28 Dec Don’t Make Learning a Language Your New Year’s Resolution
It’s that time of the year again! The time when everyone and everything, be it your local newspaper or your closest friend, is going on about making New Year resolutions and how they will definitely see them through. It’s no secret that these resolutions are soon forgotten after the first week of January and the statement “oh well, next year then” is heard more often than not. From exercising more to spending less, the resolutions are as diverse as the people that make them. Learning a language shouldn’t be just another New Year resolution but rather one for a lifetime.
Here are 7 reasons why language learning is for life and not just for the 1st of January.
- A foreign language is all around you, literally!
Be it your gym or the supermarket, you meet people from all over the globe on a daily basis, especially because of the growing multicultural societies today. You are learning a new word from a new language every day. If you’re an expat, think about the first time in the country and then think about the present day. How many words have you picked up from a language that you never speak?
In a brain-based research conducted by Kara Morgan-Short, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, showed that individuals who immerse themselves in the language learn faster than those that are given instructions to learn the language. Six months on and they were still able to retain the information, despite the lack of exposure on a daily basis.
Do you really need to wait until the New Year to start learning something that’s already a significant part of your life? Think about it.
- A healthy mind for a healthy life
Everyone knows about the importance of being physically fit. You spend hours on the weights machines or maybe you’re more of a jogger and enjoy those 3km runs on a daily basis. What about your brain? Your brain needs a workout more often than you know and waiting around for the ‘perfect’ time isn’t going to help anybody.
Learning a language is not only an excellent way to keep your mind sharp but also a fun method to continue the lifelong process of learning.
Without breaking a sweat, you can be mentally fit every day of the year. Swedish scientists conducted brain scans on those learning a second language and a brain size increase was observed.
And as the saying goes, why do it tomorrow when you can do it today?
- Experience a novel culture
Everything around the holiday season becomes pretty pricey, especially traveling anywhere in the world. You need a break from your daily routine into a world you haven’t seen before, people who with traditions unlike yours and a lifestyle unique to them alone. Unfortunately, it costs to experience any of that.
However, learning a new language can help you experience all of the above from the comfort of your home! When you learn a language, you immerse yourself in the native culture, traditions, and people in a unique and fun way. Don’t wait until the New Year to be a part of something amazing, get to it now!
- Entertainment Galore!
It’s undeniable that foreign cinema and TV has an unbelievable amount of exquisite and exciting entertainment to offer but is, sadly, lost in translation many at times. Learning a foreign language gives you the chance to tap into a different universe of entertainment, culture and so much more in a personal way, a way that Google translate cannot yet fathom. Take the opportunity now instead of waiting until your ‘language learning resolution’ is lost in the New Year.
- Live the life of a spy!
Imagine you’re planning a party (maybe it’s the New Year party?) with your buddy. A colleague you haven’t invited joins the conversation. How can you pass a message to your buddy without grabbing the attention of the colleague? That’s right; learn a new language that just you and your buddy/ies know. Klingon, maybe? How cool would it be to say ‘gobez’ to your friend? If case you were wondering…’gobez’ is pronounced ‘ghobe’ and means ‘no’ in Klingon.
You know that this reason is bound to remain useful throughout your life so start learning today and bring out the inner James Bond in you. Additionally, there’s a whole list of unusual languages out there to choose from: Abruzzese, Catalan, Igbo, Scottish Gaelic, Zulu!
- Ready, Set, Impress!
Your family members or workmates are setting their resolutions for 2017. Why not be ahead of the pack and learn a new language now? Imagine ringing in the New Year with different greetings in a different language!
- Remember to remember
Canadian studies believe Alzheimer’s disease and the onset of dementia occurs at a later stage in life for people with bilingual abilities than monolinguals. It is now commonly known that people who can fluently converse in more than one language have a better memory span and are more mentally flexible as well as creative. Improving your memory by language learning shouldn’t just be a New Year resolution, should it?
The possibilities are endless. Don’t wait till the 1st of January – start learning a new language now!