The prospect of learning a new language – especially if you currently only speak your native one – can be daunting. However, it’s never too late to start, and perhaps no better time to begin than whilst you’re still at university with all of its support and resources. Here’s three reasons to begin learning a new language today… By Ciara Brodie
Additional skills on your CV and cover letter will always make your job application stand out a little bit more than previously. But a language, in particular, is a skill that employers actively look for. Companies are more mobile than ever, as technology has made it possible to explore business opportunities all over the world. Offering a language allows you as an employee to tap into new markets and start more conversations.
What’s more, it says a lot about you as an individual. In addition to your university studying, taking on a language is not necessary but doing it shows that you are willing to go the extra mile. You are curious about the world around you, and open to new cultures. If you’re an English-speaker, it’s easy to be complacent as English is the majority-spoken language across the world. Practising an additional language can be particularly difficult when it is so easy to fall back into English. But perseverance is highly sought by employees, and this could just give you the extra edge over other candidates applying for your job.
Some would say that languages are a form of art, and you can deduce a lot more from them than just a simple translation. The way a certain language expresses emotion or conveys an opinion, can give you a unique insight into a different culture. Thus, when learning a new language it is important to acknowledge the cultural context of the places where that language is spoken.
In the UK, for example, we often apologise for very small things like slightly bumping into another person. This is much less common in other languages, and thus English is often seen as being overly-polite whereas other languages are much more direct.
Learning another language will allow you to immerse yourself in a completely new culture. You can read news articles, watch films and listen to the radio. Through media, you can gain a different perspective on matters that you are already familiar with from your native media’s outtake.
Meeting new people
Just think how many more people you can engage with an additional language. Our incredible, and a very big, international community and Warwick is a testament to how learning English has given them access to an entirely new country and education system. When I am struggling with an assignment, I often think of my friends who are completing it in a language that is not their mother-tongue. That’s when I realise how much of a skill they have!
Perhaps learning a new language will give you access to new careers, further education, or even just the opportunity to travel and explore the world in whatever way you would like.
Exams are finally over. Do you have any ideas about what to do over summer? How about learning a new language? Tweet us at @warwicklibrary, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.
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