There are plenty of reasons to pick up a new language even after you've retired, here are a couple:
Have a deeper experience when traveling. Traveling during retirement can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. It’s a time that you’ve earned to see new things, explore new places, and learn about a new side of yourself. During this time, it’s one thing to go around snapping photos to remember your experiences, but if you are able to take the time to connect with the locals, you will create an entirely different experience for yourself. You will learn much more about the people, area, and maybe even a few of the places undiscovered by tourists.
Learning a new language is great for brain health. According to a study done by Penn State University, learning a second language rewires your brain in a way, allowing you to increase the efficiency with which information is transferred across different areas of the brain.
Today, there are plenty of resources to utilize in learning a new language. Here are a few tips.
Listen to podcasts. In the car, on a walk, or relaxing outside are great times to utilize podcasts. ‘Coffee Break Spanish’ and ‘Daily French Pod’ are just a couple of the podcasts dedicated to helping people learn a new language. Do some research and see which one is the right fit for you.
Connect language with another interest of yours. Interests in foreign cinema, wine, or international cuisine are great to explore as a tool in learning a new language.
Practice with a native speaker. Practicing out loud with someone who speaks the language as their first is undoubtedly the best way to learn to communicate. As opposed to focusing on grammar and sentence structure, you’ll learn the best ways to get your thoughts and ideas across – which is what really matters anyway.
Read in the new language. It might sound silly, but try reading children’s books in another language first, working your way up to more substantial books. Keep a dictionary handy to look up the words you don’t understand and make notes in the margins as you read. Reading is a great way to learn to discern meanings from the context they are in. In other words, you won’t understand each word, but by understanding some of the words around them and the general message, you’ll be able to connect the dots.