the norm. But there are countries where the ability to speak a foreign language really makes a good impression – both on friends and family and on the potential employers. This is a very pleasant side effect but it won’t be enough to keep yourself motivated all the time.
  • Development of self-confidence, willpower, and safe control. Learning a foreign language is a challenging but rewarding activity, which will boost your self-esteem and self-confidence. In the process of learning, you will have to overcome your own laziness and insecurity more than once. Whoever promises you that it’s possible to learn a new language in a month, it is impossible to do so. In most cases, you notice some results not earlier than 3-4 months of regular exercise. And regular exercise is great for developing willpower and self-control. The more often you train these qualities, the stronger they become.
  • If you can speak a foreign language while traveling to their country, it will totally change your traveling experience. You will feel yourself more freely because you will be able to talk to people at the airport, in the cafe, ask directions, and other stuff. Also, you will be able to discover new places in this country, where common tourists don’t even think of going to.
  • If you know a foreign language you have many more opportunities in developing your career. Nowadays more and more employers in big corporations dream of having smart and intelligent employees who know one or maybe more foreign languages. Make the employers fight for you and your skills. And choose your dream job.
  • If you are willing to change your life, going to a prestigious university in a foreign country is the perfect option. For example, many European universities have free programs for studying both for their local and foreign students. All you need is to learn the language to be able to study at the university. There is a big chance that you will want to stay in this country for the rest of your life. As you learn a language, you begin to understand the country (or countries) where it is used for communication better. The better you know the language, history, and culture of the country, the more chances you have to objectively assess whether moving to this country will work for you or not.
  • Learning a new language is a great chance to find new friends with whom you cannot communicate without a foreign language – in the truest sense of the word – a common language. You will inevitably meet new people. These are those who learn the language with you, and your teachers, and those with whom you interact on various online resources dedicated to learning.

About Peter Janos