We’ve all been there. Watching a friend confidently order the tapas…struggling to by a train ticket in Berlin…trying a few half-formed French phrases until someone inevitably responds in English…and thinking: THIS IS THE YEAR I FINALLY LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE. Well, the great thing is…it’s never too late. And maybe you just needed a helping hand all this time?
Babbel, the #1 selling language learning app, teaches you a lot more than just vocab words. It helps you truly understand a new language and discover its people, places, culture, history and more. In addition to app-based lessons, you can also learn through games, podcasts, videos and even live virtual online classes with top teachers – Babbel Live. It’s a flexible, engaging and enjoyable way to explore a new language.
Need an extra push to get started?
Here are 12 reasons why 2022 should finally be your year…
1. Travel is back!
Haven’t you heard? Travel is back! Contiki are back on the road and our travellers are enjoying the myriad cultures of the world once more. So what better time to start working on those phrases? There’s just something about being in a new city and being able to converse – even simply – with the locals. Sometimes it’s the difference between feeling like a tourist and a traveller. Mesero, dos cervezas, por favor.
2. It can help you connect with your heritage
Many of us can trace our roots to all corners of the world, and learning a new language is a great way to tap into that cultural heritage. We’ve had plenty of travellers over the years (for example) taking a Contiki to Italy when they grew up in Australia, and truly reconnecting with their nonna’s culture for the very first time. It’s a pretty special thing to watch, and being able to speak the local lingo only makes that connection even more personal.
3. There are more ways to learn than ever.
Whether you’re a visual or aural learner, or both, it doesn’t really matter these days. There are so many ways to learn, from apps to videos to face-to-face teaching. Babbel alone has added new Live classes and vocabulary review games in recent months, giving you learning options that fit your lifestyle, whatever your preferred way of picking things up.
4. It’s good for your brain!
Be honest. Since school, when was the last time you learned something genuinely new? We all know learning anything is a good way to stay mentally sharp, but language learning has extra benefits. Flexing and expanding those linguistic pathways is good for the brain, and it’s little wonder people who study languages ward off dementia and improve their ability to multitask. Think of it as a lil’ gym workout for that most important muscle of all.
5. It’s good for your career
Knowing a second or third language can be a huge boost if you’re on the job hunt. You’d be surprised how many doors open for you across the world when you can understand other languages better. (You’ll usually find that bi/trilingual people get paid more dolla, too).
6. You can do it anywhere
Trust us, it’s going to be much more convenient than your flirtation with learning the sax, or how to paraglide, or when you panic-bought a peloton during the pandemic. Language learning is portable in every sense. Do a lesson on your phone, swap to flashcards and even just translate the world around you in your head.
7. It shows you care
Sometimes, speaking someone else’s language can just show you care. Yeah, your new friend’s English might be good, but to understand their culture enough to be able to speak even some of their language can be a mark of respect. It shows you’re willing to make an effort, and can help you get to know someone even better.
8. There’s SO much to read that isn’t in English
Proust. García Márquez. Cervantes. Baudelaire. There are thousands of classics out there that just read sooo much better in the original. Plus, only three per cent of books published in the United States are in translation, which means there are many great works of literature you can only read in the mother tongue. Why not give it a try? It’s a great way to speed up your learning, too.
9. It’s a good bonding activity
Maybe you’ve got a friend who’s expressed interest in tackling Spanish. Or maybe they are Spanish and can give you some tips. Or maybe you want to meet new people and go out in search of a tandem partner. Starting a new project with someone is a great way to spend time together. Either way, language learning with another person will help you keep your motivation up, and you can get and give feedback as you go.
10. It'll teach you about yourself
Did you know people who can speak more than one language have greater empathy? Some people even say that their personality is subtly different in another language. It may not change you as a person, but it’ll definitely help you grow as a person – and it just might change your life.
11. It helps you avoid the tourist traps
From being able to politely explain you’re not interested in something, to being able to converse like a true local at the nearby market, being multilingual helps you avoid the tourist traps everyone else seems to get caught in. So why not sit in that once-intimidating Parisian cafe, order a pastry, and read your Camus in the original French? Show off.
12. The world needs more connections!
The most important one of all. The last few years there have been barriers put up all over the world. Once the pandemic is truly over, language is one of the best tools for breaking barriers down. It won’t solve all of the problems that exist, but it’s a step in the right direction. We all need to feel a bit more connected right now.