5 Reasons to Learn a New Language

Hablar, Escribir y Leer en Espanol

I have learnt the fundamentals, travel phrases, restaurant lingo and family members in Spanish. Also dabbled in school, shopping and people phrases and words. I am doing well in my Spanish classes. What’s even better is that as a language, the pronunciation is exactly how the words are written.

duolingoDuolingo is mi maestro on this journey. It is a “free” language learning platform (website and App both). There are language courses for people that speak English, Arabic, Bengali, French, German and many others.

Spanish for English speakers is the course that has almost 126 Million learners.


Here’s what I like the most about this app-

  • They teach through images and pronunciations.
  • There are periodic checks to gauge understanding and remembrance and to test you on rules of the language.
  • There are special checks to correct your pronunciation.
  • And chat clubs where you can converse in the language that you are learning.

Most importantly- you can Choose A Daily Goal.

Casual- 5 mins a day | Regular- 10 mins a day | Serious- 15 mins a day | Insane- 20 mins a day

Learning a new language has a visible effect on the brain. At any age that is. There is better concentration, better attention.

Also learning a new language trains your brain to be more attuned to auditory information. It is an excellent activity to maintain cognitive function.

There are two ways to learn a language-

a.    Through the rules of the language (For example- In Spanish, the endings of adjectives depend on the gender of what they describe. Miguel es Americano y Ana es Americana)

b.    Through immersion in the language (much like we learn our first language, the one that we speak at home).

Why should you learn a new language?

a.      It’s a new skill! And on Duolingo, it is both cost and time effective!

b.     To discover new rules of language, the similarities and the differences

c.      It makes you more interesting and gives you more for conversations! (I am here writing an article on languages!)

d.     Well someday, if you keep at it, you may be able to enjoy literature in the original language rather than translated versions.

e.     Because you can and there’s no reason not to!!

Fun Fact– Duolingo teaches High Valyrian (the language spoken by Daenerys Targaryen) and Klingon (language used in the Star Trek universe)! I think I am going to try High Valyrian next.





Duolingo image from- https://www.google.co.in/search?q=duolingo&safe=active&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiCt6GkuN_bAhWPf30KHUh4AnUQ_AUICygC&biw=1366&bih=667#imgrc=aZx6zU6Vpub6IM:

Static, Sliding, Rolling and Fluid- Nothing but Friction

That awkward moment when you realise that your parents would have had to have sex to have you.

That feeling when your ex’s name comes up and you realise with a pang that there’s still some residual emotion.

The exact feeling when a friend calls you up to say that he/ she is now a parent- that feeling of being overwhelmed and strangely empty at the same time.

And that thought, when you settle down in your chair, marvelling at how you are exactly where you are supposed to be and that the universe really has your back.


The world craves deep conversations and insightful thinking and thought leadership; and also craves the freedom that comes of being shallow, of just skimming the surface.

When you exist in such dualities, life by all means tears you apart. But within the two ends, lies the epiphany of choice.

You choose to go deep in certain things and you choose to not delve into others.

When you answer phone calls in between family dinner, you choose to tell your kids that family time isn’t so sacrosanct after all.

A few years down the line, when that kid (now an adolescent) is on her headphones during dinner, there’s really not much you can say. But you play the “I am your Parent” card anyway.

Insightful conversations don’t have to come off massive fatalistic issues such as global warming, terrorist attacks and who’s in the White House. They can as easily originate from what role your kid is playing in the school play, or how well she’s doing her music lessons or if suddenly they have moved from Cartoon Network to NatGeo.

It is funny how you move from day to day and nothing changes; till one day you look back and nothing is the same.


Friction is a force that resists the relative motion between two surfaces. It is measured by the coefficient of friction, varies from 0 to 1 and is dimensionless. That’s because the forces cancel each other out. The direction of friction doesn’t make a difference to the value of friction.

Much like the good and the bad that we do! The actual result of being held together or of falling apart only depends upon the nature of the people involved and the direction of the act doesn’t make a difference.

But if you think about it, this friction is what holds up the contraption. Cars run on roads because there’s friction, people stay with each other because they have opposing interpretations of the same thing, democracy works because there is dissent. To take it further, tolerance is seen as a virtue because intolerance raises the coefficient of friction, honesty is seemingly the best policy because untruths cause undue friction, and compassion is praised because being in your face rubs people up the wrong way.


What’s the point of all this?

If your life would all be smooth, with no struggle, no friction, no food for thought- that really wouldn’t be called “being alive”, would it?

Embrace those weird emotions- they give you an edge.

Take a moment to choose what you want to do and not- they give you the liberty of options.

Don’t shy away from conflicts- sometimes you need one to get a new perspective!