Why you should be learning languages, not Maths

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.
‒Nelson Mandela

Why you should be learning languages, not Maths.

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.
‒Frank Smith

These are 2 perfect examples as to why you should be learning languages rather than Maths. (Yes, Maths - I'm British, give me a break).

I, for one, speak 5 different languages. English (native), French (fluently), Spanish (fluently), Italian (can hold conversation) and Portuguese (learning).

As the Frank Smith quote indicates, you open a hell lot more doors learning 2 or more languages than you do by taking a Maths degree, or a Law degree, or a Geography degree. If I wanted to get a job as a waiter/chef/barman in Spain, I could; if I wanted to get a job as a teacher/academic/lecturer in France, I could; if I wanted to become a tourist guide in Italy, I could. These are obviously quite basic jobs I'm listing, but you should get the point.

Also, for me at least, learning languages is enjoyable. I remember sitting in my A Level Maths class wondering 'When is this shit going to be over', because I just couldn't/wouldn't understand it. It was a mess to me, it went in one ear and straight out the other.

However when I was in my Spanish class, I was participating to my fullest extent ... I was enjoying the lessons, I wanted to stay and learn more, I wanted to interact with people in the street, etc ...

As a matter of fact, only last week I was walking towards Victoria Station in London, and this nice chap asked me for directions. I heard his thick Spanish accent and gave it all in Spanish. I walked off chuffed (really happy) as he said "I never thought a Brit would speak Spanish so well".

See guys! I hope you enjoyed this take ... I hope it makes you think about learning languages! GO LEARN AS MANY AS YOU CAN!

--- JohnBhoy


Most Helpful Girl

  • I take Spanish at school, and honestly I hate it. But this take motivated me to do better! Lol

    And I hate math too.


Most Helpful Guy

  • I agree. You're not going to find any practical use of finding a slope of a line or an area of a triangle unless you're in certain fields. Basics like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are essential, sure. But the majority of math in school isn't ultimately necessary.


Join the discussion

What Girls Said 6

  • But math is like a universal language.

    • Not to everyone. Not EVERYONE is going to know maths, but languages (?) yeah obviously, almost everyone can speak.

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    • Then you haven't been around Europe much.

    • I've been everywhere from Ireland to Russia...

  • Maths isn't useless , it depends what field you want to go in. Like for anything physics, engineering and maths related you definitely need maths, it's fundamental. Learning a second language can put you at an advantage for a lot of jobs though. Basic maths is necessary just for daily adult life, not even a job, although most people are finished the basics by year 3-4.
    For me though learning a second language is useless as far as my career aspirations since I want either work in a lab in an English speaking country or work in astrophysics in an English speaking country. However learning Portuguese fluently would be great so I can communicate with my family more.
    Knowing multiple languages is fundamental for translators.

    • And what if you do an astrophysics tour in Europe , and end up at a convention in France, but you don't speak French.

      Now read what Nelson said. You see what I mean?

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    • Translators, cool, but wouldn't you love to speak to them without one? I know I would... and I know the people you're trying to talk to would love it too.

      If you struggle to learn languages, then you obviously don't have the brain for it unfortunately. Linguistics isn't for everyone either.

    • Of course I would love to speak with everyone and understand them and them understanding me but it's just not an easy thing for me.

  • Language is as important as math is but I see what you mean. I'm trying to learn Italian I can understand half of the words since they are very similar to Spanish which I am fluent in :) Portuguese I can understand and read slightly.

    • Yeah, I can read Portuguese more than I can speak it. It's a very difficult language.

    • It is I can read it as well and understand some words when spoken but clear Portuguese

  • I think language is quite important. Sometimes I can't believe people don't speak 2 languages fluently. I wouldn't know how my live looked like without English , however, it really depends what kind of career you want to do. For example, I probably stay in the Netherlands and become a brain researcher. If I learn Turkish fluently, I'll probably never use it. Math however, I'll probably use it constantly. I'm also not really a language person.
    Everytime I visit a country, I just learn a few words, because I think that's just important that you try to understand something about their culture. So if I buy something and have to say thank you in Polish, I try to do it. I think the fluently part is a little unnecessary.

  • Math is the base of certain sciences like physics. Math is part of machinery. Math is pretty much what makes all our technology work. Have fun communicating to a FRENCH man without your phone! Without math and science, we'd still be like cavemen, pretty much. While I understand the benefit of being multilingual, we must not abandon the vitality of math and science.

  • How about both?


What Guys Said 5

  • Maths drive the modern world all the STEM disciplines depend on maths as their foundation. That in its self out weighs any language in terms of importance.
    But if languages is what makes you tick yeah learn as many as you can.
    They open closed doors for jobs and you could impress local girls when you abroad.

    • Language has been around for millennia, maths hasn't.

    • so cave man didn`t know how to count? The oldest language Hebrew have only been around for about 3000 years. Maths probably since appearance of first man. You seem to hold the importance of languages to everything just because you have it high esteem. Sorry to burst your bubble but without maths we wouldn`t be where we are now.

  • Language is incredibly important, you've got that right. Being British, I'm lucky enough to know that many other countries speak my language so I don't really have to. That's something that's quite sad really, but it's the truth.

    Maths, though?

    The world is where it is today because of maths. It'll continue to develop into the future because of maths. The epitomy of science, engineering, architecture, technology, the computer/device you used to type your take, the programming behind the design of this website, the electrical power that's distributed to your house... all boils down to maths. Don't overlook that!

    I'll be working as an engineer as of July. Sure, I could learn French and have a detailed conversation about what we'd be developing... but when it came to giving him technical details about the design? Still pretty much down to maths.

    Both are incredibly beneficial, there is no "you should be learning ___" about it.

    • Some people, like me, hate maths, and just can't learn it. I'm only pointing out that languages might be their strong suit.

  • Well I hate to break it to you but math is not only a language, it's THE universal language. Being highly proficient in math lets start out of college making $60k-$100k a year, depending on you math related major. I think languages are cool, but all you really need to know is English and Spanish in the US. So I think you might want to reconsider telling people that math is stupid.

    Besides, I've had more fun in Calculus than I ever had any language class, including English .

    • Headhunters make $100k - $150k a year... they speak, and have to speak multiple languages. We're not in the 19th century any more, less and less people are taking maths.

    • Well you've got a Mathematical brain, whereas I have a linguistic one :) ... Language is a hell lot more important than you think.

  • "Whatever floats your boat"

    Learning is plus point, no matter what you learn, you'll always get benefited from it (if you really learned that)
    I understand you, it was well written but the multilingualism is the thing you like and law is the thing I like. So by devaluing something you can't make something better the another.

  • For most English speakers, advanced math skills are far more useful, career wise.

    Both is even better. My french was excellent when I finished high school, but I haven't used it since.

    Language skils are simply far more common, and less in demand. There -is- demand, but not like there is for quant skills + good English .