Frank Smith once said, “One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” (Jordan, John Erik) If you enjoy traveling outside your country or you plan on pursuing a career in the fields of business, politics or public relations -among other things- you should consider learning a new language that will broaden your horizons. Possessing a strong linguistic background in a world where countries are becoming more and more interconnected can yield several benefits. For me, the advantages of investing some of my time into this activity are too good to be ignored. Therefore, I believe that young adults should try to learn at least one other language besides their mother tongue.
I cannot really say that I’m a linguist. However, as I caught the scent of the freshly cooked pasta in the city of Rome, and as I took in the view of the towering snow-capped mountains in Switzerland last year, I can safely say that I did not need a lot more motivation to continue learning languages. All throughout my trip in Europe, I was intrigued by the number of languages to which I was exposed, and I marveled for the first time at how different tongues could completely alter the atmosphere of a certain place. I do not speak half the languages that are spoken in Europe half as well as I would like (nor will I ever be able to do so), but being exposed to the huge cultural and linguistic diversity made me change the way I look at the world and encouraged me to continue my studies.
Even the relatively short experience that I had in Europe let me appreciate languages and the importance of learning more than a single one much more than before. Traveling to the peaceful Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Swiss Alps, and properly ordering a panna cotta at an Italian restaurant are some examples of the modest activities that become more enjoyable and even easier once you have embraced the challenge of studying another language. However, there are other advantages, such as benefitting from more opportunities in university and in my future career, that make learning a few languages a very lucrative activity for me.
I strongly recommend that other people learn another tongue in order to benefit from more opportunities and to obtain a better understanding of the world. In particular, young adults that still have plenty of time before they enter the labor force and adopt a more rigorous lifestyle should consider studying a new language. Even though this is by no means an easy task to undertake, the payoff is certainly worth the struggle and, after a certain point, learning another tongue will no longer seem to be such an arduous process. As long as you have the time and motivation at your disposal, committing to this challenge can prove to be a very rewarding experience.
Jordan, John Erik. “The 5 Best Inspirational Language Quotes.” Babbel, Lesson Nine GmbH, www.babbel.com/en/magazine/language-quotes-01.