The previous blog already mentioned it shortly, but now it is unfortunately already over: vacation! Even though the summer vacation is over, there are a lot of other vacations left this year. The word vacation is derived from the Latin vacantia which means ‘free time’. Does this free time mean that after a period of deadlines, work and obligations that we suddenly fall into a hole of boredom? Of course not!
During the summer, most Dutch people go on vacation abroad. In total, the Dutch booked 36.7 million vacations last year. Visiting a foreign country is a great opportunity to discover the culture, visit beautiful cities, and relax. However, it is also a great opportunity to learn a new language! Speaking the language in a foreign country is of course very useful, but understanding it completely is a nice skill that you can develop when you are staying abroad. As language psychologist Frank Smith once said: “One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way”. Learning a second (foreign) language can ensure that you make the most of your vacation. By understanding a foreign language you are able to communicate with the population and therefore see and experience more of the culture in that country.
Learning a new language is not only useful on vacation, but can also have some advantages for yourself. Research shows that people who speak one or more foreign languages are seen as more attractive. So if you do not have much luck in love (or if you want to impress someone) you can attend a language course or go on vacation to Spain, Italy or Ireland because Spanish, Italian and Irish are seen as the languages with the sexiest accent! A good reason to learn the language when you are on vacation, but also a good reason not to get bored when you are at home during your vacation.
If you are already happy on love, there is another good reason for you to learn a new language. Learning a foreign language has an effect on your intelligence! Speaking, but also learning new languages has positive effects on the functioning of your brain. It is good for memory capacity, multitasking, attention, health and creativity.
So there are all kinds of reasons to learn a foreign language, but in the end it turns out to be a fun experience for everyone during the vacation. This year, I have learned a few words of Italian with a friend thanks to the Italian population who were very helpful and enjoyed learning us some foreign words. We even watched the World Cup football with Italian comment and watched a movie in Italian (okay, maybe we did not have a choice because we only had Italian channels, but it has caused a lot of hilarious moments)! So you certainly do not have to get bored during your vacation and it is secretly fun to learn things as long as it is not compulsory 😉