Probably, it is not written in your textbook in Spanish or Japanese, but it is something you should always remember about when you decide to start learning numerous combinations of foreign signs, sounds and hence meanings. Learning a foreign tongue is not only about mastering pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar; neither only about speaking and writing.
No doubt, all these components are extremely important and cannot but be taken into consideration by anybody who is devoting their time to comprehending and deciphering riddles of the chosen foreign language. What is more, each language is built and functions like a system, carefully thought out and perfectly organized, which is actually formed by the above-mentioned elements.
Nonetheless, the process of learning a foreign tongue implies much more aspects. And now we are going to shed some light on most of them in order to prove how helpful a foreign language, in addition to your native one, can appear to be on your way of self-development and in your education generally.
See What You Can Learn
Have you ever noticed that people who can speak at least one foreign tongue very fluently usually tend to be quite widely educated? Indeed, they can amaze you with their deep knowledge of certain facets of our life in this world or, maybe, even beyond its bounds.
You see, the thing is that when you make an unpretentious effort to enter the world of a different language, you cannot escape learning a lot of different things about the people who speak it and who, in essence, live in and build this world. At the same time, you will inevitably need to find out more about everything that makes up their unique lifestyle with all its rules, patterns and traditions.
This all will help you considerably in the process of learning, because in fact the language is tightly interconnected with literally every sphere of our life. These connections may seem rather complex as they depend on many different factors. However, our aim here is simply to describe them without digging very deeply into their nature and interdependence.
So, here we go!
It Is About History
We have already mentioned that each language is inseparable from the history of the area where it originates from. It is essential to understand that numerous influences, caused by various historical circumstances, have formed the language you are learning (or trying to learn), as well as your mother tongue. So, if you want to understand it, you should know and understand the history.
It Is About Politics & Economics
Whether you want it or not, but at least once you will face a text about the politics and economics of the country where the language you learn is spoken. If you feel like you are an upper intermediate or even advanced student, then you can be recommended to try watching or reading (though doing both is more preferable) the news in the language you are mastering.
It Is About Culture
A lot of very interesting features the language possesses are determined by traditions and customs of its speakers. Or even vice versa, some cultural features can depend on the language. Catch an example: the Chinese believe that it is bad to cut a pear with a knife. The thing is that the word combination “fen-li”, which literally means “to cut a pear” sounds just like the word “parting”. Consequently, if you happen to cut a pear, you may lose someone you love. So it goes.