Learning a new language is no easy feat.
There are so many things to consider, so many apps out there, so many reasons not to learn (especially if you know English) and plenty more reasons to put it off.
But there are some really important reasons to learn a new language, particularly for us lazy English speaking people! Trust me, I’m guilty of this which is why I’m finally making time to learn Spanish, a life goal, using Rosetta Stone.
We are lucky to know the world’s most popular language but it doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from learning a new language. Here are the best reasons to learn (even the basics) of another language and one of the best ways to actually accomplish it.
Why Learn a New Language?
1. To Make New Friends
If no other reason is mentioned, this should be reason enough. Who doesn’t want new friends in a new place they are traveling around or even living in?
You don’t even need to be fluent to make the new friend. If you know the basics, you can say hello to the adorable teenager serving your fried noodles. Ask what her name is, what she’s studying, and if she has brothers and sisters.
Every time you eat at that noodle stand, I promise you that girl will want to speak with you, and probably practice her English with you as well. You can practice learning each other’s languages. This happened to me all the time during my travels in Southeast Asia and these are the moments that make your travels richer.
2. To Get Around Easier
Getting lost is a lot of fun. In fact, it’s one of my favorite things to do when I travel. Getting lost means you’re stumbling upon new places and wandering off the well-worn path.
However, sometimes you just need to get somewhere and in this situation, getting lost is the last thing you want to do. So how do you get around? Nobody understands you, you can’t even pronounce the name of the place correctly and all you’re getting is a bunch of shoulder shrugs.
Learning at least the basics and using your hands comes a long way in this situation. Especially in countries around Asia where saying “I don’t know” isn’t common. They want to help you, so sometimes they will literally just point in a direction thinking they helped.
Trust me when I say, learning a few direction words was something I immediately picked up after a few incidents!
3. To Feed Your Brain
I know, I know, you’re done with school—you did it for 12 years plus whatever college years you tacked on after that but at the risk of sounding cliche AF, never stop learning.
Your brain needs stimulation, it needs to be fed, exercised, and if you’re a traveler, what better way than to feed it knowledge of a new language?
4. To Open More Opportunities
For those galavanting long-term, I can’t tell you how valuable learning a new language is for opportunities.
I preach about working abroad on this blog a lot and I have seen how knowing multiple languages can benefit you. I’m lucky enough to know English, the most universal language.
I’m forever grateful I was fortunate enough to be born with this mother tongue but even people as lucky as me aren’t so lucky if it’s the only language we know.
If you’re looking at working abroad, knowing another language like French, Spanish, Arabic, or Mandarin will prove to be an invaluable asset for obtaining more professional ventures away from your home country.
5. To Look Good and Get Treated Differently
Literally. You’re seen in a new light when you open your mouth and say something in the local language.
I will never forget an interaction I had when I was taking my friend to a restaurant in a touristy area in Bangkok. Everyone here knew English and dealt with tourists every day but as I had been living in Thailand for a few years, I always say “hello” in Thai.
We walked into the restaurant and the host said: “Hello, welcome!” I replied Swadeeka (hello in Thai) and her eye opened wide and said, “Oh! You speak Thai?!”
Simply, by the way I said the word “hello” in her local language she could tell I wasn’t the average tourist. This can make a big difference depending on where you are and what you’re doing.
It proves you’re willing to make an effort, it makes the locals smile, it provokes further conversation, you may even get extra perks…
6. To Save Money
Yes, one of the reasons to learn a new language is to save money! How, you ask?
When negotiating for a new dress in Mexico, I made my boyfriend do the talking. My Spanish isn’t good enough (YET!) but his is pretty decent. I was happy with the price and me and the seller both were happy at the end of the transaction.
Earlier that day, I wandered away from Garrett and saw a similar dress in the same area, when I asked how much it was in English, I found the price to be much higher. I knew to walk away and that asking someone else in Spanish would prove to be a better choice.
I knew better! And this has proven itself to me over and over.
Even in Southeast Asia when walking in the market, I’d see other foreigners haggling to walk away with an item at an inflated price and when I stepped in to buy an item, I’d open my mouth in the local tongue and my price was immediately discounted.
When you can haggle in the local language, you’re guaranteed to get a more local price.
7. To Challenge Yourself
Stretch your boundaries, climb out of your comfortable bubble and walk into another world. Not just literally but mentally.
Learning a new language is no easy feat, no matter the language you’re trying to learn. But learning one will be challenging and therefore, rewarding. It’s a hurdle worth jumping over, particularly for those who enjoy traveling and getting to know places a bit deeper.
How to Learn a New Language
The ultimate way to learn a new language is to plop yourself right in the midst of everything in a new country and immerse yourself into the language immediately. There is no better teacher out there in the world than experience!
But this is not realistic for everyone out there, some want to prepare, and it would be nice to know SOME of the language before jetting off to a far away land without the slightest clue on how to even say “hello” (properly, that is!)
So the next best thing would be to prep yourself with conversation in the language—but taking classes can get pricey, finding a teacher can get tricky (they have to speak your language too!) and classes require you to be in a certain place at a certain time, even if they are online.
Enter Rosetta Stone… One of the most trusted names in language learning.
Rosetta Stone is a great middle ground between setting yourself in the middle of a foreign country and hiring a teacher—which isn’t cheap.
Learning a bit beforehand with the Rosetta Stone app, using it to continue furthering your vocabulary and knowledge once you get there, plus all the practice you’ll get on the streets is the best combo if you really want to learn a new language.
Why Is Learning a New Language With Rosetta Stone so Great?
Well, it may surprise you to learn that there’s really only one main reason. Rosetta Stone has a unique way of teaching willing students new languages.
They don’t use any other language except the one you’re learning!
This may be scary for some but I can tell you, this is the best way to learn and learn FAST. They offer a more visual learning experience pairing vocabulary words and sentences together with pictures showing exactly what the sentences are saying. Your brain is automatically “translating” what this is in your head.
It’s going to be a small challenge for some to get used to, I was a bit surprised at first myself when I sat down to my first Spanish lesson (life goals finally being achieved!) “Where is the English translation!?” I thought.
But before I knew it, my brain caught on and I wasn’t needing that extra crutch of a literal translation in my native language to learn.
Are There Any Other Benefits? Of Course!
- There’s a great price structure for those wanting to just learn to basics quickly in three months time to those who want more time. You can go at your own pace and review lessons over again to refresh or hammer down certain concepts or words.
- The audio technology is actually amazing. The hardest part of learning a new language is understanding and then being able to respond properly so the other person understands you. Rosetta Stone speaks to you and then you have to speak back. It will tell you when your pronunciation is wrong and make you say it again.
- You can log in and learn anytime. There’s no reason to be anywhere at a certain time. If 11 pm is your only time to sit down and learn then you can go for it. Want it at 6 am with your cup of coffee? You can log in then too.
- The organization is conducive to learning better and quicker. There are units and themes, such as shopping, health, family etc to make it easier to learn words that are related which are then further honed in by grammatical structures. Nothing is worse than trying to learn a jumble of vocabulary words and then randomly trying to understand complex sentence structures. Booorrrriiiing. When they are integrated in a way that just makes sense with a theme it helps to learn a new language massively.
The only thing I desire out of this app is the ability to save or have on file some of the data. Once your subscription ends, everything is gone. It would be great to at least have the lesson summary reviews available to reference as a refresher. Otherwise, this app is perfect for really diving deep into learning a new language.
We all know that this is a serious commitment of your time and money so luckily you don’t need to make any set in stone decisions right away. You can simply try Rosetta Stone for free with their demo and see how you feel about it before committing.
Learning a new language, particularly for those who travel often or live abroad, is essential. Dig in deeper than a tourist, challenge yourself, and reap the benefits and opportunity a new language provides.
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Are you trying to learn a new language? What are you studying? Let us know in the comments!
Disclaimer: This post was made in partnership with Rosetta Stone but as always, every single thing on this blog is my own real opinion without bias because nobody likes BS!
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Nina Ragusa is an adventurer, messy bun master, breakfast fan, and full-time travel blogger. She’s been abroad since 2011 and blogging on Where in the World is Nina? for nearly as long. Nina helps people like you move around the world while making money. She loves talking about how to work abroad and online to travel longer!