Our world is getting ever more connected and the citizens of the world are rapidly bridging national, social, and linguistic differences. When crossing cultural boundaries, language is the single most important tool. Language provides the key to broadening career and educational opportunities, enhancing the exchange of ideas and information, and of course enjoying the beauty of other cultures.
For many people who stopped learning languages at school and have not been involved since then, the prospect of learning new languages can be rather daunting. It can take hard work to reach a good standard and then there is the challenge of maintaining that level of profitability. But there is no reason why you should not enjoy and succeed in learning languages like Hindustani or Chinese. Even though people are all different – they learn at different speed levels and have different pronunciation – they tend to be best when it comes to learning and to communicating. With the right attitude, learning techniques, and guidance, you can master any language. The many benefits are obvious.
Understand the World
"Language is the means of getting an idea from my brain into yours without surgery" – Mark Amidon
Language is the source of many misunderstandings, especially so when communicating across cultural boundaries. Although English is often known as a widely spoken and understood language in the world, it is still far from sufficient for understanding cultures of other linguistic backgrounds. It goes without saying that you gain more from a visit to a country if you can converse in the local language and actually get to know the people rather than just communicating in English with people in the tourism industry or academic elites. Use of even the most basic vocabulary helps to break down barriers and establish good relationships. It shows your respect towards the people of the country and that you take a genuine interest in them.
A basic knowledge of the destination language is a reasonably small task to achieve and should be included in anyone's preparations. Learning a selection of key words or expressions specific to your sector or profession enables you to reach out and find or provide meaning in conversations. Being able to get your message across in the language of your destination culture allows you to transition more comfortably and increasingly immerse yourself. You will be able to express your thoughts and speak for yourself, thus inviting opportunities for new friendships and gaining the trust and respect of your hosts.
Reveal the Heart of Culture
"To have another language is to possess a second soul" – Charlemagne
Words shape the way we think. We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native language. Language is not simply a reporting device for experience but a refining framework for it. Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going. It introduces you to a different way of thinking and looking at the world. Any language …