People are defined by where they are from. However, whether you’re from Asia, Europe, South America, North America, Australia, or Africa, we all share one common trait: each other. We may be on different parts of the world, but we will always have people. We all have life. Life is the only this that we have in common though. Also, we can never really connect because we, as Americans, don’t know about others cultures. Here in the United States, we only need to know one language. It’s difficult to understand people now. We have a growing population of foreigners everyday. Over 13% of the United States population is from Africa, around 17% is from Latin America, and almost 6% is from Asia. Just in one year, the foreign-born population has grown about 1 million. Long story short is: we don’t know a thing about them.
We should start learning a different language at a young age. In other countries, students will learn other languages and can speak them fluently by high school. Students here in the U.S. merely know how to butcher some Spanish words that they don’t even know. With the diversity in the United States growing every day, we should learn different languages and different cultures so we can get a better understanding of a large portion of our population. Just over 5% of foreigners don’t speak fluent English. Most of them know short phrases and words; they know enough to get by. The University of Texas in Austin took a survey and, only about 15% of American citizens considered themselves bilingual.
We should learn another language and culture because:
- It would make communication with other countries easier.
- Trade would be much easier.
- We would have a better understanding of other countries and how they came to be.
Overall, learning another language could help resolve conflicts that we have with other countries. Although English is the dominant language on documents worldwide for trade, it would make it more convenient if we could carry out a conversation in multiple languages. There are close to 375 million English speaking people worldwide. These are spread all over the world. There are over 50 countries whose dominant language is English. Although that is a lot of countries, we still need to put into consideration that almost 150 other countries don’t speak English.
Learning another language can help people with education too! Most colleges in the United States require at least 2 years of foreign language classes. Although after only two years you might not understand the language completely, you will have a better overall understanding of their language and culture. People that don’t go to college will have limited job choices as adults. Unless they want to be stuck working hours in an office for several hours with minimal pay or work at the McDonald's for minimum wage, college is highly recommended. According to Psychology Today, children who grow up in bilingual environments have increased “focus and cognition.” Therefore, learning another language can be beneficial to your grades and job no matter what age.
Besides that, learning a new language can be fun. While I’m still in high school, and I’m only in my second year of Spanish, and I can only ask a select few questions, learning a new language has been something that still fascinates and motivates me to come back and learn everyday. Después de sólo (After only) 2 years of Spanish, I’ve learned a lot of the language and a significant amount of their culture.
All in all, learning a language can make you overall, happier and more aware of things happening around you. ¡Adrendes una idioma hoy! (Learn a language today!) You’ll be happy you did!