Why Learn a Foreign Language?
The usual reasons for learning a foreign language are many and varied.
You may, for example, be asked to learn a new language for your company. It may make sense to learn German if you are working for BMW, but may seem less appropriate for Ford. In theory, though, we are expected to sell to customers in their home land and through their language. In practice, we tend to employ native speakers of that language to do our selling. But here's a thought. Who sells best, a linguist with no selling skills, or a sales manager who has acquired some foreign language?
You may have work contacts abroad where it would be useful to speak their language. You may need an extra qualification. A GCSE or similar in a language may be good. Perhaps you didn't manage that at school. A good pass in a language is still the most respected after English, maths, science and any other subject you may wish to study in higher education. Students entering primary education training in Great Britain now have to have a good pass in their first foreign language - they're going to have to teach it soon!
You may be going to live abroad, or perhaps you holiday frequently or have a holiday home in a certain country. It is more fun if you can communicate with the people who live there. But you will probably need to learn an entirely different sort of language from the man who is trying to sell an American car produced in England to the Italians. That is why so often those of us who have done well in school find ourselves tongue-tied when we get out there; we learnt the wrong sort of French. And how far do you want to go? Do you just want to be able to cope with the shopping and understand the bills? Or do you want to be able to chat over the fence or over a nice bottle of the local wine, and put the world right?
You may just enjoy languages. You perhaps got on well with French at school. You liked getting your mouth around the words. The actor in you relished taking on a role. You were fascinated by the way language is structured. Now you want to take it further or you want to try out another language. Well, go for it!