Many of the reasons people don’t know how to learn languages are based on long-held myths. In today’s interconnected, interdependent world, language proficiency is essential. It allows you to communicate with others in an immediate and meaningful manner, no matter where you live. Learning a new language has many benefits. It makes us bi-lingual or multi-lingual, prepares us to succeed in global markets, and more.
These are the top ten benefits of learning languages:
Connecting with others is one of the most satisfying aspects of human existence. It is a wonderful gift to be able to communicate in another language with others. Bilinguals are able to communicate with more people in their professional and personal lives. You can be a local wherever you are by knowing the language, which opens up your world metaphorically and literally. Communities will shape you. The kindness of strangers will humble you. You will make lifelong friends. These are the only reasons you’ll be able to reap the rewards of learning languages over many years.
2. Promote your Career
Language skills can make you stand out from your monolingual peers by giving you a competitive edge. These are the eight most important skills for all occupations, regardless of your industry or skill level. The demand for bilingual professionals is growing exponentially. They are a key skill that employers need to be able to communicate with foreign customers and serve them well. There are more than 60 million Americans who speak another language at home. This means that you don’t have to fly to learn a language. You can achieve whatever career you want with language skills.
3. Give your Brain food
Learning languages has many cognitive benefits. Language-speakers have better memory, problem-solving, critical thinking, concentration, listening skills, and the ability to multitask. They are able to switch between tasks more quickly than monolinguals and can monitor changes in the environment better. They also show signs of creativity and greater flexibility. As if that wasn’t enough, multilingualism and bilingualism can help to prevent cognitive decline and mental aging as we age.
4. Increase your connection to other cultures
The most direct link to other cultures is through language. The ability to communicate in another language opens up and fosters an appreciation for the culture, traditions, religions, and arts of those who speak it. Understanding leads to greater empathy, tolerance, and acceptance. Studies show that children who have studied another language are more open to and more accepting of the culture.
5. Explore the World
A trip abroad can be made easier if you are fluent in the local language. Monolingual travelers can visit the same places but travelers who speak more than one language are better equipped to communicate with locals and connect with them. Additional opportunities exist for working or studying abroad if you have a second language.
6. Go to the Source
We sometimes need the translation in a world with more than 66,000 languages. However, knowing at least one additional language allows us to access information that is otherwise unavailable. Individuals who are fluent in another language can navigate the Internet as global citizens, consuming and evaluating foreign media and entertainment.
7. Be a Polyglot
Learning a second language can improve communication skills and increase vocabulary in your first language. Research also shows that learning it will make it easier to pick up other languages, especially for children.
8. Increase your confidence
Every language learner will admit to making mistakes when learning a new language, often in front of an audience. It is a normal part of learning! Learning a language requires you to put yourself out there and move beyond your comfort zone. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you converse with someone in their native tongue.
9. Strengthen Your Decision Making
Study after study shows that decisions made using a second or third-language language are more reason-driven than those made in the native language. Contrary to popular belief, we can actually get away from the emotional reactions and biases associated with our mother language when we decide on another language. The result? Clear-headed, systematic decisions that are based only on the facts.
10. Take a step back
We naturally make comparisons with what we are most familiar with when we learn a language or culture. The benefits of learning about another culture are both positive and negative. You might find yourself with a greater appreciation of what you have or a desire to change things up.
Are you a child who didn’t learn a second language? It’s never too late for you to learn a second language! It will be a great gift for your brain! There is no age to learn anything new. Even if you only learn 5 minutes per day, consistent practice can help you build a foundation for language study.
Pooja Chandak is an avid reader and an experienced content writer. Apart from blogs, she writes quotes and poems. She started writing when she was in school. Pooja currently works as a Content Development Executive for a Mumbai-based company.