Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

The importance of languages

by : 

As a languages student I value very highly the learning of languages but many people nowadays don’t agree. When I hear the phrase “But…everyone speaks English.” I want to scream! 4 out of 5 people do not speak English and only 7 per cent of the world’s population speaks English as a first language. The world WE’RE in may be full of people who speak English but learning languages open up a new world. Recently I was asked what I think the importance of languages is and I thought about it. I have made three point of the reasons that I, personally, think learning languages is essential and invaluable.

1. Languages are a passport to another world.

Passports and planes can take you to anywhere in the world but can you really know a country without knowing the language? With a language you can get to know and get involved with the culture. You can meet people from that country and talk to anyone you may meet on the street. You can ask for directions and know what you’re ordering in a restaurant. You can go beneath the surface of the tourist aspect and discover the true secrets about a country and how it works.

2. It’s a sign of respect and creates instant connections.

Even if someone speaks your language, to arrive in their country and assume they wish to speak it to you is slightly ignorant. This is one of the reasons that Anglophones are infamous for being so rude abroad, the majority of them don’t make any effort to speak anything other than English. Even attempting a few words when in a shop or asking for directions shows that you have had enough respect to at least try. I have found that speaking someone’s mother tongue to them creates instant friendships as well because they feel more comfortable around you when they can be themselves.

3. A lot of things are “lost in translation”.

If you have ever read a translation in your native language that has been translated from another language and the looked at the original, you will know this. Some of the translations are very embarrassing! There are a lot of idiomatic phrases that cannot be translated because they only make sense in that language. Things like humour and play on words can also only be appreciated in the original language.


Can you add any more reasons to Bronya's list? Why do you think it's important to learn foreign languages?  


MALINE's picture
MALINE 22 April, 2014 - 20:27

Language is very important, is part of who you are and it allows you to connect to other people.
I think is very difficult to learn a Language to the fullest unless you live in that country and not even that way,for example here in México the official Language is Español but did you know there are more than 30 dialects?

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serap's picture
serap 16 December, 2013 - 20:45

It is very important to learn foreign languages. Now, we should not know JUST English, we should learn more. Learning a new language is great! You can know many cultures of countries which is apart from your own country. Actually I cannot express the beauty of learning languages with words! I love to learn foreign languages very much. At home, I am learning French and Spanish by myself using some useful sites which are about French and Spanish. I learn English and German at school. In short, learning a new language makes you feel better. It takes you to another world. You can enjoy learning languages. I love it very much!

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Harabeli Supersweet's picture
Harabeli Supersweet 8 November, 2013 - 14:34

It's important to know other languages, because they can open a new door to you. You can find a better job, if you can speak more foreign languages. They can help us to understand the culture and the history of a country better. And I agree with Bronya that a lot of things are lost in translation. It's better to read a book in the original version, the language that it's written. It offers us another feelings!

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Leia's picture
Leia 6 November, 2013 - 13:56

I agree with that language is important.. We can't live without languages.
Nowaday I really feel about that necessity of languages. I want to go another counrty and talk with foreign people. I think it will be veryyyyyyyyyy awesome !!!!!!

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 5 November, 2013 - 13:41

Languages're important for job, for communication between people, for interacting, if you fall in love with some foreigner, it's good to know her or his native language. For example, I heard that you couldn't marry a German and French people if you don't speak their language. Therefore, it's very important to speak some languages. The more you know, the more you'll succeed. Thanks to languages, we can read anything in foreign language that interests us and we can watch many films. Thanks to languages, we can survive at any place, and that's why I think everyone should speak at least two languages.

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