4 years ago5,000+ Views
I came across a fantastic article today written by a man who at the age of 57 decided to learn French. After taking a cognitive assessment called CNS Vital Signs and scoring below average for his age group in nearly all of the categories, Despite this he decided to forge ahead with his language learning project. His post is as fascinating as it is funny; he jokes "I USED to joke that I spoke French like a 3-year-old. Until I met a French 3-year-old and couldn’t hold up my end of the conversation. That was after a year of intense study.." After a year of struggling with the language, he retook the cognitive assessment and the results speak for themselves. He was now above average in seven of the ten categories and average in the other three. His verbal memory score leapt from the bottom half to the 88th percentile and his visual memory test shot from the bottom 5th percentile to the 50th. As he said "studying a language had been like drinking from a mental fountain of youth". It doesn't matter what language you choose to learn; Chinese, Japanese, German, French, Korean, Spanish, Italian - take your pick. Learning any of the above will do wonders for your brain! Do I really need to give you any more reason to pick up that textbook?
Learning a language is so rewarding - it's amazing to be able to speak to someone in their own language. Being in China and being able to speak Chinese is great - it also impresses employers and can be great for landing jobs as having language skills really sets you apart.
It's always worth learning a language - even if you suck at it. Especially if you're planning to travel, learning a little bit of the language before you go makes such a difference and people will treat you totally differently. If you arrive in a country speaking a little bit of the language it says "I tried" and people will be much more willing to try and help you in return - at least that's how the logic goes!!
I have found that learning a language with a structure completely different from your mother tongue is extremely rewarding mentally. While I enjoyed Spanish and French study, my real joy came from trying to figure out the structure of Japanese grammar.
It's so much better learn slowly but surely than try to skip levels - it's so good for your memory too!!!