Learning a language is a powerful mental workout that uses every form of memory we have.

We need to acquire a repository of words, to form a vocabulary vast enough to express our messages. We also need the grammatical knowledge to put it all together. We need to use our muscles and motor control to wrap our tongue around the pronunciation. And we need to be able to do it fast, intuitively, without stopping to think about each translation.
Fluency in any language requires a higher order understanding of it. Memorization will fall short, you can’t just accumulate words, you need to see the relationships and interactions between them.
“Mastery requires both the possession of ready knowledge and the conceptual understanding of how to use it.” – Make It Stick
As with many other higher forms of knowledge — such as music theory, a programming language, math or physics — it’s essential to see the whole system, to take a holistic view and understand intuitively how each piece works within it. 
Learning a language is not easy, but in a way that’s the point, you need to be patient and put in the effort to see the reward. And it is a great reward.

The Benefits of Bilingualism

Outside of the obvious travel and social aspects of language learning, we also change our brain in numerous ways.
Knowledge of more than one language has demonstrated in studies to improveattentionmemory, and self-control. Ellen Bialystok of York University discovered that knowing two languages delayed dementia by 5 years. Three languages delayed it by 6.4 years, and four or more languages delayed it by 9 years.
Strangely, it seems that our personality is intimately linked to the language we speak. Our words are part of our identity.
We all talk to ourselves, and studies have shown that in the event that someone loses their ability to speak, they also report feeling like they lack self-awareness. They lose a part of who they are. Psychologists has also found that people behave differentlydepending on the language they’re speaking, and they may change the way we perceive the world.
Tim Keeley believes that learning a language is to reinvent yourself. Each language becomes a new identity. He notes that “You become a chameleon.”
When Keeley studied Chinese speakers learning Japanese, those that could empathize with others and see from new perspectives more easily were the ones that reached greater fluency.
If what we say to ourselves is part of who we are, then the language we speak in will help define us. Learning more than one language will give you a greater range of self, allowing you to empathize more easily and adapt to situations more effectively.

taken from: www.diygenius.com 

Ljiljana Mitrović, prof.engleskog 

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