I found this Czech proverb:
“Kolik jazyků znáš, tolikrát jsi člověkem”
“You live a new life for every new language you speak.
If you know only one language, you live only once.”
And well, isn’t that just so very true? I believe that languages are like keys to parts of the world; the more you learn the more doors you get to open. (My god, do I like speaking in metaphors.) Speaking a foreign language allows you to communicate with native speakers in the language that they feel most confident in. It shows that you are eager to participate in their culture. Also, a different language means learning about a culture from inside out. You learn new words, typical of the language and bound to the culture; sometimes there simply isn’t a translation. But isn’t that just the wonderful part? It’s because you know a foreign language that you get to learn about these concepts straight from the source, concepts that you would otherwise not even know existed. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I study languages that I am so fascinated by them (or the other way around, it’s like the chicken and the egg, really)
All I know is that learning foreign languages (both English and Swedish in my case) has brought me to some pretty spectacular places, introduced me to some amazing people and has guided me through many different cultures. It is my dream to one day be able to call myself a hyper-polyglott, a world traveler, a citizen of the world.