Why Learn Another Language?

diversitygroupWhile English is the primary language in this country, U.S. Census Bureau statistics indicate that well over 60,000,000 residents speak a language other than English at home. The majority of those speak Spanish, but languages like French, German, Chinese and Korean are also common. Communicating with those people for business or social reasons is an excellent reason to learn another language, but there are other reasons to learn another language. There are five excellent language learning benefits to consider.

1. Improve Your Primary Language Skills.

Remember those classes where teachers tried to have students learn grammar rules? Most people remember the classes, but not the grammar rules. Learning another language forces people to apply the grammar rules ignored in the past.

2. Learn to Recognize Words From More Languages.

During William Shakespeare’s time, there were approximately 203,000 words in the English language. Today, according to Oxford Dictionaries, there are approximately 750,000. Because many words in the dictionary have multiple meanings, the actual number of words in use is far higher. Many of those words were adopted from other languages, making it easier for language learners to recognize words used in other languages.

3. Improve memory skills.

Learning another language sharpens memory skills and forces people to access portions of the brain not normally used. Some studies indicate this improved mental acuity actually improves skills in other areas, like math or science in addition to language skills.

4. Be More Aware of Other Cultures.

Learning another language generally improves the speaker’s grasp of another culture and how we relate to that culture. The nuances of languages reflect the cultures and values of others, making it possible to reflect more clearly on differences in cultures, as well as similarities.

5. Learning Another Language is Fun!

Although the process is challenging, the sense of accomplishment from learning another language makes life more enjoyable for many learners. People who love a challenge look forward to learning the vocabulary and grammar practices of another language.

People explore other languages for many reasons. Some are interested in improving their employment options, but others are clearly stimulated by more esoteric reasons. No matter why the learning occurs, the end results are well worth the efforts.

Looking For Language Learning Programs?

There are several great online software programs that you can use in order to learn a new language at home.  One of the best programs is Rocket Languages, where you can easily take the program on the go with you.  They’ve improved the program quite a bit over the years, and it offers the best bang for the buck in all the language software programs that we’ve tried.  It’s available in French, Spanish, German, Italian, and more.  Check it out today!

Tips For Great Road Trips

computerhorseRoad trips can be amazingly fun adventures for a solo traveler or a group or family. However, in order to ensure that your trip goes smoothly and according to plan, there are a few things that you can do in order to prepare. From tuning up your car to planning an itinerary to using mobile apps to find cheap hotel rooms, there’s nothing better than being prepared before you leave your driveway so you’re not scrambling.

Tune Up Your Car

If you’re going on a long trip mileage-wise, then you should definitely take your car in for a tune-up and oil change before you set out. This is good for the car and good for you – you don’t want to be broken down on the side of the road for something that could have been prevented had a mechanic given your car a once over. A good place will check your tire pressure, fill your washer fluid, do an inspection of the major points of your car, and ensure your travels will run smoothly.

Prepare Your Itinerary

Sometimes people want to wing it and go without a plan and let the road take them where it will. I have done this before and it can be a very cool experience. But if you’ve only got a certain amount of time and you have certain things you definitely want to accomplish, then you will be better off if you plot out an itinerary first. These days the internet and Google maps makes things almost too easy – it feels like cheating. But start out by making a list of the attractions you want to see, and then do a day by day plan of how long you’ll be traveling, directions, and places to see along the way.

Use The Internet To Check Out New Spots

Websites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and just general web searching can reveal hidden gems for you to check out that you may have never even heard of. Another advantage to doing this sort of searching is that you can check out “local” spots. I personally like to check out “off the grid” type places and avoid the huge tourist traps.

One word of caution – if you’re doing a lot of web browsing and money transactions over the internet, it’s vital to ensure that your computer is protected from malware and viruses. This tech blog can help you choose the best safe software if you’re not sure.

Road Tripping Abroad? Get A Mobile Data Plan

When I was in Japan and walking around Tokyo it was incredibly helpful to have mobile data so I could use Google maps to track my location and ensure that I didn’t get lost. Sure a paper map can do this for you, but I also was able to text my friend as well as quickly search Google if I had a question about something or was wondering if there were any cool local places to check out. The data plan was rather cheap, and worth every penny.