Don’t be lazy – learn languages.

Is there anything more wonderful than words?
Look at them.
Little letters all standing in a row.

They are the building blocks of communication, culture and countries.
Which is the reason I think learning other languages is so important.
English is the most widely spoken language in the world – which makes us very lucky, but also a bit lazy. The fact you can often get by abroad without so much as a phrasebook seems to be the reason a lot of people don’t bother.

Instead they seem to think speaking slowly and waving their arms around is enough. But I think they are missing out and missing the point.

To get to know a country properly, you really need to speak its language. I’m not saying you have to be fluent before every weekend away, but a couple of words doesn’t hurt – especially if they are “please,” “thank you” and “sorry.” Plus I have found you get points for just trying, or better still a smile.

And it can be so much fun.
For instance did you know if you say “shut the door” in the right accent it sounds like “I love you” in French?
Or that the German for glove translates to “hand-shoe?”
Many moons ago, when I was taking my A-Levels, I was told German wouldn’t run as only three people had signed up. The fact French ran with only one student still confuses me. But the fact only four pupils out of hundreds wanted to study languages bewilders me more.
Half of the problem is the lack of demand – which makes it our responsibility.
It’s so sad.
We are an island already, why isolate ourselves more?
International relations are more important than ever. And who knows, one day the answer to “parlez vous anglais?” might be “no” then where will we be?

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8 Comments

  1. Learning language is very important, I agree!
    I love doing it!
    But I also realize that many people are not so passionate about them, and if you lack that passion, then you have very few chances to succeed at learning a new language!
    It requires a lot of effort and consistency (but the rewards are even bigger 🙂 ), so you really need to enjoy the whole learning process…

    Ciaoo

    D.

  2. Which language(s) should we be learning? Learn Spanish and you’re at a loss In Germany, learn French and you’re illiterate in Russia, learn Chinese and you can’t ask for an ice cream in Portugal. So which language should we be learning? I would respectfully suggest that we take another look at Esperanto, a relatively new language which is easy to learn and use.

    Of course, not everyone speaks Esperanto at the moment, but we have to start somewhere.

    • The idea of us all speaking Esperanto would kind of go against my point if I am honest.
      So much of a country’s identity comes from it’s language.
      Which is one reason I don’t like the euro but that is for another moan another day.
      I don’t think there is an answer on which language to learn, one that captures your interest I suppose.. It always helps to be interested.

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