Languages are like living beings. They develop, change through time and acquire new features while leaving the old ones behind. There’s nothing constant about them. They change their faces and adapt to the time they exist in. In other words, languages are complex. This is why a person needs to go to great lengths to be able to master a language and use it proficiently.
In language learning, it’s important to tackle all the faces of the language in question. That includes slang, as well. Slang plays a significant role in language learning and its importance is undeniable. If you have doubts about the significance of slang or you simply don’t believe there is any, let us beg the differ.
Take a look at how important slang is for language learning and why you need to include it in the process.
· The Ultimate Goal
When we’re learning a new language, we usually have a reason why we’re doing it: for business opportunities, curiosity, fun, academic achievements or something else. Whatever the reason is, at the end of the day, we all want the same thing.
We want to be able to communicate with native speakers with ease and confidence.
Therefore, the ultimate goal of language learning is the everyday verbal communication with other speakers of the language.
Slang, by definition, is “very informal language that is usually spoken rather than written, used especially by particular groups of people”.
It is essential for maintaining a conversation with natives and absolutely crucial for the mutual understanding of two people talking.
That’s the number one reason why slang is an inevitable part of language learning.
As we mentioned above, particular slang phrases are usually closely tied to groups of people. It can happen that two neighboring cities use different slang for the same things which tells one apart from the others.
When you master the slang used in a certain neighborhood, part of the city or region of a country, you are bringing yourself closer to the people using it. In other words, you’re making yourself a part of the group.
That means that slang helps you:
· develop a sense of belonging
· be recognized as a part of the group, no matter how big or small
Therefore, if you want to integrate yourself in a community, you might as well start speaking their language- and that’s exactly what slang allows you to do.
· Avoiding Misunderstandings
Just like idioms, slang language carries a completely different meaning than what the basic interpretation would be.
Think about the idiom “raining cats and dogs”. For a non-English speaker, this phrase would mean nothing when translated to another language literally.
If you don’t know modern slang you could be confused upon hearing “savage” and not knowing people aren’t referring to a wild, animalistic nature of something but rather someone who has brutally honest and mildly insulting verbal responses in conversations.
In other words, slang is crucial for avoiding misunderstandings and misinterpretations in conversations. It’s another reason why you should definitely include it in your language learning process.
· Speed It Up
When you’re participating in a conversation actively, you need to be able to keep up with the others. This goes especially for every day, simple conversations happening in a laid-back atmosphere.
It’s simple, there’s a beat that you need to follow.
Fortunately, slang is often used to keep things short and simple. In other words, it’s used to make the conversation more upbeat and lively.
There are things you wish to say which can be either described broadly or stated in a short slang phrase.
Therefore, slang helps you:
· carry out a lively conversation
· keep your responses short and simple
· actively participate in conversations as equal
This is another super important benefit of knowing slang and being able to use it freely. It’s a great advantage you should definitely try and master.
· Enjoy the Art & Culture
Language is an integral part of a country’s culture and the two are rarely separated from one another.
Language is used to create a piece of art and express a thought or message carried out by the author’s work.
If you want to be able to experience the art and the culture of a country completely, you need to make sure your language skills are superb.
Without knowing the basics of slang, you won’t be able to fully enjoy any of the above mentioned cultural and artistic creations and you’ll be missing out on a lot.
Slang should definitely be included in your language learning process so as to enable you to experience the culture in its full beauty.
It may be the case that you’re learning a language because you need to master translation.
Whether you’re translating something for your personal pleasure or you’re dealing with it professionally, you’re bound to come across slang language in the source texts.
If you haven’t had the chance to learn slang before, you’ll have trouble both understanding and properly translating the text in question.
· producing bad translations
· misinterpreting information
Translation may be hard when you’re only just a beginner, so you might find it useful to look at some translation companies such as these listed by Pick Writers.
Learning a language is never a simple task and it requires time, effort and a lot of patience. Still, if you do it right and dedicate yourself to it, you’ll be intellectually richer and mentally stronger. That’s exactly why you should give it your best and try mastering a language the best you can.
If you’re determined to do it right, make sure to include slang in your language learning. It will help you carry out conversations, fit into groups and avoid misunderstandings. Simply put, slang will help you get a hold of the soul of the language.