As the majority of Brazilian children, I had to study English in school and I hated. So, I left high school knowing only basic greetings like “What’s your name?”, and names of some animals, professions and colors. Nothing that really helped me to speak the language. But something amazing happened one year later; my English level had jumped and I was among intermediate and advanced level, as I write in this post.
Only after I understood English I started to like the language, and my reasons are the below:
1. Talk to people around the world
English is the de facto the world lingua franca. Like it or not, almost the world speaks English. You may be in Germany, India, Thailand or the United States, and unless you speak the local language you will communicate in English. Especially in tourist cities, even the simplest people have a basic knowledge of the language and speaking English can help you when you visit a temple, get a taxi, go to the airport or hotel. Still, you can make friends with others tourists in a hostel and in an excursion or you can get to know a friendly local who takes you to sightseeing.
2. English is a practical language
English has no gender, nor super complicate verb conjugation system, no accents or inflections or formal and informal pronoun and the words are short. This greatly facilitates the student’s life, rather than spend hours memorizing conjugations and genders, you can spend your time actually speaking the language, reading and listening.
3. Information and Quality
Most information available in the world is in English, especially, online. Furthermore, the information usually has better quality. For example, take a look at Wikipedia: they have 833,248 articles in Portuguese and 4,561,568 in English. Searching for “Germany”, the article in English has a higher quality, besides that the Portuguese version has no new information and it was just a translation from the English article. That is, even in an article that has enough information in Portuguese, the information is not as complete and updated as the English version.
4. Understand news, shows, movies and series
I realized that I knew some English when zapping television channels and stopped on CNN and I understood what they were saying. I will never forget that moment, it was like magic. Neither I was believing that I could understand what people were saying. That feeling continues to this day when I see an interview on YouTube or a program without subtitles. Moreover, when you speak English, you don’t need to wait for translations of series and films. And you don’t get lost when the program’s subtitle fails or appear in Spanish, as often happens in cable channels in Brazil. And most importantly: you don’t have to hear the crap interpretation of Oscar’s night again.
5. Professionals Advantages
These advantages are well-known to everybody. Speaking English means: higher salary, more business opportunities and professional growth. In addition, it is the language used in the scientific world. If you want to be an expert in international politics, genetics, computer science or any area of knowledge that is always evolving, you need to know English.
6. Having fun with translation and subtitling mistakes
Have you seen posts on the internet with translation mistakes? Did you understand what it’s funny? Well, the mistakes are ridiculous, and if you have someone to explain to you the comical part of the error becomes a very boring business and the joke loses the charm.
The best posts and videos with mistakes:
7. Sing and know what you’re singing
You go to karaoke with friends and just watch, while everybody is singing in English and you don’t understand. Or worse, when that song plays on the radio or in the middle of the party, do you sing “Iarnuou”. If yes, you urgently need to learn English.
8. There are people who are still impressed by someone who can speak English
The fact that you understand English is still very impressive for some people in Brazil. Especially, among older people. Listen to your mother, grandmother or father grab proudly about the fact that you are bilingual. You can still impress a guy/girl who does not speak English and are amazed with your smartness.
9. Because learning English will help to learn a third language
Maybe you don’t want to learn English, but Swedish, Norwegian, Hindi, etc… And it’s easier to find materials and online resources to learn other languages made for Anglo speakers. For example, FSI is available only in English, Assimil is available in Portuguese, but has fewer courses and Duolingo has only English and Spanish lessons for Portuguese speakers.
The most awesome and cool aspect when you speak English is the fact that our horizons and opportunities are broaden. Knowledge, travel, business opportunities, conversations with people around the world. All that expands thanks to the knowledge of English language and the time you invested in learning English will compensate when you make your first foreign friend, when you make your first trip abroad without a guide or when you make your first dollar.