Language, Growth and the Joy of Words

I once knew a gal named Barbara. She lived her life in caos. ¡Que bárbara! You might think, as cute as she was, that she went to a beauty salon. Nope. Instead, she liked to visit the barber. Now, this might have made sense if she had a barba.

Ah, the joy of words. At times, goofing around, I like to jumble together English and Spanish words and see if I can make interesting sentences out of them. Hey, some folks play golf. Other people like to develop the perfect recipe for vegan chilaquiles. I like to play with words.

Anyway, language is absolutely fascinating. It is a gateway into the very nature of the human essence. Language, at its highest level, is our spoken and written soul.

Learning more than one language can allow us to understand other cultures, other sociedades, other ways of thinking. To have the opportunity to learn a second, third or fourth language is truly a blessing. Yes, knowing more than one language can help us in our career trajectories. Being able to communicate in more than one language can help us make more money. And having abilities in more than one language can make traveling more enjoyable.

However, learning a new language is so much more than that. ¿Me explico? The study of a new language is an opportunity for growth and self-exploration. It is an opportunity to learn more about ourselves by learning more about others. We have the very idea of who we are challenged by the constructs of a new language. We are forced to find new ways to express ourselves. This is very enriching, on any number of levels.

I believe that the best way to learn a new language is comprised of three components. First and most essentially, we need to have ganas. Second, we should find a quality school where we can study the language. This is particularly important when it comes to things like mastering the ins and outs of grammar, in the new language we desire to learn. Last but not least, we should use the language we are studying incessantly and preferably in the company of native speakers.

Owing to the Internet, traveling to a foreign country where that language is the mother tongue is no longer indispensable. However, it does help.

Well, time to go. Study a new language. Who knows what wonderful places it will take you. ¡Hasta la vista!

*Start improving your language skills right now. Translate the italicized Spanish language words in the article above, into their English equivalents. Good luck!

Image courtesy of [Serge Bertasius Photography] /

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

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