How many do you know? Fluently?
By fluent I mean if you walk into the streets of that particular country, would you be able to talk casually with almost everyone?
Let’s count English as one since you’re reading this in English. So add up your possible secondary languages, do you know 3, or 4?
- A typical Malaysian knows about 4 languages and 2 dialects: Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Malaysian + extra: Indonesian (they are similar), English)
- Whereas a typical Australian knows English, rarely with a secondary language (excluding European immigrants).
Reason: surrounding environment + influence.
Why should you care about languages? When you can just survive with one?
Here are some simple reasons:
- More career/business opportunities.
- Having a multicultural range of friends = more friends.
- Improves your intelligence. (cognitive, memory; backup source study)
“A different language is a different vision of life.” – Federico Fellini, Italian film director
And I’m challenging you to learn a new language starting next minute. Don’t reject the idea immediately, or make up excuses like you have no time, no motivation or no skills.
Have you heard of polyglots?
People who speak multiple languages.
Timothy Doner, 16 year old who speaks 20 languages.
Benny the Irish polyglot who speaks 8 languages.
Richard Simcott who speaks 20 languages.
What differs you from them?
Resources for your language learning process
Here’s an interesting article I found that gives you 10 reasons why English is actually a difficult and complex language, although we think it is not. Check out here.
Some must-see links for you: bad news…
Hardest languages infographic (a very user-friendly must see picture)
What it pays to be bilingual (another nice infographic)
Keys for successful language learning
- Choose a language that is useful, for example NOT Icelandic. But one that is economic-friendly e.g. Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese…etc.
- Have passion, because that’s what drives motivation.
- Learn with immersion; that means shifting your environment to suit your language, idea: moving into that country, or getting involved within that particular community near your place.
- More immersion tips: music, dramas, try to think in that language.
Oh and here’s a little about me:
I currently know Mandarin, Cantonese, English. That’s it, and I’m ashamed. Going for Korean.
What about you?
I challenge you to learn a new language. (a hard one from the infographic)