5 Benefits of Reading Foreign Literature

5 Benefits of Reading Foreign Literature

Cindy TracyJun 9, '20

Literature is undeniably a timeless piece of art that never fails to entertain us be it a poem, a novel, or a drama, we can please our aesthetic sense by getting hold of any well-versed piece of literature. The words have the power to stimulate our imagination and make us travel through the places. Literature enables us to look at the world from different lenses, thus, making it easy for us to draw a boundary between facts and fiction. No matter what genre of literature you enjoy reading or exploring, you can always find a reflection of age and society it was written in if we learn to read between the lines. 

Literature is indeed the most creative and entertaining way of giving voice to masses of a particular land. From recording the tragedies and calamities that have befallen a nation, to describing the rich socio-cultural history, literature serves as the best medium to conserve it all. That is one of the major reasons that people are becoming more inclined to get an insight into foreign literature either through an online high school or on their own. Here are five major benefits that you can have if you give a foreign literature a read:

Learn to Look Beyond the Horizon:

We all know this for a fact that the global literary canvas has always been dominated by narratives that are written by dominant nations of the world, thus, depriving us to look at a certain situation from a different perspective and making us develop a biased view of certain events of history. For example, we all are aware of the apartheid that was imposed on South Africa in the mid-20th century. Reading western narratives conditioned us to think of Africans as people who are savages and have no culture and are in dire need of colonization. Many such dominated narratives made us believe that Africa is a land that is devoid of any culture, language, and customs. 

However, if we ever get to read a novel written by any native Africa writer, we learn about the richness and uniqueness of the African culture and it will help in changing our stance regarding the African countries. Therefore, reading foreign literature will help us look beyond the horizon and will enable us to develop an unbiased perspective of various historical events. Read books in French like Le Gone du Châaba by Algerian author Azouz Begag,

Love and Acceptance for the Diversity:

The diversity of cultures, languages, ethnicities, etc. is what makes this world an interesting and fun place to live in and explore. Literature helps us wander through different lands and cultures and witness them in their entirety via imagination. Reading foreign literature can help in inculcating love and acceptance for the diversity of this world in us. 

Aid in Learning a New Language:

Although everyone can't learn a new language to an extent where they can read a novel in that language with fluency and complete understanding. There is an easy way out! You can find the translation of many novels in English, but they will still contain the colloquial terms and phrases of the native language and can help you to learn some of the frequently used words or terms that have strong cultural connotations. For ease of foreign readers, books sometimes include footnotes to explain the native terminology.

A Great Way to Increase Knowledge:

We can all agree, that most of us find history as a subject super boring, so, literature can be a fun way to increase our knowledge about various historical events and to learn more about the global calamities from a fresh perspective. For example, if you read any South Asian novel that documents the Indo-Pak partition of 1947, you will get to teach about how all the communities either Hindu, Muslims, or Sikhs were equally targeted by each other and were slaughtered. However, if you will read it from the perspective of a Hindu writer or a Muslim writer only, you will never get to see the real picture of the situation. Reading foreign literature is a great way of increasing our knowledge. We get to listen to another side of the story and can come up with an unbiased stance regarding something. Moreover, you can also add references to foreign authors is your history papers too. 

Learn to Think without bias:

When we read or listen to something, we tend to believe in it. Our knowledge about the world is what helps us in the decision-making process. Having exposure to foreign literature makes us a better person. We learn to think independently and without any bias. Having a sound knowledge of the diversity of the world can help us to develop a new perspective about the things and people around us. We can let go of the biases that we have been learning throughout our lives and can learn to think out of the box.

Literature in any of its forms is food for your soul. It nurtures and nourished your persona and makes you a person who can think independently. It makes you a better person, thus, making it easy for you to go with the flow of the universe. If you want to enlighten yourself about this world, literature is a great option to start with! 

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