You just met someone new, perhaps a new colleague at work. What makes it click between the two of you? Same college? School? Previous company? How long does this commonality sustain conversation? How many common friends, teachers and bosses can you really speak about?
But, imagine if you can both speak the same language. That's a connection special like none other. It's almost like the two of you are in on an inside secret that no one around you is privy to. No, that doesn't mean that you are talking ill of the people around you. It just means that the relationship gets elevated a little, if not more.
I have always liked the idea of learning new languages, but restrained myself from fear of having no one to speak that language with and practise it to perfection. For, unlike theoretical subjects that we can study on our own (a good discussion would of course enhance the learning but isn't a necessary condition to learn the subject), language really needs the other person - the conversationalist - to make it better learnt.
Of course, those people who have parents from different parts of the country have it easy in this regard. They have the opportunity to learn more languages than the ordinary person, and an at home expert to speak it with too. When they go out into the world, they will be able to make that special connection with people from more than one region, because of that tongue they have in common.
Wouldn't it be a nice idea to foster this in school, make kids learn 3-4 languages so they have a peer group to practise, and avenues to exhibit in forms of writing and speaking and theatre? That could also extend into learning different cultures and histories and living in a lot of other people's shoes. Oh! How cool would that be!
P. S. This post is the twelfth in the A-Z blogging challenge series for April.