Why Learn Spanish (or another language)? 1 Reason That's Not Always Talked About

Why learn Spanish? I’ve heard Sean Cannell say several times that we overestimate what we can do in 1 year, and we underestimate what we can do in 3. Learning Spanish helps me develop the discipline of doing projects that last more than 5 minutes, 5 hours or 10 hours. It helps me be content with getting long term benefits after learning something for at least 1,000 hours, and this experience and mentality is very helpful to have in learning other complex subjects.

I share more thoughts in this short video I created here: Why Learn Spanish? 1 Reason That's Not Always Talked About - YouTube

What is your strongest or most unique reason why someone should learn a foreign language?


Here is a few.

  1. It is good for the brain.

I don’t have any specific studies to point to but I do believe it is safe to say that being active in using your brain is good for your mental health.

  1. It teaches discipline och patience

Based on my experience going to community college, I dare say that a big reason why so many people drop of in the first two months in absolute beginner classes is because they feel it is not worth the effort. But according to my observations (Steve has mentioned this as well) it takes time for the brain to process the stimulus (information) that you flood the brain with. This takes time so in order to be successful you need to be patient.

In terms of discipline I would hope that it would seep through to some other areas as well. However, I am right now very motivated to improve and achieve C1 certificates in a few languages by May 2020. It requires me to put a lot of time to work on my languages that I would use watching Netflix and etc.

I have caught myself many times in the last months or so watching something and feeling that I am not really that interested in watching this, before I would probably keep watching anyways and fritter the time away. Now I buckle down and study, at first it might be tough to get say two hours of studying but before you know it once it becomes a habit, it becomes easier, to reach your daily targets.


Number one is that I’m just interested, like most people here I’d imagine.

Other reasons:

  1. More opportunities to collaborate with with other physics peeps around the world (even though they all speak English).
  2. Side business. Not necessary but couldn’t hurt.
  3. Better depth of experience while traveling.
  4. Heritage reasons.
  5. Future big dream project of mine requires at least rudimentary knowledge of many languages.
  6. Increased romantic opportunities
  7. Ego-being able to say I know another language is impressive
  8. Want to buy a house or at least live part time in my favorite country outside the US, Norway.
  9. Large amount of exposure to a few languages (Vietnamese, etc) that makes me feel like I should’ve learned it, so …guilt.
  10. To try something completely different
  11. I like the sound of the language
  12. I like the writing system of the language
  13. I like the land/people where the language is spoken
  14. The language was featured in a book or movie I like
  15. Childhood dream (Irish, Icelandic, Danish, Japanese)

Based on your known word count in LingQ, it looks like you’re seeking to be pretty serious in your language learning. How are you pursuing your C1 certificates? Are you going to take your tests online, and have you taken tests like this before?

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Ryanaissance, you might have already seen this video, but even Mark Zuckerberg learned Chinese, so definitely learning a foreign language doesn’t hurt in our increasingly connected world. Here’s the video of Mark Zuckerberg speaking Chinese, btw: Mark Zuckerberg speaks fluent Mandarin during Q&A in Beijing - YouTube

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Yeah, languages are a huge passion of mine, on its own and it also ties together with my other passions as well, history, food and wine, traveling and a few other things as well.

I have never taken these sorts of tests before. There are some online tests but as far as I know none of them are considered official, they will only give a general idea of your level. Some languages have prestigious language institutes that offer real certified certifications that are valid in say job interviews.

To name a few there is Institution de Cervantes (for Spanish), L’alliance Française (for French), Goethe institute (for German), then for lesser studied languages there is some sort of EU based organisation that offers languages tests for languages like Bulgarian or Dutch and so on. My reasons for getting these sorts of certificates are largely based on ego, I feel it is good to have the certificates since talk is cheap and proof is in the pudding.

The way I plan to prepare myself for the tests is to scour through meticulously a few comprehensive grammar books in the target languages and write down every grammar rule down with examples in a word document.

Essentially, I am building own personalized grammar books, it sounds crazy and to an extent it probably is but I love grammar and my ultimate goal is to become sort of “amateur linguist (in the academic sense)”.

The benefit is that I will have all the rules in one place no matter how minuscule or seemingly nit-picky.
It has taken up a lot of time but when I do it in small outburst of sessions it is significantly more efficient. Once I have gotten this project done, I will proceed to listen to lots of podcasts, watch “TV” (YouTube/news channel streams), read, essentially just enjoy and the fruits of my labor.

If there is something, I am unsure of (in terms of grammar), I know exactly where to find the information within a few seconds. I will probably have to look up lots of idioms and phrases but that is quite fun. It is like owning your own business “you work hard at first so that you can take it easy further down the line” (at least the ideal scenario). Again, like owning a business, this method is not suitable for everyone and I have specifically tailored it to my strengths.

I am not only interested in languages themselves but also in linguistics and I like finding out what do different languages from languages families have in common and what separates them. So that is another advantage to have grammar rules in a uniformal way indexed, where it is easy to directly compare.

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