In this post, we unpack Angle 3: So much of English grammar and vocabulary (like medical terminology!) is borrowed from ancient languages like Greek and Latin, so you never know when it might come in handy. Also, language learning is good for brain function and increasing long-term memory. In essence, do it because it’s a tool you’ll always have with you.
I’ve always loved words, languages, and etymology, and when I was in nursing school, my love of words and languages benefited me significantly. The majority of the vocabulary words we had to learn were from either Latin or Greek, which meant that half of the words (the Greek ones) I could figure out, even if I had never seen them before. Even the Latin terms were easy, thanks to my dad exposing us to Latin from a young age.
As time has gone on, and I’ve finished nursing school, I still find language study to be incredibly useful, especially in my work life. For example, many of my residents are from an Amish or Mennonite background, and speak PA Dutch. With memory care residents in particular, speaking to them in their heart language is often more effective than speaking to them in English. I’ve been able (with the help of coworkers and my brother) to pick up several useful phrases for communicating with my residents, and because of language study I’ve done in the past (albeit completely unrelated to German), I have a framework to deposit these phrases into, thus enabling me to remember and use them effectively. It’s so rewarding to see a resident’s face light up when spoken to in the language closest to their heart.
Learning a language for the sake of learning is inherently beneficial; knowledge and education is never wasted. Studying a new language helps the brain stay sharp and in good shape, much like staying physically active keeps our bodies in shape. Whatever capacity you’re studying in, it’s doing your brain good!