TOP TEN LIFE BOOSTING REASONS TO LEARN LANGUAGES
People make every excuse possible as to why they can’t or won’t learn a second language. In fact, if you can write & speak your first language proficiently, there is no reason why you can’t learn a second language & have all the benefits I have highlighted below!
It is a fact that by connecting with people, you tend to have more understanding of the world & therefore less reason to mistrust other nationalities. By being bilingual it opens up a whole new world of people, culture & other benefits. The world is becoming increasingly interconnected & language is the key to unlocking the potential!
2. Boost Your Career
This is a no-brainer & especially in the tough current economic climate. Speaking more than one language & including English will separate you from the competition & most likely keep you in a well-paid job for a long time. Multilingual applicants tend to have a better pick of global jobs, a wider choice of careers & are paid better into the bargain!
3. Feed Your Brain
By learning a second language, its like training for a marathon except in your brain! There are a number of studies that show that areas such as the ability to think flexibly, the ability to retain information & your general brain speed is improved by learning a second language. In addition, it also appears to help push back the effects of aging on the brain such as dementia.
4. Deepen Your Connection to Other Cultures
Language is the most direct connection to other cultures. Being able to communicate in another language exposes us to and fosters an appreciation for the traditions, religions, arts, and history of the people associated with that language. Greater understanding, in turn, promotes greater tolerance, empathy, and acceptance of others—with studies showing that children who have studied another language are more open toward and express more positive attitudes toward the culture associated with that language.
5. See the World
Traveling as a speaker of the local language can revolutionize a trip abroad. While monolingual travelers are capable of visiting the same places, travelers who know more than one language are more easily able to navigate outside the tourist bubble and to connect and interact with the place and its people in a way that is often inaccessible to those without the language. Learning a second language also opens additional doors to opportunities for studying or working abroad.
6. Go to the Source
In a world of more than 6,000 spoken languages, we sometimes require translation, but speaking at least one additional language empowers us to access information that would otherwise be off-limits. For example, individuals proficient in other languages are able to navigate the Internet as genuine global citizens—consuming and assessing foreign media and entertainment. This works particularly well in for example in Latin based languages.
7. Become a Polyglot
Not only does learning a second language improve communication skills and multiply vocabulary in your first language—yes, really!—but research shows that it makes picking up additional languages a much easier feat, especially among children. That’s because when you learn a new language, you develop new brain networks that are primed and ready when you embark on learning a third language.
8. Boost Your Confidence
Any language learner can attest to making his or her share of mistakes while discovering a new language—often in front of an audience. It’s a necessary part of the learning process! Learning a language means putting yourself out there and moving out of your comfort zone. The upside is the amazing sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when conversing with someone in their native language.
9. Strengthen Your Decision Making
Studies show that decisions made in your second language are more reason-driven than those made in your native language.4 Contrary to popular assumptions, when we deliberate in a second or third language, we actually distance ourselves from the emotional responses and biases deeply associated with our mother tongue. The result? Systematic and clear-headed decisions based on just the facts.
10. Gain Perspective
It's amazing how learning a second language gives you a comparison with your own first language culture. This tends to make bilingual & multilingual people better at understanding the pros & cons of different countries or cultures including your own!