Magazine topic: 
Life around the world
Total votes: 95

The value of foreign languages

92
by : 
Bethan Morgan

 

People often ask me why I chose to study Spanish at University. And I always answer with “why not?” Because I believe that the importance of learning languages is obvious. But since I started learning languages many years ago, I have come to realise that not everybody sees it as clearly, especially those who only speak their own language.

Being able to speak a foreign language is one of the most rewarding and enriching skills I have ever been fortunate enough to learn. It has allowed me to travel, meet new people and learn so much more about different cultures and traditions. In this way, it has helped me to open my eyes and my mind to everything that is going on in the world, rather than just in the UK.

I started learning French at the age of 11 and Spanish at the age of 13. I still study Spanish now, and over this summer I hope to pick up my French again, as I will be teaching both next year. I can’t wait to pass on my passion and knowledge of languages to other people. In my school, learning French was compulsory, which I believe is important as otherwise not many students would have chosen to study it. Spanish was a choice that I made over other subjects based on how much I enjoyed learning French. To this day I am still happy with my decision and hope that in the future more students will make the same choices as I did.

Having a second or even a third, fourth or fifth language opens up so many doors for you that it is difficult to see it as anything other than an advantage. For example, in the restaurant I work at, we catered for 80 people from Argentina last week, which meant I could practise my Spanish with native speakers, something which is sometimes difficult to do. My language skills even came in handy when I had to act as a translator between the customers and other staff members.

I have recently realised just how much you can do with a language, especially in the world of work. If you ask someone to name the jobs you can do if you speak another language, the ones which always appear are: teacher, translator or interpreter. However, nowadays knowing another language is an advantage in just about any job you can think of. Most businesses will have offices abroad, or will want to do business with other countries, and therefore need people who can communicate in those situations.

So it is clear that speaking languages is incredibly useful in all aspects of life, and although it might be difficult to get a grasp of at first, it is always worth it in the end.

Discussion

Do you learn any languages other than English? Why do you think languages are important?

Comments

sona's picture
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sona 16 November, 2015 - 17:09

Yes,I learn Italian and French. I think that languages are very important because they open your mind and help you be more connected to the world and not just isolated in your country. This way you will learn new culture and communicate with foreigns people. In addition,we live in a world that is becoming 'smaller'(the effect of globalism) so understanding or speaking many languages will help you become more succesful and involved in the world. Also,languages unite countries and people,so it's well woth it.

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Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 14 May, 2015 - 04:45

I've learned Spanish a little bit from a girl coming from a Spanish speaking country. I thought Spanish was not so difficult to pronounce as English! Yes, speaking languages is cool and worth a lot of effort, apart from mastering writing languages....!

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23 users have voted.
hadia's picture
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hadia 4 July, 2016 - 00:29

Yeah! Writing can be really difficult sometimes. Reading and speaking is easy though :D

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25 users have voted.
hadia's picture
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hadia 12 April, 2015 - 15:03

I'm learning Arabic other than English. Till now I know all the languages which are spoken in each province of Pakistan and I think that languages are representatives of our culture and they surely represent our country or any where we live. So, they are of much importance for every country

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22 users have voted.
gianggiang's picture
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gianggiang 4 July, 2016 - 12:24

Hi Hadia,
My country has 53 ethnic minority, this means we have nearly fifty languages spoken in Vietnam. But luckily, the majority of ethnic people can speak Vietnamese...well, I just know how to say " I love you " in Thai language and say " Hello " in Muong language, :)))

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24 users have voted.
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fromrostov 5 July, 2014 - 20:48

Russian language is the best and hard language in the world. I love it. I think that Russian can become the one of important language for business and education. Russian is so rich in vocabulary, it has very well-know literature. The big country, like Russia, must have strong rod - language.
But I want to know many languages as I can. Adults said me (that) how many languages ​​do you know, so many you are people. In my opinion it can be motto for many people and I'm including.
Keep calm and live and learn.
best wishes, from Rostov-on-Don

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Fatime143's picture
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Fatime143 10 March, 2014 - 16:10

I think languages are important.I learn Russian but i would like to learn German,Arabic.

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Eichego's picture
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Eichego 5 February, 2014 - 22:56

Because when I learn another languages I can talk to people from different countries, I can understand another country’s culture and recently almost all people use English.

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22 users have voted.
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KimchiSoup 5 February, 2014 - 22:49

I think language is important for understand another country culture because language is made there culture. I know Korean because I’m from Korea. I think Korean is easy to learn. If you want to learn Korean you need learn Korean traditional fairy tales because we use many words like that stories. If you like Kpop you can learn Korean easy!

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engleskigaga's picture
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engleskigaga 5 February, 2014 - 09:52

Learn English Teens is the best site. Best wishes for all people who made this site and for editors too.

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engleskigaga's picture
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engleskigaga 5 February, 2014 - 09:49

I use LearnEnglish Teens and I learn English there on this site. I say my friends for this site and they decided to sing in. Is this good idea, I need to help my friends say me, Jo Editor?

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JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 5 February, 2014 - 12:14

Hi engleskigaga,
Thanks for telling your friends about our site. That's great! If they are aged 13-17 they are welcome to sign up for an account. Please tell them to read the House rules before they start to write comments, but they are very welcome to join us! 
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

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engleskigaga's picture
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engleskigaga 5 February, 2014 - 09:40

Hi everybody. I am log in now.This is great site for English, the best!
I have two questions, for Jo Editor! When I need to see my points, near points I can read bookmarks, what is bookmarks, and near bookmarks always I can see"USER NEVER BOOKMARKED PAGES". What should I do?

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JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 5 February, 2014 - 12:12

Hi engleskigaga,
At the moment the Bookmarks on the site isn't working. Sorry about that. This is something we would like to add in the future so you can keep track of your favourite pages. 
Best wishes and thanks for your kind words about the website! Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

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Oliii98 5 January, 2014 - 17:01

I have compulsory german and english language in school ( and my native language polish, of course ) I want to like german, but it is really hard for me. There's opposite situation with english. I love this language, I want to learn it, I want to talk in it, and I want to travel to England one time, and speak with native speakers. When I was 11 I was living for 1 year in Ireland. I was playing outside with english speaking children, going to english speaking school. But now I don't have much opportunities to talk in english :(

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26 users have voted.
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justcricketforme 20 October, 2013 - 13:32

I learn English, Urdu, Chinese at school and am trying to learn French from my sister who learns French at school. I know my provincial languages Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Sariki. It helps me understand people who don't Urdu or English. And it also help me when I go abroad. I also know Hindi, Persian (bit) and Arabic. I know bits of German and Italian too.

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25 users have voted.
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invisiblelight 20 August, 2013 - 11:28

Besides my native language Arabic , and English i learn also french , I want to learn them because I like learning language , communicate with others and know others cultures , to have chance to get a job in the future , studying abroad I would like to learn Korean and Japanese

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Pitaloka 17 August, 2013 - 05:04

I was thinking about learning French or Russian or Italian, but before it I try to make my english has a british accent

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cotton_candy 9 August, 2013 - 11:17

Yes, Im 13 years old and I know Polish And Vietnamese other than ENglish . In school, I need to learn German and next year I'm learning French . I dont really like learning German but i must . I would like to learn JApanese and Chinese because in the future It would be very useful for me :) Anyway, i love listening to English songs and understanding the lyrics :)

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24 users have voted.
dudek's picture
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dudek 5 August, 2013 - 15:05

Hey Bethan ,
Really you'r blogs are worth reading !! it' s a great blog ... I am a indian but i learn french and spanish as spanish is not available in my school i had to choose french .. and slowly i started liking it ..
Bonjour bethan..!! comment cava.. ?? :D

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yougataga's picture
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yougataga 30 July, 2013 - 05:22

i'm from morocco, where learning languages is not a choice it is obligatory in school for exemple i study in my school two foreing languages which are french and english and we will have exam in those languages , otherwise moroccan people are so open minded they love traveling and working in others country for money and they prefer to learn language , they are consient of the importance of learning foreing languages

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Alaw's picture
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Alaw 23 July, 2013 - 11:16

I learn English and French. I can speak Polish because I'm from Poland. For me, Polish isn't hard but for some people it's very hard. ,,Hello'' is in Polish ,,cześć'' and ,,goodbye'' is ,,do widzenia''.

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MALINE's picture
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MALINE 20 July, 2013 - 18:24

Thank you so much, JoEditor and all the LearnEnglish Teens Team. I hope the changes doesn´t take long. :-)

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MALINE's picture
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MALINE 14 July, 2013 - 04:25

hi all, I have a request, would you put the pages at the top so in that way we don´t have to scroll all the page and the comment section as well? I find it a bit annoying,thanks for your attention. Yours sincerely,Maline.

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JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 14 July, 2013 - 19:06

Hi Maline,
Thanks a lot for your comment. I understand exactly what you mean. We are working on improving the whole system of how users comment on the site. We have a plan to make it a lot better, but we have to wait for the website developers to have time free to help us make the changes. I agree with you that the system at the moment isn't very good. :(
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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AHMED_K's picture
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AHMED_K 5 July, 2013 - 13:22

no i do not learn any languages else. actually i was realy hating languages because i am realy weak in memorizing i was prefering to study scientific subjects such as physics maths but when i looked to universitys and colleges i realized that you can not study maths or physics without english that is impossible because all lessons in college is by english and also all exams too so i felt that i had to study english if i want to succes in future now i hardly trying to learn english even if i weak in memorizing that is do not matter as long as i keep my eyes on my goal

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22 users have voted.
Natalija's picture
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Natalija 22 June, 2013 - 12:37

Hi, Bosnianchild!
I'm from Serbia, so we're neighbours:). My dream is to go to British university, just like you. I know that ex-Yugoslavian countries have less chances for studying abroad than some other European countries, but I think we still have chances:). I made some research and I found out that many universities offer scholarships for countries out of European Union. I think that proficiency in English, great grades and high points at tests can provide us scholarships. I'll apply for one, and I hope to succeed. What would you like to study? How old are you?
Greetings from Serbia:)

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21 users have voted.
Bosnianchild's picture
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Bosnianchild 21 June, 2013 - 19:13

Hy everyone ! I learn English,beucase my dream is to learnEnglish and also we learn English in schools.I hope that English will help me to find a job in England,beucase I adore UK! But can I have a chance to go in university beucese I'm from Bosnia "

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MALINE's picture
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MALINE 15 June, 2013 - 20:41

hi Elana thanks for your reply,it was very helpful.Are you a new member at LearnEnglish Teens Team?
I haven´t heard from you before,thanks a lot bye.

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25 users have voted.
SARAH K's picture
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SARAH K 13 June, 2013 - 14:40

Foreign languages help us to to keep "a connection" with the other parts of the world. For example, today China is a super powerful economic place, so when you want to buy even a random thing or even to set up a bussines you have to be capable to understand your chinese partners. But even though I think that the most important foreign language is ENGLISH, and I am trying hard to learn it.

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26 users have voted.
ellen's picture
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ellen 12 June, 2013 - 17:34

Hello Elana
Thank you my questions answering. Are final exams in England for 9 from? and English language has got many words. Everything words sometimez words have the same meanings.(ie, which can be attributed to what?
people, or other things) for example,
concers=trouble
hate =despise
eat =corrode
and s.on.
But how I can distinguish them from each other?
Please, my teacher.
Thank you in advance

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24 users have voted.
JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 13 June, 2013 - 08:42

Hi ellen,
Reading and listening to lots of English will help to improve your vocabulary, ellen. It's true that many words in English can have several meanings.
Please note that the moderators on LearnEnglish Teens are not here to be private teachers. We are all teachers but we are here mainly to keep the website safe. If we have time, of course we will help to answer your questions about the language. Also - we work at different times so you won't always get a reply from the team member who you ask a question to. I hope that's clear.
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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ellen's picture
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ellen 13 June, 2013 - 17:43

Thank you my teacher.
I understand you.
This site helps me to learn more deeply the English language.

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19 users have voted.
ellen's picture
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ellen 10 June, 2013 - 17:38

Hello Elana
I have two questions.
1. After the examination of the class in England are 9?
I know English.
I want to develop further.
2.(This other site) How can I develop better?
you tell I it means.
Please, my teacher.

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22 users have voted.
MALINE's picture
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MALINE 9 June, 2013 - 18:06

Dear Morgan,
Hi, How are you I hope you´re fine I´m writing this little letter because I want to ask you for help,I´ve got lots of questions regarding English,please,please help me.
1.-When a person is working at an office or some other place and this person gets a better job in that place what do you say I´ve got a promotion or I´ve been promoted?
2.-When you´re talking about a group of persons do you use "was"? a band was playing several instruments?
Yours sincerily, aline
Thanks beforehand.

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SARAH K's picture
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SARAH K 8 June, 2013 - 20:03

I like a lot learning foreign languages. I already speak two foreign languages, English and Italian. In the future I want to learn Spanish, Chinese, German and French. I think that Chinese and Spanish are very useful languages

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24 users have voted.
MALINE's picture
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MALINE 8 June, 2013 - 03:06

it´s a pity that Stela,M can´t teach us German I was thinking of joining but i´d like to ask to those who speaks French if any of you know the meaning of my name: Aline
thanks to all beforehand bye.

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30 users have voted.
Margarita's picture
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Margarita 3 June, 2013 - 16:52

I love learning foreign languages but I don't have the time because of school.I also spend a lot of time learning English because I want to get a certificate and maybe study abroad one day , so I'm busy most of the time. However I'm learning french and I hope that by the time I finish school I'll be able to speak with a (convincing) french accent (which is REALLY hard by the way).Also I've always wanted to learn italian or spanish but never had the chance , but I think I'm gonna try italian next year. I think foreign languages are really important and useful .People who know many foreign languages can live or study abroad (which means they're gonna have more chances to get a job in the future),communicate with people from all around the world and travel to many other countries (I mean,how can someone visit another country when he doesn't even how to ask directions?).

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Lavender's picture
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Lavender 4 June, 2013 - 10:45

Hi Margarita.
Yeah, we have to learn so much at school besides language. It takes us a lot of time.

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Lavender 30 May, 2013 - 08:13

I know some friends they learn Japanese because they love Anime and some others learn Korean because they love Kpop.

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Liz's picture
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Liz 29 May, 2013 - 20:30

Nice article! Since I was little I spoke 2 languages; Greek and Italian. Having two native languages always helped me a lot to learn other languages (because some words are similar), like English and French which I learn at school. I was thinking about learning German or Russian too even though this would be quite difficult but I think they will be helpful in the future. Anyway, I'm OK with Greek, Italian, English and French, let's stop here for the moment.

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28 users have voted.
Stela.M's picture
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Stela.M 29 May, 2013 - 17:13

hi again my friend natalija.... i have been studying german since i was 11 years old (of course at school) ..i feel it is a part of my dictionary now and i want to practise it....can you tell me what do you know...please write the sentences you already know (in german language) byeee <3

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Natalija's picture
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Natalija 30 May, 2013 - 09:36

Hi, my friend Stela:)
Well, you have years of studying German behind you:). I'm not so knowledgeable I'm afraid:(. As I've already said, I know just the basic words and phrases, like ja(yes), nein(no), thank you(danke), guten tag(hello), guten morgen(good morning), kurz(short), lang(long), pronouns etc. I'll seriously take up this language this summer, and in September I'll be visiting Austria, so I"ll have a chance to talk German with natives, and to improve my skills, which are really poor:).
<3

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Stela.M's picture
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Stela.M 31 May, 2013 - 16:00

no natalija ...you are doing great until now.i can assure you that it is a hard language but very very nice <3

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Stela.M's picture
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Stela.M 3 June, 2013 - 12:52

if you want i can learn you some german words my dear friend..it all depends on you

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Natalija's picture
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Natalija 3 June, 2013 - 20:40

O, I'd like to, but I think we can't do that on this site, since we can write in English only:(. Thanks for offering, dear Stela, you're such a great friend.
<3

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