Img Creative Commons by Kristina Schuster

When I graduated from college in December, a part of me thought that my time as a learner was over. I had this great consulting position in Seattle, with plans to make a move after the holidays, and was ready to leave the role of “student” behind. Yet, I am finding more and more that education is ongoing, especially when it comes to learning languages. Now that I am living so close to the Canadian border and have a little more time on my hands to dedicate to recreational learning, I intend to learn French through online tutoring and language courses.

Learning a Language for Travel

Why learn French? One reason is because I want to travel, especially since I live so close to Canada. One of my college buddies just recently hired the best movers Calgary had and packed his bags for Alberta. I plan on visiting him, especially now that I live within a day’s drive of him, and many of the communities around Calgary speak French. To make the most of my opportunities and to experience some of the local culture while I visit, I want to know conversational French.

E-Books in Multiple Languages

Now, with just a click of the mouse or push of a button, you can purchase a book in just about any language for your Kindle, Nook or other e-reader. While translations of popular international works are available, some of the essence of the work is lost when it’s translated.

I suspect I’m not the only one following this trend. In a study that ended December of 2011, around 43 percent of Americans age 16 and older indicated they had read something whether it be a book, magazine or newspaper, on a digital device. While not all of these individuals owned e-readers, and some were reading on a tablet, regular computer or even cell phone, this statistic shows a growing trend in the popularity of digital reading material.

I suspect that even more people are going to jump on board the e-book revolution as prices continue to decrease. Some may find that learning another language opens the door to even greater reading experiences.

Broadening Culinary Experiences

In addition to reading, I love to cook. I think that learning French will help me as I try to whip up dishes like Blanquette de Veau and Confit de Canard. Knowing French may not improve my culinary skills, but it will improve my pronunciation of these fabulous dishes.

These are my reasons for learning a new language. Yours might be different. Yet, I dare say that in today’s global world, you can, and should, consider adding a foreign language to your list of skills. It’s easier than ever with the rise of online learning options.

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img: Some rights reserved by Kristina Schuster