Did you know that learning a language helps you do more than just speak, read, write, and listen in a new way?
In addition to being one of the best investments in yourself for career and educational opportunities, learning German also has many other benefits to offer!
Here are a few ways that learning a new language, specifically German, adds value to all areas of your life!
"One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way."
Preps Your Mind to Think in New Patterns
You’ve probably heard before that English and German are related languages. Although this is true, modern-day German vs modern-day English can be quite dissimilar in spelling and word structure, making it somewhat confusing.
In fact, 58% of English vocabulary comes from Romance languages (French and Latin), while only 26% of the vocabulary is Germanic in origin! However, the sentence structure of German and the phonology of the words are very similar to English.
Here is an example where the German word looks nothing like the English word, but if you say them out loud, you have a better understanding:
English: My cat is white and orange. She is hungry.
German: Meine Katze ist weiß und orange. Sie ist hungrig.
The German sentence might look confusing, but if you pronounce it aloud, it sounds like “Mine cats ist whyss und orange. See ist hungering.”
From there, you can probably figure out what the meaning of the sentences is. And there are a lot of other words in German that sound similar to their English counterpart as well! For example:
With respect, deciphering German can seem almost like playing the “guess the word from the gibberish” game. You simply need to think a little bit more to make the connection.
Being able to make that connection is the key. Being able to listen closely, comprehend, compare the sounds/meanings you hear with the sounds/meanings you know, use context clues, and translate that into a word you know the meaning of is an extremely fine skill set.
You can more quickly understand someone with an accent, learn other languages faster, and be able to recognize the tone of voice (ie reading between the lines) easier. Overall, your charisma will increase and you will be able to adapt to new situations more easily.
Find out where you can take German classes in Pune.
Once you identify the pattern of words and grammar, you quickly grasp new vocabulary and concepts in German.
And this, of course, is a skill that can be utilised in many different areas of life! The faster you are able to identify and anticipate a pattern, the faster you will learn any skill, concept, or activity.
It will help you adapt to new situations, as you will be able to quickly identify what is going on and how to proceed. You’ll also learn any new languages you come across quicker, as you’ll be able to pick out the patterns with adeptness.
Your communication skills improve as you become more aware of grammatical patterns and intentionally create sentences to be as clear as possible.
German, specifically, opens the door for you to learn similar languages, like:
New Ways of Thinking with a Cultural Mindset
Learning a new language is more than learning how to directly translate what you would say in your native tongue into another language. That’s what Google translate is for, and we all know it can be far from perfect at times.
When you know a language, you know how to think in a whole other way with a whole new dictionary and syntax. This is helpful not only to you but to others as well.
Start taking lessons from a German language class today.
Seeing Other Perspectives
Consciously thinking from another person’s perspective is a delicate and complex skill in itself. Now add onto that the fact that the other person comes from another culture, or thinks in another language.
We may not realise it, but the way we think about things is greatly influenced by the language we use to think about the subject. This phenomenon is known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.
One of the best examples is that in the Aboriginal Australian language called Darkinyung, there are only two words for color: mining for “black” and barag for “white”. There are no words for blue, brown, yellow, red, etc.
While a person who speaks this language can obviously see different colors, how they describe their experience of color to others will be limited by the vocabulary they possess.
They might be trying to tell you about the blue sky, but they can only say that it is white in the daytime and black in the nighttime.
Other Darkinyung speakers will know exactly what that person means, while you’ll be left scratching your head wondering if the sky is a different color in Australia.
When you understand the language, you can better understand the nuance and unspoken aspects of what that person is saying. It’s like unlocking a bonus language: the hidden language of connotations.
Knowing this will strengthen communication skills, your ability to translate ideas into words, and you will be able to resolve miscommunication between others more easily.
Unlocking New Ideas
German is the language of boundless success. 92 Nobel Prizes have been given to German-speaking countries or people in the categories of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, and the Peace Prize.
Famously, Germans and those educated in Germany/German language have also made momentous contributions in the fields of philosophy, literature, music & composing, art, filmmaking, theology, psychology, engineering, and medicine.
A person who knows a language that has a lot of vocabulary for a certain topic will have more nuanced ideas and intricate ways of speaking and thinking about that thing.
Learning German will help you be able to unlock the same thinking patterns as these high-achievers. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next Bach, Kant, Siemens, Krebs, Einstein, Curie, or Herzog!
Find the best German language course here.
Maintain Brain Health
Of course, learning new things helps to keep the brain healthy and active. Language, specifically, helps to engage parts of the brain that influence creativity, information processing, and cognition.
When you communicate in another language, you need to think in new ways. As discussed, you need to ensure that, contextually, what you are saying will make sense to the person you are talking to.
This means that you might need to adjust how you would normally describe something, requiring you to think of new ways to talk about something you’ve been describing the same way for years!
Another challenge of a new language is lacking a very specific word. For example, maybe you want to say “I need to wash my pillow,” but you don’t know the words for “wash” or “pillow.” But, you do know the words for “make clean” and “soft sleep head thing.” It won’t be the most beautiful sentence in the world, but you would be able to make your point!
Information Processing & Executive Function
Boaz Keysar of the University of Chicago wrote in a study "It may be intuitive that people would make the same choices regardless of the language they are using, or that the difficulty of using a foreign language would make decisions less systematic. We discovered, however, that the opposite is true: Using a foreign language reduces decision-making biases.”
In the study, people were more likely to make purely practical decisions about loss mitigation in another language than they would in their native tongue.
While pure logic may not always be the best course of action, it is still a technique that could be called upon when making certain decisions. The study suggests that if you have a decision to make that requires more logic and less emotion, it can be beneficial to think about it in another language.
Perhaps most amazingly, people who learn at least one other language may be able to delay the onset of dementia and diseases like Alzheimer’s. Exercising the areas of the brain associated with language may help keep the brain healthier overall.
Regardless of how proficient in a new language you are, the simple act of learning it at all can increase grey matter in the brain, as well as boost hippocampus and auditory cortex function. Strengthened brain function means that the brain and mind may age slower than if you didn’t learn another language.
Develop Better Study and Practical Skills
The famous platitude for becoming an expert on anything is to “practice for 10,000 hours.” Luckily you can learn a good amount of German in about 750 classroom hours or roughly 30 weeks of regular lessons.
But, the only way to ensure that you’ll gain fluency is to develop and maintain the skills to learn! By putting yourself through German lessons, you’ll naturally cultivate the study skills you need to be successful.
When you take private German classes, you will have someone who can help you build the framework you need to build these skills.
By taking a class with private teachers, you organically learn time management. You learn to manage your time for attending your classes and completing any homework, in addition to balancing other aspects of your life.
This hurdle can be lessened when you find a tutor on Superprof, where you can find a private German tutor who meets your individual scheduling needs.
By managing your time, you will know how to learn German quickly.
Find German classes in Bangalore on Superprof here.
Your lessons will only be as bountiful as the effort you put in, which is why you will learn the skill of attentiveness: being completely present and absorbing the information given to you effectively.
You’ll continue to be attentive by strengthening your self-discipline to do your work outside the classroom and challenging yourself to learn on your own time.
You will ensure that you are understanding things at the level you require, and work to fix any gaps you have. You will be able to ask your tutor for a lesson on a specific topic, or you will find resources to build your knowledge. With your initiative, you will seek out media and people to build your skills even more, and learn things you simply cannot from inside the classroom.
It is certainly not an easy feat to develop a notable level of fluency in a language. To go from 0 to C2 fluency is a demanding journey that requires your continued dedication. Furthermore, if you plan on taking tests to prove your literacy level for University studies, a career opportunity, or a residency permit, you will need to be dedicated enough to be successful.
Practically, you will use your fortified study skills in any area of your life that requires them! Whether it’s your job, studies, or hobby, you have the ability to pursue the knowledge with a surefire set of tools developed in your German studies.
No matter your reason for learning German, whether it’s for fun, for cognitive benefits, or the job opportunities, you can be assured that it’s a good decision. Language learning is one of the most admired and sought-after skills, so you’ll never regret it!
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