The Beauty of Knowing Different Languages Fahmida Mehreen
Communication starts even before a person is born. Right from inception, a person communicates in different modalities like a kick in the womb, a little movement, and more. In infancy, a cry, a burst of laughter, an expression, everything counts as a way of communication. Gradually, people grow up and learn to talk. Now, that is a complex part. Humans tend to learn the language they are most exposed to, much often, it is their mother tongue. They hear people talk to them and around them, and that is how the sensory information is interpreted. Talking starts with the process of putting thoughts into the right words, forming a meaningful sentence, and then actually making the mouth move to utter the correct sound.
Language, on the other hand, is a method of communication, which can be either be spoken or written and comprises the use of words in a structured and conventional way. It can be country-specific or even community-specific. Some countries have more than one language like, in India, there are about twenty-two languages! Going further comes dialect. It is a certain form of language that acts as a local language for a particular area or a social group. Speaking and writing are the two wings of language. Just like the way people learn to speak, they also learn to write. Going to schools and starting formal and non-formal education is the starting point of learning the alphabets and other components of writing.
The world today is like one big village. Even though there are about 6,500 languages all around the globe, communication today is no big deal. Why? That is so because the people have resorted to simpler ways like communicating in English, which is the world’s local language. English is a global language and acts as a second language in most parts of the world. Schools and other educational institutions worldwide teach English as a second language. Besides English, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, German, Chinese/Mandarin, Japanese, and many more languages are actively taught and learned as second languages.
Needless to say, knowing one’s own mother tongue is essential. It is not only a part of a person’s identity but also a matter of pride. But, besides having good knowledge and skills in the mother language, one must cater to his or her need to know second languages. Typically, by the second language, we understand English. Well, it stands true for a major part, but there can be other options depending on where you are, where you want to go, and what you want to do. The popularity of English is sky-high. Every school in Bangladesh teaches English with English medium and English version schools running their full curriculum in English. So is the case in most other countries. At the same time, schools are also offering other language courses to their students. The question comes, why do we need to learn so many languages?
The answer is quite simple. We live in an integrated world. In every sphere of life, we are bound to communicate with different people in different parts of the world who speak different languages. One language cannot merely solve the purpose. Thus, for the ease and flexibility, we have to give our effort in learning second languages. It is not possible to learn all the languages, of course, but knowing that one common language is mandatory. The ability to communicate in more than one language is an added skill that can benefit a person in getting prospective jobs. Not only that, the job options do not only remain confined within the boundaries of their own country but expand beyond borders. Studying and residing abroad is less hassle if one is accustomed to the local language. Starting from finding the right accommodation, the right food, to the right place to work and study becomes stress-free. Local people are more comfortable in offering help. Availing medical service is also more prompt if the language is not a barrier. At the same time, one’s own confidence is boosted when they are fluent in a language and can communicate without any hitch.
While traveling in different parts of the world, knowing English is a must. Even if one cannot speak the local language of the country or the region, English will act as a savior. Many times, knowing the local language can help to save up travel costs. Right after landing at the airport, finding transport to a good local hotel at an affordable price becomes a simpler deal when communicating in the local language. At the same time, knowing and understanding the culture is easier when the local language is known. In some places, local people prefer to speak their own language instead of a foreign language. Therefore, learning how to speak the local language is good for a start. For a tourist, written language may not be as important as a spoken language. However, knowing the written language will come with the benefits of reading signs on the road, reading billboards, understanding maps, etc. But, for a student and someone trying to find a job, it is best to learn both spoken and written language. Otherwise, the struggle will continue to be a setback in the long run.
In addition, knowing a second language will eventually allow one to teach that language. As we can see, with the rapid need for learning English, the need for English teachers and instructors have also gone up significantly. Teaching English as Foreign Language (TEFL), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL), and many other English teaching courses are now popular like never before. The courses are well accredited on both physical and online platforms, and people from every corner of the world are engaging in it. Having a TEFL or TESOL experience allows a person to apply for teaching jobs in different parts of the world where learning English is high in demand. Come to think of it – learning a language can give you a breakthrough to start your career abroad! You can have a better life with better facilities, including a higher salary. Along with serving your personal needs, knowing a second language will also benefit others at large.
In today’s competitive and dynamic world, everything is progressing at rocket speed. One may not afford to slow down in order to catch up with the world. Hence, without further ado, it is best to explore different languages. The Internet has made it a one-click solution. Identify your desires and the ways you can address it. Consider the language options. The best part about learning a language is, it is never too late, and it is always fun!