Important? Well….. Maybe a bit exaggerated. What I do know is that learning a new language opens a new door of opportunities, friends and experiences. I might as well use myself as a case study.
I speak two languages fluently, English and Yoruba (my Nigerian native language), and a third language that is not considered “a language” by some people. It is known as “Pidgin English”, and quite a number of people speak it. One of the reasons why it is not considered “a language” is because it is not being taught. It is a language you pick up by immersing yourself in the environment where it is being spoken.
I was proud of the fact that I speak two languages not until I arrived in France, and realized that the only word I knew was “Bonjour”, which is “Hello” in English. Nothing is as annoying as being at a place where you do not understand the spoken language. IT IS ANNOYING AND FRUSTRATING!!! The reason I did not get depressed was because as a full blooded Nigerian, it takes more than not understanding a language to get you thinking about depression, not to talk of actually getting depressed.
As depicted in the picture above, “Bonjour” is said during the day, in a formal setting, and to greet someone you are not familiar with. “Salut” is said at anytime in an informal setting, among most likely friends or close colleagues. “Bonsoir” is used the same way as “Bonjour”, except that it is said in the evening or at night. “Allo” is used over the phone in a formal way, and “Coucou” is said at anytime in an endearing manner. Funny thing is that they all mean “Hello” in English *sighs*.
So, I decided that I was going to learn French because I need it to communicate with the locals and for work purposes. It has not been easy, but I get better everyday. French and grammar are two peas in a pod. Conjugations, rules, conditions, pronunciations, etc., could get me frustrated sometimes, but I will get a hang of with time.
Image by: kimchicloud
Another language I have started learning is Korean all because of Korean dramas. HOW I LOVE KOREAN DRAMAS! Anyway, I am at the stage where I can read the characters and pronounce them well. I also plan on travelling to Korea at some point in my life. Definitely, the Korean grammar is different from English and French grammars, I hope to conquer it too.
Learning a new language is all about dedication and perseverance. I cannot count how many times I gave up on the continual learning process of a language. Also, having a reason to learn a language would be the fuel that drives you. My reason for learning French is to work and communicate with the locals. Korean? because I love Korean dramas and some songs (not KPOP), and there are cute guys in Korea too *winks*. I really hope to get better in these languages so that I can be multi-lingual.
Cheers to those learning a new language, I feel your struggle. To those who aren’t, the world would not end if you do not. Like I previously mentioned, it is exaggerated to necessarily learn one.