Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Languages are important - why I'm glad I listened

by : 

'Languages are important', 'I know they’re hard but don’t give up!', 'they’ll help you in life'.

I was told these words of encouragement over and over again. I would always roll my eyes, ignore them and continue to stress over the past and future tense and any numbers over twenty.

I have studied languages from a young age. I began learning Greek aged 10, when my family and I moved there for 2 years. At first it was difficult and I had no idea whether I would be able to learn the language and use it productively, but eventually it started to make sense. Slowly, very slowly, I started to get an immense sense of pride from using words and phrases I had learnt, overhearing conversations and (almost) understanding everything that was said.

Eight years later I started university back in England, where I met one of my best friends. Guess how we became best friends? She spoke Greek as a second language, I spoke Greek as a second language, that was our conversation starter. We went for coffee and from that moment we were inseparable. I was always told I would meet people through languages and it would open up doors for me, and that was one of the first moments where I believed it. Sometimes it comes down to something small like that, to make you realise what you’re doing is 100% worth it.

I was encouraged by family to continue on the language path since I started learning at 10 years old, so I took up German and it was really challenging. There were a lot of times I thought I was going to give up, but I am so glad I didn’t; when I was 18, I didn’t get into the university I wanted, or get to study the course I wanted, I had no idea what I was going to do. I changed my plan and applied to go to the University of Manchester instead, to study Spanish. I had never studied Spanish before; they saw that I studied Greek and German and offered me a place! Now I am in Spain for a year having an amazing time and enjoying the sunshine, working as an English language assistant in a lovely little primary school.

It was a wonderful chain of events; if I had ignored everybody who encouraged me to study languages, gave up when it was hard and didn’t practise, I would not be doing what I am doing right now, and my life would be totally different. I’m glad I listened.

My advice: it’s true, languages are important, immerse yourself in them, work hard and enjoy the benefits (because there are a lot!).


Do you think learning languages is important? 


LoodyChan's picture
LoodyChan 15 January, 2017 - 17:22

I'm learning English now and I want lear more language like Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian.

0 users have voted.
hermione123's picture
hermione123 24 January, 2021 - 06:59

whoa! I speak Indonesian, you know. and, i think it's pretty easy because many words in Indonesian are really similar with English. examples, sience and sains, coordinator and koordinator, and battery and baterai. see so many similarity? and, there is no tenses in Indonesian :)

1 user has voted.