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Is Learning Another Language a Waste of Time?

Some say that being able to speak another language allows you to process your native language better and increases memory. Others say that the existence of translators already, and the rise of artificial translators are making this knowledge redundant. Some that learning another language is a trivial hobby unless you intend to live in the country of the language they speak. Is it worth the time and brainpower? Should some languages be prioritized over others? What is the worth of a second language?

  • Absolutely not. In my experience, there is nothing more valuable than learning another language. According to the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, the language influences your thoughts and cognitive processes. I know learning a second and third language has made me very aware of how the hypothesis can be true – pennypun 4 years ago
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  • The politics of language learning is all about lingua franca. It may be worth looking at how economics affect language learning, specifically ESL. – Munjeera 4 years ago
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  • Interesting thought, but I'm honestly not sure that in our global society, you're going to find a lot of people who eloquently argue that learning a second language is a waste of time. *However*, some ways of learning definitely work better than others, and I can see discussing and comparing those. – Stephanie M. 4 years ago
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  • There is a saying, which I paraphrase here: "To understand a man you must walk a mile in his shoes". Much the same can be said about learning another language for it acts as a gateway into another culture as well helping to develop one's own cognitive capacity. For me, the sheer delight of being able to watch a film in its native language and catch those nuances of speech so often excised by clumsy subtitles or mangled by a poor quality dub, is beyond comparison. – Amyus 4 years ago
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  • It would also be worth considering the body of research around the cognitive effects of bilingualism, especially in how it may influence ageing. – BarryMW 4 years ago
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