Published on December 22nd, 2012 | by Charu Suri4
The Benefits of Learning Languages (Infographic)
As a child growing up in India, I was surrounded by languages.
Vannakam. Welcome. Bienvenue.
French, Tamil, English were some staples I was exposed to, and it never occurred to me that reading vendor signs, banner advertisements and billboards in both the English and translated versions was anything special. And then when I lived in Nigeria, another British colony, where I primarily spoke English but also learned a bit of Yoruba, the local dialect.
I’m sad to say that although I do speak a fair number of languages, including Modern Greek, French, Tamil, a smattering of Hindi and also Latin (there was a time during my college days where I spoke Latin with the Papal Secretary for three months in Italy: a glorious, dreamy and historic period in my life), I don’t know Spanish which is by far the most relevant one to know in America today.
Thanks in part to my language skills, I was able to travel as a young girl to several countries and mingle with the locals with ease. I spent three months in Athens, Greece, learning the language and trekking to Parnassus where I got 2,500 drachmas off a statue of Athena simply because I spoke Modern Greek. Languages also help you bargain with ease, and the vendors are less skeptical to think of you as a bumbling tourist, but more of someone who is sensitive to their culture, and eager to really learn their ways.
Learning languages is not simply about showing off to your friends that you can wish them Good Morning in various tongues; learning languages helps you with jobs, and of course, travel. Many travelers have told me how much easier journeying through India would be if they spoke at least Hindi, although in the case of India, the colonial vestige has blessed us with English as a unifying language.
Learning many languages clearly has benefits, as demonstrated by this Infographic. Danke, Dhanyavad, Merci for reading.
This post made possible by Kaplan International.