If you’re looking for a fun and challenging way to fill your time in quarantine, you may want to consider learning a new language. Yes, I know it’s a tall order, and can seem like a really stressful thing to do on top of an already stressful experience, but I promise that studying a new language can also be playful, liberating, and refreshing.
Still not convinced? I don’t blame you, which is why I’ve compiled a list of reasons why you should definitely learn Finnish. Or Thai. Or Korean, Hindi, French, Swedish … you get the picture.
There are a ton of language forums on the internet brimming with native speakers, language learners, and polyglots aplenty. Popular ones like Fluent In 3 Months and Linguaholic offer resources, learning guides, and open chats for folks to connect and practice foreign languages together. If self-isolation has got you feeling lonely, joining one of these online communities could help you feel a little less alone.
One of the most fun ways to learn a new language is to do a little conversation practice with a friend who wants to learn your native tongue. If you establish a fun connection on one of the online forums mentioned above, you could always take things offline to deepen the bond with video chats, phone calls, and even email exchanges. And hey, who couldn’t use a new pal right about now?
Understanding others is the root of empathy, and there’s no better way to understand folks than to learn how they communicate with one another. Of course, communication isn’t just about language, but it’s certainly a big part of it. Every time I study a new language, I feel like it gives me insight into groups of people I wouldn’t normally encounter on my own.
Keeps You Sharp
Language study involves a lot of memorization, reading, and research, all things that keep the mind active and sharp. If you’ve been feeling a little sluggish while in quarantine, this could be a great way to get the cognitive wheels turning!
Broadens Your Horizons
Studying a new language isn’t just about learning the language itself — it’s also about the food, music, art, books, fashion, and culture of the people who use it. So, while you’re going over your flashcards or taking online practice tests, make sure to read up on the communities where the language is spoken. This will help broaden your mind and hopefully expand your worldview.
Learning something new is tough, but it feeds curiosity like nothing else in this world. And engaging with your curious nature is bound to help you feel more motivated, inspired, and energized. As the endless days at home continue to click on by, a healthy sense of curiosity will do wonders to lighten your mood.
Another great thing about learning a new language is that you’ll see progress almost immediately! Sure, maybe all you’ll be able to say after the first day is “Hi, how are you? Where’s the museum?” but that’s something, which truly isn’t nothing in these weird and trying days. And the best part? You’ll just get better and better, baby!
The best way to learn a new language is to practice it every day. So, why not incorporate a little language study into your daily routine? If you’ve been struggling to create structure while on lockdown, this can be a great way to bring some stability to your schedule. Simply block off an hour a day for Spanish, French, or Italian and time suddenly begins to exist again.
Ultimately, learning a new language ain’t easy. In fact, it’s incredibly hard. But that challenge is part of what makes it such a worthwhile endeavor. Sure, you’re going to hit roadblocks and stumble over phrases and mess up your conjugations time and time again, but there’s something beautiful about pressing on anyway. And when you look back at all the progress you’ve made, I guarantee that you will feel immeasurably proud of yourself.
For more inspiration, check out our guide to starting a new writing project while quarantined.
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