Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Benefits of Learning a New Language

Benefits of Learning a New Language

¿Hablas español?

Parlez-vous français?

你會說中文嗎?

Have you ever thought of learning a new language? Do you want to learn something new and useful in the new year? You’re at the right place!

I have been learning French for about half a year now, and I feel like it’s an excellent thing to do in your spare time and a great experience. I started learning French because France is famous for its bread and patisserie products (I’m studying the course Bakery and Patisserie Technology) and I would love to visit France one day if I got the chance.

Learning a new language is not easy. For me, the most challenging part when learning French is pronunciation. I’m a Cantonese native speaker, and I have learned English and Mandarin since I was small, but French is a tricky one, particularly the ‘R’ sound in French. The ‘R’ sound in French is nothing like any language I know. It is pronounced using your throat, which I’m not used to. Anyway, I still enjoy the process, and there are actually many benefits of learning a new language…

a) Great for travelling

Communication is probably the hardest part when you travel to a country that speaks a language you don’t know. If you learn a new language, even if it’s just the basics, it will make a difference when you’re travelling. At least you can understand the signs or ask someone if you got lost, it is also nice if you know how to say thank you in their language.

b) Meet new friends

You can make new friends by learning a new language. You can meet new people during your class in your home country, or you may also connect with people from around the world. It’s simple nowadays, with the internet and social media, you can easily make friends with the same interest or hobby.

c) Train your brain 

Being bilingual or multilingual will make your brain more healthy, involved, and actively engaged! Learning a new language will train both hemispheres of your brain, improving your memories, critical thinking, multi-tasking, and problem-solving skills. This may also help delay the onset of certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia! Check out more about the benefits of a bilingual brain here.

d) Open to new opportunities

Learning a new language will open doors to opportunities, for example, studying or working abroad. It would be impossible for me to study in the UK if I didn’t know English. So, if you want to capture every opportunity, start by learning a new language!

e) Why not?

Finally, why not? It’s much more accessible to learn a new language now. There are plenty of videos on YouTube. You can also listen to music or join some online classes; you don’t even have to step out of our house. Why are you still thinking? Start today!

 

(Btw, there’s an app I would recommend if you want to learn a new language – Duolingo. Many languages are available on this app, and you get to learn a new language just by spending 10-15 mins every day!)

See you next week~

Hoi Yan

 



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