Language changes thoughts
“Change your language and you change your thoughts.” –Karl Albrecht
Learning and knowing a foreign language besides your mother tongue is an extra point for an individual. It represents a huge advantage and will make you outstand from “the crowd”. Some might think it is just a waste of time learning a new language which apparently you won’t be practicing when your circle of friends are speaking in your mother tongue or perhaps English. It is undeniable that English is the most common language in the world. Speakers of this language can be found anywhere, whether native or non-native. English was introduced to Malaysia due to colonization and has become the second language since then. English is widely used as an international language and as well as the language in exchanging knowledge and technology as well.
So why is it so important to learn a third language when you have mastered your English as a second language? Many of us have this question in mind.
I remember myself back during my second year in the university. Choosing a third language subject was the critical part. Either to choose to stay with my friends and ended up in a class where you’re not interested to learn the language or to be on your own and enjoy your third language classes. So I choose the latter. I enjoyed learning Mandarin as my third language subject. I learnt new vocabulary everyday and practiced to speak in Mandarin with my roommates whenever I had quizzes the next day. After a few years, I am no longer able to speak fluent Mandarin due to lack of practicing. On the side note, I still remember and able to recall basic Mandarin vocabulary.
In European countries for example, they are able to master up to 4 languages which are English, French, German and Italian. This is simply amazing! In recent studies, the ability to speak in many languages showed that the advantage of multilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. It turns out that such language skill makes one smarter and has profound effect on your brain as it improves cognitive skills and will prevent one from getting dementia in old age.
Nevertheless, young generations mastering a third language are purely an advantage. You would be able to apply the knowledge in writing, reading and speaking. It may be hard at first but you will never regret it. I believe in this increasingly globalized world, learning to speak more than 2 languages has its own benefits.
Here are some of the most important advantages:
- A better paid job, maybe in a foreign country or even “at home”;
- Developed your communication skills
- Improved your general knowledge
- Developed your self-esteem
Apparently the list could go on forever and ever…
In a nutshell, I strongly believe that mastering a third language would make one to be able to discover knowledge and able to understand people and their cultures as well. A person can succeed if she can express herself in a language that others understand.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language that goes to his heart.” ‒Nelson Mandela