so everyone can accept that language is essential. language of any kind – verbal, non-verbal, written etc. – allows us to communicate, share and exchange ideas, read, learn, scream (ok well tbh u can do that without language too but often screaming out real words is more fun than just screaming) and tbh if we didn’t have language, you wouldn’t even be reading this right now.
the thing is, in spite of the fact that everyone knows the importance of language not a lot of people enjoy studying languages, because they see it as a task, chore or necessity – if one is studying it for a grade/job, for instance. of course, learning anything requires dedication and commitment, but learning a foreign language is something that opens up a world of opportunities and makes you smarter too. quite a few people also look down on language and humanities students, because they’re under the impression that other subjects (like science and maths for instance, maybe) are more challenging and thus require you to be more intelligent. of course, they havenoideahowwrongtheyare, because languages and maths are so closely linked, you almost don’t even notice how they’re related. plus, mastering a language is definitely as challenging as a complex maths equation, if not even more so. but in any case, that’s another topic for another day.
anyways, since so many people still aren’t really eager to learn new languages, here are 50 good reasons which you should definitely consider before you give up and decide to delete your duolingo account, and 50 good reasons to convince you to make that duolingo account in the first place, if you haven’t already.
discover a new culture learning the language of a place helps you connect with that place in a completely different way. you can understand the movies, music, literature, poetry and theatre on a deeper level - for instance, reading an original novel as opposed to the translated version allows you to appreciate the subtle nuances of the language, like the idioms and puns which can’t be directly translated into another language, thereby losing their true meaning and beauty.
learn about the history of a place language and history are very closely linked. learning a language well allows you to understand historical texts in their original language, and for history nerds this is a dream come true. historical texts tell us so much about our origins and roots; furthermore, they give us insight into the lives of people in the past and how much things have changed and evolved since then, and how some traditions, ideas and beliefs have remained the same. plus, compared to the author of your history textbook, the guy who wrote this ancient text is more likely to actually know what happened during his time. now, you might ask: can’t we learn about the history of a place without knowing the language? tbh i gotta admit that yes you can do that, but that brings us to the first point again: reading a translated version = reading a version that doesn’t have those subtle nuances, which literally get lost in translation.
establish new relationships and friendships i’m not saying that learning someone’s native language = immediately becoming their friend, but learning someone’s language allows you to become close to them and understand them in a completely different way. for example, i speak bengali and english at home and honestly when i’m with my bengali friends and family and i can talk in bengali, it’s like i almost become a completely different person. i believe that different languages are so closely associated with experiences, memories and relationships, which is why speaking with someone in their native language allows you to bond with them more easily.
work abroad speaking a foreign language makes it easier to work and settle down abroad. other countries have exciting job opportunities, and speaking the native language is your true key.
understand society in a foreign country this is a really interesting one and it’s kind of a follow-up to the first point, but it’s also slightly different. i’ll give you an example: in english, we have only one way to speak to someone in second person i.e. ‘you’. however, in spanish, for example, there’s two ways i.e. ‘tu’ (informal) and ‘usted’ (formal). let’s also take a look at hindi, in which there are three ways i.e. ‘tu’ (highly informal), ‘tum’ (informal) and ‘aap’ (formal). as another example, let’s look at the honourifics in japanese: ‘-san’, ‘-sama’, ‘-kun’, ‘-dono’, ‘-chan’ etc. etc. etc. are all added as a suffix to names and mean very different things, used to address different people depending on your relationship with them. in every language, there are different levels of formality. learning the language of the person you’re speaking to helps you recognize the level of formality with which you must address them, and the kind of respect you must show them.
impress people this goes without saying, obviously; speaking another language is an immediately impressive factor which makes random people go “wow!!! that is so cool! can u say something in that language???” which is slightly nice because of the amount of interest someone is showing in something you’re used to, but this should not be your main reason to learn a language because a) it makes you lose focus of the goal you’re trying to achieve in learning and speaking the language and makes you forget the point, b) it gets annoying after a while and c) the language is not some america’s got talent magic trick to perform when you’ve run out of things to entertain other people with. treat it with respect. it’s very possible that the people asking you to say something in the language don’t really care about respecting it, and might make fun of it thereafter.
learn english + your first language better fun fact: most languages are more connected than you know. the similarities may not be obvious at first, but once you examine them, you realize the likeness. for example: ‘mano’ in spanish and ‘main’ in french both mean hand. the japanese word for tea is ‘cha’, the bengali word is literally the same, the mandarin word is ‘chá’ which is just a slight variation in intonation and the hindi word is ‘chaay’. but the similarities, as fascinating as they are, aren’t exactly the coolest part either. the best thing is that a lot of difficult/fancy english words came from latin and french. approx. 29% of the english language comes from french, in fact, as well as ~29% of latin origin and ~26% of germanic origin. example 1 (french): ‘péjoratif’ in french = ‘pejorative’ in english; ‘nonchalant’ in french = ‘nonchalant’ in english; ‘insouciant’ in french = ‘insouciant’ in english example 2 (latin): ‘relinquere’ in latin = ‘relinquish’ in english; ‘abdomen’ in latin = ‘abdomen’ in english; ‘diurnalis’ in latin = ‘diurnal’ in english; ‘inundāre’ in latin = ‘inundate’ in english example 3 (germanic): ‘hūrt’ in frankish = ‘hurt’ in english; ‘gram/grinjan’ in frankish = ‘chagrin’ in english; ‘galgo’ in frankish = ‘gauge’ in english; ‘borganjan’ in frankish = ‘bargain’ in english a lot of the words we think of as “fancy” in english are basic words used in latin and french, while the germanic words are less sophisticated-sounding due to the origins (which you can find out more about in these two super interesting videos: [x] and [x] ) so, by learning those language, you are improving your own english vocabulary and, if you are the native speaker of another language, possibly improving your vocab in that language too! furthermore, i’ve noticed that when you’re learning another language from scratch, it’s generally taught in a very structured way which is not something you’re used to. if your first language is english, it’s likely that you’ve grown up speaking english, so you haven’t spent a lot of time thinking or focusing on things like parts of speech, tenses, sentence structures, gender (which, thankfully, doesn’t exist in english) or anything of that sort beyond a certain extent (unless you’re studying grammar) - it comes naturally to you. however, in the process of learning a language you study the grammar of a language extremely well and in the process you get to draw connections between english grammar and the grammar of the language you’re learning + you get to study english grammar properly too.
last, but not the least: it’s fun! if the rest of this post hasn’t convinced you already, learning a language is one of the coolest and most exciting and interesting things on the goddamn planet. with other people who speak the languages i speak, i can pretend it’s a code language that only we understand. and if you think learning a language is not fun because it’s difficult/tedious/time-consuming, just know that if you learn a romance language fluently you find yourself picking up other romance languages easily because of how similar they are, making you a language pro which (in my nerdy opinion) is one of the most beautiful and honourable things to call yourself and be known for.
+ if all that didn’t convince you, here are some more:
i hope you enjoyed this post and that it convinced u to learn a new language!!! feel free to message me in case 1) any of the links are broken, 2) u want me to add on to something, 3) u have a suggestion for a masterpost [i would love that so go ahead and ask if u do] or if u just wanna talk! also, feel free to reblog and add ur own comments/resources. hope this helped someone learn and understand more!!!
I wouldn’t say that growing up, the punk community was especially (or at all) accepting. A 13 year old gender confused kid in 2005 didn’t have many people to look up to. The story being told by cishet white boys was important, no doubt learning about politics, the environment, vegans!!! for god sakes was formative for me and many others like me. Now, seeing the radical changes Laura Jane Grace has made in the punk community with cis people of all ages and backgrounds is astonishing. Mind boggling. I can’t thank her enough for what she’s done for me, personally, our trans community, and punk music as a whole. Thank you @laurajanegrace #truetrans (at The Space)