Learning a new language will open doors for you to travel, discover the world, be open-minded. It will allow you not only to communicate with people but to better understand and apprehend their culture.
This for you will be an enormous personal enrichment. It is also a factor that allows you to develop your brain and to prevent mental and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Doing a language exchange allows you to increase your ability to understand a language and develops in you a greater ability to apprehend new languages.
By discovering these cultures you will be able to make the link with your own, to step back from what you have in your life that others don’t have in theirs and vice versa.
It can also change your relationship with others in a considerable way, in the way you interact with them because when you speak a language other than your own it brings out aspects of your personality that you may not put forward in your mother tongue.
By learning English for example you will learn that in London to say hello you don’t do anything unless you know the person there you can hug.
Unlike in France where when you don’t know a person you shake their hand and when you do know them you give them a kiss.
UNDERSTAND THE WORLD
Sometimes we hear clichés about other countries that make up our world without really being able to weigh things up, give our opinion and be objective because we don’t know the country in question or the culture.
Going on holiday to another country is not always enough to understand the culture that makes it up because you see it in a context outside of everyday life that is not very realistic.
Don’t let clichés become your first thought without being interested in the world and the different cultures by having had language exchanges during your stays.
UNDERSTANDING THE MEDIA
We have all seen the news in English or Spanish several times without even understanding a word or at least without fully understanding it.
The fact is that each country has a different way of reporting the facts which is specific to it and which is not always very objective because each country wants to embellish the situation in which it is.
Sometimes neighbouring countries report the same facts and you might discover things that you didn’t know about the subject and yet are essential to understanding your country and its role in the world.
This will help you to become an involved citizen and aware of what is going on around you.
Even on social networks, it will allow you to understand the “memes” and jokes of other countries which will make the experience of being on the internet more rewarding.
OPEN YOUR EYES
Because of globalization and technology we have become immersed in individualism that somehow “comforts” us because we are afraid of what we might discover or understand.
The fact is that it is important to open your eyes to the people around you, to the life that is unfolding before your eyes to feel that you are part of something bigger than just your personal life.
Learning a new language will open your mind and take you out of this individualism because you will feel more inclined to go to people you don’t know and talk to them, to discover them.
You will see that sometimes a simple 3-minute chat with someone you don’t know on a street corner or in a café can really brighten up your day.
DISCOVER ANOTHER VERSION OF YOURSELF
It has been proven that it is difficult to recreate the same personality in a language other than our own when we do language exchanges.
Indeed, not being used to the words and phrases of another language you will not always use the right words and expressions to describe what you are what you feel.
You will also discover parts of your personality that you didn’t know because knowing the standards of your country you don’t dare to share them.
It is a certain freedom to speak several languages because it brings you closer to yourself and to others at the same time.
The most important thing about being able to speak one or more foreign languages is that when you travel you will always be able to understand.
This will increase your self-confidence and you can be proud to be able to make yourself understood.
It will give you more confidence to learn other languages, you will feel confident and will no longer hesitate to communicate with people around you about things that were previously unknown to you.
The more you travel, the more languages you speak and the more different people you meet, the more you will be able to keep in touch with them and make linguistic exchanges on remote social networks in the language you want.
This will allow you to practice the language you are learning in a more natural way but also to keep in touch with people who remind you that you are not limited to one culture.
It can also be useful for job opportunities if you have fallen in love with the culture of the country and want to make it your own.
Written by: Lisa Lambert, Staff Writer