Should I learn a foreign language?

As immigration increases, we need to prepare for changes in Greek society. The study of foreign languages teaches and encourages respect for other peoples: it fosters an understanding of the interrelation of language and human nature. Studying a foreign language creates more positive attitudes and less prejudice toward people who are different. Especially when you are in Greece and just know some Greek words – people will consider you immediately one of them. Dealing with another culture enables people to gain a more profound understanding of their own culture. Creativity is increased with the study of foreign languages. Foreign languages expand one’s view of the world, liberalize one’s experiences, and make one more flexible and tolerant.

Foreign languages expand one’s worldview and limit the barriers between people: barriers cause distrust and fear.

Foreign language study leads to an appreciation of cultural diversity. One is at a distinct advantage in the global market if one is as bilingual as possible. Foreign languages open the door to art, music, dance, fashion, cuisine, film, philosophy, science… Foreign language study is simply part of a very basic liberal education: to “educate” is to lead out, to lead out of confinement and narrowness and darkness.

Which language should I learn?

Wondering what the best languages to learn are? Well, you may be drawn to a foreign language because you’re in love with a culture or perhaps you simply like the way it sounds or more importantly you need to learn a foreign language because you need to add one to your mother tongue language. So, let’s be a bit more pragmatic. Maybe it’s about maximizing your opportunities – for business and work, or for travel. If so, here:

  • Arabic is quickly becoming a seriously worthwhile investment for those hoping to reach the growing economies in the Middle East and Africa or for even welcoming and understanding the people coming as refugees to Greece. According to the World Economic Forum, it’s the fifth most powerful language in the world, and it will probably continue to climb ranks as trade continues to expand to and from Arab nations.
  • French turns out to be a slightly controversial one. A 2014 New Republic article, for instance, claims that it’s time to stop pretending French is an important language for the world stage. Others claim that Africa’s growth will help it become a must-know, where it remains the sole official language in 11 countries. So whether you want to travel to France, Quebec, or Sub-Saharan Africa, it’s still worth thinking about learning this lingua franca (pun intended) that could open some serious doors for your future.
  • German is officially spoken in six countries (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein), Standard German is spoken by around 100 million people. Germany is the largest economy in Europe, making German an important language for international business and diplomacy.

Where can I learn foreign languages?

There are many possibilities of studying a foreign language. The best and effective way is, of course, a private teacher but more fun and surely cheaper is a language center. But there are also lots of very good you-tube channels where you can start to learn a language.

Here are some links to language centers in Athens:

  1. (Greek)
  2. (German)
  3. (English)
  4. (French)
  5. (Arabic)