Establish Deep Connections and Cross-Cultural Friendship
I’d bet that at least once in your life, you’ve felt a pang of regret during an encounter with someone from a different culture, when you realized how the experience could be enriched by knowing that person’s language.
Has this ever happened to you? You visit a food stall at a local market while on holiday (or even in your own city), where the employees are chatting away together in their native language. You order something, in English, interrupting their fun conversation.
Another local comes by while you’re waiting, orders some food in the local language, and starts talking cheerfully with the cook about…something. A minute later, the cook stops talking and hands you your plate with a simple “Thank you, bye!”
You just missed out on an authentic cultural experience because you couldn’t join in .
Or what about this? You have a friend from another country who you enjoy hanging out with, but you only speak to each other in English. You feel a connection with that person, and think they’re a great friend. And then they mention one day about this other group of friends, who speak their native language that they meet up with all the time. But you’ve never been invited, because you wouldn’t understand what anyone is saying.
Ok, so you can’t learn every language in the world and have an intimate knowledge of every single culture out there. But if there’s even one culture that you’d like to understand better, or even one person in your life you’d like to know better, then one of the best ways you can start is by learning to speak their language.