Languages being a big subject of interest for U&L, I will try, every now and then, to convince my readers to learn a new one. This is definitely not going to be an easy task as I can hear many of you objecting :
1- I’m never going to make it !
2- It’s way too difficult !
3- I will sound silly and people will make fun of me.
4- I am not even good at my own language, how could I learn a new one ?
But these are all wrong reasons. And this is what I would reply to each point :
1- You’ll never know if you don’t give it a try.
2- No it’s not. You can learn at your own pace. If you really have the will to learn, you’ll manage. It’s all a question of motivation.
3- This is a source of progress : chances are, if you look silly once, you won’t ever make the same mistake again !
4- Being good at grammar in your own language could certainly help but who knows, you might find that the grammar of another language is more suited to your way of thinking ?
And here are some of the many advantages of learning a new language :
– it opens your mind, you can form new thoughts, create new associations.
– travelling abroad will feel completely different if you know the language of your country of destination. You will be able to integrate, understand what is going on, share views with natives and realise that a lot of things you took for granted at home are different. Instead of complaining about things being different, you will try to adapt and therefore become much more flexible.
– Multilinguistic jokes are great fun, especially words meaning one thing in your native language and a completely different one in the language you are learning. Here is an example :
“ku” in Norwegian means “cow” but “cul” pronounced exactly the same way means “ass” in French.
“pute” means “pillow” in Norwegian, while it means “prostitute” in French.
The more languages you learn, the more cross-cultural jokes you’ll master. OK, I’ll grant you that you may at times look weird, grinning to yourselft at a cross-language word association you’ve made; My advice : don’t even try to explain why you are smiling, you’ll confuse people who will start wondering about your sanity.
– I hope you are convinced to learn a new language by now, if not, I’ll try a more dramatic approach : it can save your life !
Do you have examples of words meaning one thing in a language and something else in another ? Please leave a comment and share !