They often say that if you want to learn something new and be engaged in the learning process, then you got to know the answer to the “why” question. For many, their answer to the question “Why learn a language?” is that by learning languages, more doors will open to you, and they are not wrong. For me, learning a language is a process of falling in love with that country’s culture. Sometimes it’s the musical lilt and the emotions within the spoken language that first captures my interest in the language.
For example, Swedish has this gentle, musical lilt to it, that I catch myself quite often getting distracted by when I swear Swedish being spoken. Same case for Swiss-German.
Dutch has an honest, blunt quality to it if you get past the guttural sounds. Every time I have heard Persian and Arabic, it’s the passion and the range of emotions that colour the language that captures me.
Learning languages not only open doors to new opportunities, it also opens doors into understanding not only the culture of that country in a more deeper manner but it also allows you to understand yourself better too. Since undergoing the journey to become a languages teacher, I’ve had to re-evaluate my own language learning journey, and in many ways, understand what makes me so passionate about learning languages.
Yes, it comes from growing up in a multi-lingual family, but it also comes from an openness to explore life, and in a small way, humanity. Being open to learning different languages, I have learnt to be open to understanding different people, and in the process, learn to be a more empathetic and better teacher.
So, for me, learning languages has never been about ticking a box to achieve better things, but rather it’s about the introspective, philosophical understanding of humanity.
That is why I learn languages.