The Importance of Slang for Language Learning

Language is an essential aspect of human life. It is the medium through which people communicate with each other. Language is, however, not static since it keeps evolving each day. In every community today, there is jargon, the informal part of it is referred to as slang. Slang is one of the quickest growing forms of languages. If you are a language learner, slang is significant in your journey of learning a new language. Here is how.

1. Slang Offers a Good Opportunity to Learn

An easy way of adopting a language is to put all your attention on it. What this means is that everything you do should directly affect your plan to learn the language. This decision means that every movie, book, and music you do contributes to gaining your new language. Learning a language, however, does not end here; you also need to know various slang phrases.

An example of a word is “chick,” which to the typical man could mean the youngling of hen or a bird. To most students, mostly in the US, the term means a woman or a girl. Any slight change in the definition due to context ends up confusing a student. Adequate focus on learning slang, however, increases your chances of learning a language. It is so, as it equips you with the contextual meaning of particular words and phrases.

Other learning opportunities associated with slang include important expression and vocabulary. Slung is absolutely informal. Yet, it keeps the vocabulary and idiomatic expressions from the formal language. It is, therefore, a good way to keep up with the vocabulary and idioms related to a language of interest.

2. Slang Keeps You Current

Jargon is deep into the system today. In case you are learning a particular language, it is still not possible to avoid it. Thanks to social media, slang continues to thrive as the language is traded on. Take the United States alone. About 64 percent of students prefer to use slang over the conventional language. Not only is this population using slang to speak but to write as well. Words like twerking and buzzworthy were not formally applicable. Yet, they have made their way to conventional English communication. Understanding slang has become an important way to keep yourself current. Moreover, it allows you to keep up with changes in your language.

3. Slang Allows You to Avoid a Faux Pas

Slang makes it easy for you to communicate more freely and informally. What’s more, it also helps to figure out what to say. If you are learning, keeping up with contemporary slang will prevent you from misusing particular terms. A typical Spanish-Brazilian dictionary will tell you that “estupido” means stupid. In a real sense, the Spanish definition of the word is that it is a terrible insult and should be used less often. What this means is that you cannot avoid slang in your journey to learn a new language. Understand both extremes so that you avoid offending people.

4. Slang Develops Professional Language Translation

As a translator, you might find it challenging to separate formal from informal terms today. It becomes even more complicated when your translation involves a foreign language. Learning a language typically involves learning to communicate. One normally does it through translating the native language into the new language. Translation experts may struggle to separate words that are today formally accepted and those that are not. Learning slang, however, enables you to draw a line between slang words and accepted forms of the word. Thus, you can produce excellent translations, be more professional, and interpret language appropriately.

You could still become a professional translator by learning a new language on a site like BRIC. The site allows you to learn the variations and the slang in your language of interest.  The guarantee is you get to understand the new language in depth.

5. Slang Easily Connects You With Your Culture

Language and culture are naturally inseparable. Slang tends to interfere with the cultures associated with a language. To enjoy culture in its most original form, you need to be able to view the culture more originally. One way is by understanding the conventional language associated with it. If you know slang, you can easily separate the formals from the informal. Seeing the culture in its plain form can also have a rebound effect on your learning of a language. Besides, the easiest way of learning a language is in understanding its culture.

6. Slang Speeds Up Your Communication

Think of one of the most coveted forms of the English language, British English. It is the queen’s language. Thus, British English tends to stick to the old principles of the English language. These adherences slow down communication and could make conversations boring. Slang, however, changes all that by keeping things short and simple. American English is hugely English, profoundly affected by pop culture and slang. People can today use “wanna” in place of want to and “gonna” for going to. The result is that the American way of speaking is sleeker and more upbeat. Slang, therefore, speeds up your way of speaking and approach to a language.

7. Slang Allows for Easy Contextual Expressions

Whereas you may be struggling to learn a new language for multiple reasons, expressing yourself in that language is important. Slang comes with some sort of rhythm. When applied to a language, it makes the speaker express themselves easily. Therefore, as you learn a new language, mind the slang associated with it. The slang bit will make it easy for you to fit in conversationally with others in the language’s native context.

Whereas other people may feel that slang kills language in a way, slang does the reverse. Slang, in a big way, contributes to the journey of a learner of any new language. Thus, take a step to understand the slang associated with the new language. This way you can avoid the confusion brought about by the informal angle slang brings to a language.


Bridgette Hernandez is a Master in Anthropology who is interested in writing and is planning to publish her own book in the near future. Now she is a content editor at WowGrade. She works with professional writing companies such as GrabMyEssay and SupremeDissertations as a writer. The texts she writes are always informative, based on a qualitative research but nevertheless pleasant to read.