Languages are the key to the world, and they open up doors of freedom and peace. Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression”, but how can you express yourself abroad without the assistance of languages? They create a global connection of harmony, reconciliation and unity-and help to discourage conflict between nations. The knowledge of a language often prevents any misunderstandings from occurring; which can be as simple as a hotel in Athens telling its guests that “Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11am daily”, but which also can escalate up to international hostilities(which has unfortunately happened in the past).
It is my opinion that everyone should try their best to learn languages, whether it be fluency in Swedish or a few words in Mandarin-everybody has the ability to do it.Just a simple “Wie gehts?” to a German, or an effortless “Comment êtes vous?” to a French man/woman, even an honest “Habari Gani?” to a Swahili-will be usually greeted with a warmhearted smile and a grateful recognition of your efforts. It is said that “The limit of your words is the limit of your world”. Well surely then “The limit of your language is the limit of your life”, because lack of multilingualism leaves borders of communication that you can never cross.
Why restrain yourself; languages will grant you freedom of the world.
Links that show the power of languages:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cearbhall_%C3%93_D%C3%A1laigh -Former Irish president was fluent in many languages (including Chinese)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/09/belgium-flanders-wallonia-french-dutch Conflict due to the lack of understanding of languages
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029151807.htm How multilingualism increases your brain power