The process of learning new languages is a unique experience that enriches the mind and opens doors to a lot of opportunities. The procedure of acquiring a new way of communicating is lengthy and interesting. It is a way of understanding an unfamiliar set of rules, sounds, and brand-new means of thinking.
It has been proven by the University of Haifa that bilinguals are able to learn a third language easier and faster, compared to native speakers. The tests were conducted between Hebrew speakers only, and immigrants with Russian as their mother tongue and Hebrew as their second language. The tests included questions in Hebrew, English for both groups, and Russian just for the native speakers. The results demonstrated that the Russians did better on English as a third language, scored better in Hebrew, and received higher grades for the intelligence test.
Researchers came to the conclusion that knowing more languages increases the intelligence level. Also knowing two languages can boost the level of understanding and cognitive judgment, making it easier to learn a third language.
Another important factor is that it is much easier to learn a new language if it is closely related to languages one already knows. For a Spanish speaker it might be easier to learn Italian. For an English speaker it might be easier to learn German. Time, effort, and motivation are other important factors. The person must be constant and not afraid of making mistakes, because we learn through mistakes.
Learning from a book is good, but it’s not nearly as challenging as being exposed to the place where the language is spoken. Learning Spanish in Madrid, Spain is the best alternative to learn faster and without short cuts as it is with books. The language is happening right then and there and it is truly a live test, and at the same time it’s a more motivating environment.
For people who only speak their native tongue it is best to start with a related language with a similar structure, from English to German, for example, as mentioned before. After mastering that second language, why not try Japanese or Chinese and see if the cognitive skills improved and if it is truly easier to learn.