Learn a second foreign language
It’s true that English has become a global lingua franca over the past several decades. But according to the CIA World Fact Book, only 5.6 % of the world’s total population speaks English as a primary language. That means that well over four-fifths of the world’s population does not speak English. Why is it important to learn a second foreign language? To remain monolingual means to restrict your communication and thinking abilities; to limit your educational development; and to deny yourself the ability to fully appreciate and understand the world in which you live. Learning another language opens up new dimensions and opportunities and gives you perspectives that you might never have encountered otherwise. Personal, professional, economic and social considerations all point to the advantages of learning foreign languages. There are many reasons why people want to learn a foreign language: To make travel more feasible and enjoyable; To increase global understanding; To improve employment potential; To sharpen cognitive and life skills; To keep your mind healthy (learning a second language has been proven to delay the onset of dementia); To appreciate international literature, music, and film; To expand study abroad options; To make international friends; To increase understanding of different and one’s own culture; and many more.
Learning languages is much more than making yourself able to communicate with others. It’s like getting some nice new surprise and a whole new level of understanding. It’s opening the boundary of the mind. But, learning a foreign language takes time and require dedication.
If you plan to go on holiday to Vietnam, you might think that you can communicate by speaking English, so there’s no point in learning any other languages. Well, it is true if you stick to popular tourist resorts and big hotels where you can usually find someone who speaks English. However, if you want to venture beyond such popular places, going to remote places, to get to know the locals, to read road signs, restaurant menus, etc, knowing basic Vietnamese language is necessary. Learn Vietnamese language will help you to ‘get by’, i.e. to order food and drink, find your way around, buy tickets, etc. But, if you have a more advanced knowledge of the Vietnamese language, you can have real conversations with the people you meet, which can be very interesting and will add a new dimension to your holiday.