Learning a New Language

Gemma M.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to speak another language? It may seem scary and challenging at first, but once you look at it more, you will see that it is not actually that bad. In this article I will talk about languages you can learn, how to learn them, and why you should learn one. 

Languages to Learn

So you want to learn a language, but what languages should you learn? The most common spoken language in the world is English, but if you can read this article, then you already know English. The second most common language to learn is Mandarin Chinese. However, Mandarin is one of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers because of its high amount of characters and learning how to pronounce them. So what benefits will there be in learning Mandarin? As I stated before, Mandarin is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world, so it would come in handy if one day you need to talk to someone that only knows Chinese. This can also come in handy for jobs. Maybe someone you work with is fluent in Chinese but has trouble speaking English. You could talk to them through Chinese if it is more helpful for them. If you want to travel to China then knowing this language would be very important, but you can also do things like watch your favorite Television shows and listen to your favorite songs and know what they mean. The third most common language is Hindi, it is also one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn, but if you already know another commonly spoken language, Arabic, then it may be a bit easier to learn since some Hindi words are similar to Arabic words. The use for learning this language is similar to why you should learn Mandarin Chinese. A lot of people speak it and it will come in handy for jobs, and travel. Another one of the most popular languages to learn is Spanish. Spanish is actually one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers, and Mexico is a very common travel location. Here in Wantagh Middle School, Spanish is a language option for you to take as a class. Spanish is also spoken in many other countries such as Argentia, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Chile. The final language that I will discuss is French. Since French is a romance language(as well as Spanish), it is a fairly easy language for English speakers to learn. France is also a beautiful country with lots of museums and architecture. If you learn French, then it will also be easier for you to to learn other romance languages being Spanish, Italian, Romanian, and Portuguese. 

How to Learn a Language

So you have decided what language you want to learn, but that still leaves the question of how to learn it. As stated when I talked about Spanish, in Wantagh Middle School we have language classes that we are assigned to take, and we had a choice of Spanish, French, or Italian. If you want further knowledge on your language, then you can use apps on your cell phone to help you learn. Some apps I recommend are Pimsleur, LingoDeer, and if your target language is Japanese, then RoboKana. Pimsleur is an app where you listen to people speak your language and repeat as they say, however, you do need a subscription to use it. LingoDeer is also a great app, but I would recommend just using it to dip your toes into your language, so you can see what it is like, this app does also cost money to use. As for RoboKana, this app is only used if you want to learn Japanese, but if you do want to learn Japanese, then this app is highly recommended by me. When using this app you draw out the different characters to whichever alphabet you select of the three, Hiragana, Katakana, and some Kanji characters. This app also costs money to fully use (It is very much worth it for these three apps though!) Please keep in mind that these apps may not have your target language! Some commonly known apps are Duolingo and Roseta Stone. Even though these apps are very popular, I only recommend you use them if you take a long break from your language and just need a quick refresh. To my luck, when I told my sister I wanted to learn Japanese, she gave me an old textbook of hers that she used when she tried to learn Japanese, the Genki textbook, which I recommend. You can also learn from YouTube videos. I recommend some basic vocabulary videos if you want to learn some new words, and channels like “Learn Spanish with SpanishPod101.com”, “Learn French with FrenchPod101.com”, “Learn Chinese with ChineseClass101.com” etc. 

Why learn a new language?

In the Languages to Learn section, I had stated many reasons why you should learn a language, but if you still aren’t sure you want to learn one, I will explain more reasons why you should learn one. One reason is that you can get a better memory. If you have been studying character and character or reminding yourself of proper grammar, then remembering these things will improve your memory a lot. Another reason is that it can help your English get better. Things like sounding out words and remembering how to spell English words will help you a lot. You will also be more creative, if you have been learning a lot about culture too then you will get more creative. You may also find new things you like, like fashion styles and foods, seeing other cultures really can show you new things.

In conclusion, there are many ways that you can learn a new language, many reasons why you should learn them, and plenty of languages for you to learn. Learning new languages may seem hard and almost impossible when you first look at it but once you set a goal for yourself and don’t stop trying, it may take a while, but the outcome is definitely worth it. So if you want to learn a language then there is nothing stopping you from downloading an app or watching a video.