Have you ever thought about the benefits of learning foreign languages? Have you been turned away from a job due to your insufficient language level? Have you travelled to another foreign country and just about managed to get by using non-verbal language and four words of English? Don’t be shy, learn languages! Don’t be afraid and take the plunge!
Languages are a communication vehicle that can connect cultures, break down borders and offer specific benefits for your brain.
Language involves two types of brain activity: firstly, there is “creative” activity, as you build phrases (this belongs to the right hemisphere of the brain, which is more emotional, social and creative) and the activity that activates the left hemisphere (more analytical, logical and rational) that has to do with knowledge and applying grammar rules. Furthermore, we must take into account that there is a difference between a person who learns two languages from early childhood, as the areas of the brain associated with language are not fully developed, as opposed to someone who learns two languages during their youth, with an intermediate level of development, as the brain is no longer like a “sponge” as people say colloquially. If the second language is learned in adulthood, the person acquires it by subordinating it and adapting the foreign language to the system of the mother tongue.
Languages make you richer. Perhaps not financially, but on a personal level, as well as making you more competitive. Languages are very highly valued today, in a world where there are about 7,000 languages actively spoken, and 23 which are predominant (these include English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Hindi, Arabic, French, German, etc.). For example, are you thinking about working or studying abroad? So, do not let languages be a barrier when they can be a gateway to your future. You will probably not become bilingual within two months or a polyglot within three but perseverance when learning languages will be your greatest ally and will open up new pathways and horizons.
Therefore and because one of our aims is to make more people aware of the importance of languages, at our website we would like to tell you about some applications (apps) that encourage and enable the study of foreign languages:
1. Duolingo: is a free language-learning system that makes it possible to learn vocabulary, grammar and syntax from beginner level upwards using practice texts adapted to your language level.
2. Busuu: is a service that offers online language learning with a wide selection of choices including Japanese, Arabic and Chinese. The video-conference talks between the user community are one of the keys to its success, with 40,000 different users each day.
3. Lingua.ly: is a free application for Google Chrome that allows you to read articles, select words that the user can then add to their own dictionary and learn the definition as well as the phonetic pronunciation. The application will suggest new articles to read as the user gradually progresses and rises up levels.
4. Other platforms that allow you to learn languages using interaction and contact with users in different countries in order to practice languages with video-conferences or chat are Italki and LiveMocha.