The Importance of Learning a second Language

Merchant traders for thousands of years have known that understanding the language of another land yields more profit in more ways than the obvious. Today, some will no doubt wonder why bother when the world is already speaking English?

A sound argument indeed but learning to speak other languages goes beyond the need to communicate. Imagine touring a foreign country and not being able to pick up a word of what is being spoken. Will that not create a feeling of being lost and insecure? There are many reasons why learning another language is beneficial.  

®     “A different language is a different vision of life.” – Federico Fellini, Italian film director

Quite early on in life, this writer learnt the importance of assimilating a second language. At the age of seven this writer was uprooted from Greece and brought to the US. Despite the many complications that immigration creates in a child, in the end it was one of life’s blessings. Learning to speak the English language, let alone living among Americans, opened up a great new world. It was as if stepping onto another planet. Learning English brought about a better understanding and respect for the English speaking nation that was now my new family as well as this writer’s mother tongue.

I was lucky enough to live in the US, but learning to speak the language from one’s own home country is just as beneficial. Not only is it beneficial for the one learning but also for the country whose language is being learnt. Viewing the world through the mentality of other people earns respect and understanding for that nation. It is an understanding of those encompasing one that develops better relationships among people and nations. 

®     Greater job opportunity

Having knowledge of Spanish, German or French will definitely get your foot in the door of opportunity at a well paying job. Any way one looks at it, it is an asset. In Greece, children are taught English along with Greek from the first year of primary school. Although it is a bit too early, it nevertheless brings the English speaking nations much closer to these children. It also develops an affinity towards those nations and people. 

Long before the financial crisis jobs were hard to come by. Therefore, the more assets one had, the better qualified one would be. In Europe, learning German was, and is, the second most important language as far as business is concerned. Nowadays, many are also learning Chinese broadening their horizons towards the East.

The reasons for learning another language are different for every individual, the outcome the same. One becomes a better person for it and benefits in several ways as well as uniting nations. Writing from hard stricken Greece, this writer can attest to being one of the lucky ones to still be standing on the line of the employed due to the English language. And through it opening the minds and hearts of students to the world.