Talking, Talking, we are Getting Better

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Speaking is an innate human skill, which allow us to perform the basic function of communicating to stablish relationships. Without language, we could not develop as a community. Now, in a world so wide and full of different cultures, there are more than twenty-five million idiomatic expressions [1] , which forces us to learn more than the “mother language”. However, why does this practice improve our mental health?

According to [2] , there are 12 types of languages: Argot, cant, colloquial language, creole, dialect, jargon, lingo, lingua franca, patois, pidgin, slang and vernacular. Bussu [3]  publishes the top 12 most spoken languages in the world: English, 1,132 million; Mandarin, 1,117 million; Hindi, 615 million; Spanish, 534 million; French, 280 million; Arabic, 274 million; Bengali, 265 million; Russian, 258 million; Portuguese, 199 million and Indonesian, 170 million.

The University of North Georgia [4]  give us twenty-five reasons to study foreign languages, some of them are: studying a foreign language will improve your chances of getting a job, the study of foreign languages boosts confidence, foreign languages provide a competitive edge in career choices, as immigration increases we need to prepare for changes in society, the study of foreign languages teaches and encourages respect for others, one participates more effectively and responsibly in a multi-cultural world if one knows another language.

Why we should learn a second language? According to the Middlebury Language Schools [5]  “we live in a multilingual world, where connections are now more important than ever. The world is becoming increasingly globalized and knowing a second language can always give you an unfair advantage”. The University Languages Portal Australia[6]  affirms that, “learning a language does not just involve memorizing a long list of vocabulary, studying tricky grammatical structures and [7] getting immersed in another culture, and discovering a new way of looking at the world associated with a new way of speaking”. 

But how can this practice help us in our mental health? According to Language Network [8] :

  1. “Learning a new language pushes you to expose yourself to new expressions, ideas and people. You can strengthen connections and form relationships without leaving your home. This can be highly beneficial for your wellbeing while helping fight anxiety and depression”.
  2. “When you are learning a new language, your brain literally becomes stronger because the integrity of the white matter increases. Eventually, you strengthen the white matter of your brain; this can delay dementia symptoms by more than four years”.
  3. “When people study a foreign language, they usually become more open-minded which leads to less prejudiced opinions.”
  4. “When you learn [9] a new language, you have to overcome many psychological barriers and get past the insecurity of attempting something new. As you learn, your confidence in your abilities grows”.

It is never too late to learn, that is why we give you eight tips to learn a new language[10] : Set your language goals, learn common vocabulary, find a style that works for you, practice speaking, connect with a native speaker, consume media, engage with the culture, and make travel plans.









 [8]This makes no sense…. “Toy”? should it be “you”???


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