How to Put Languages to Work in Unexpected Places
We know about using languages to make our vacations better, help us become more effective communicators, and potentially as a bargaining tool to getting that raise. But what are some of the more unusual ways we can put languages to work?
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Here, there, and everywhere
Who doesn’t enjoy a little eavesdropping? Who doesn’t get automatically suspicious when someone laughs or seems to start talking fast in another language when we walk by (or is that just us?) By knowing other languages you can listen to others accidentally; this could be your serving staff at a restaurant who are talking about the menu and what is or isn’t good to eat, or the call centre staff who won’t let you off the phone. Why is this useful? Well, if you thank your serving staff and make small talk in the language they’re speaking, don’t you think your experience with them will be better? And if you aren’t sure the person on the phone quite gets what you are saying, how better to help them understand than by speaking their language? There are so many possibilities!
Whether you are in a fandom for a film or TV show, or are following sports events in another country, by speaking a second language there is an additional source for you to keep yourself up to date from. There are people to meet and discuss your interests with, interviews in magazines to read that aren’t written in English, and even chat show appearances that you will only get to enjoy if you truly understand what they are saying. There is also a lot of joy to be had in hearing commentators at events speaking in their own language, because what they have to say about athletes or red carpet attendees will often be different to what you are hearing from English-speaking commentary. If you have the opportunity to know everything about your favourite celebrities and sports stars, why not take it?
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In the news
As much as our media likes to tell us the news we read is unbiased, we all know that isn’t ever the case. So how can we truly get a picture of what is happening in the world if we are looking at it only from one point of view? Simply put, we can’t. If we speak more than one language then we can read and watch the news in that language, broadening our scope for news consumption and in doing so hopefully get a better overview of what is really happening. If you want to form an informed opinion on world events, absorbing news from people with different perspectives is really the best way to do that.
Book stores and cafe corners
If you are an avid reader, chances are there are stacks of books around your home you’re meaning to get to, or you’ve worked your way through all your recommendations and are looking for more. Bookworms are voracious and those books are never enough; why not widen the scope of what stories are available to you by reading in another language? Forget the recommended reading list from Chapters or what is trending in other English speaking countries, and embrace the top reading lists from France, Spain, Germany, or wherever your heart desires. There are hundreds of incredible authors you haven’t ever heard of, and thousands of stories just waiting to whisk you away to other worlds. Why haven’t you picked up a new book yet?
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In the comfort of your own home
Books aren’t the only way you can use your language skills to keep yourself entertained. How many of us learn a language only to use it for work or when travelling, and never use it just for fun for ourselves? If you speak a second language there are thousands of TV shows and films you can watch on Netflix and other services, without needing to change the language or watch with subtitles. If you’re bored of your current Spotify list you have so many artists to choose from if you listen to your favourite genre in a language other than English. There are blogs to read, recipes to create amazing dinners from, and all manner of other things you have probably only ever considered doing or reading about in English. Put your language skills to work for you, doing the things you already love.
If you are learning a language and want to get more confident for an upcoming trip or any of our suggestions above, why not drop us a quick enquiry to see how our courses can help!