The world has become hyper-connected, fast-paced, and things aren’t looking to get different anytime soon. So, how do you remain relevant and keep your head above the water? You need to become hyper-awesome to survive.
As the world becomes more digitalized in terms of technological advancements and connectivity, knowing a different language is necessary. And there are benefits to learning a foreign language.
Not only does it come in handy when interacting with other cultures, but it is also a great advantage when studying in general and for career prospects outside your home country.
Why Is It Important To Learn Another Language?
One of the benefits of learning a foreign language is that it widens your competitive edge in career choices. It enhances your listening skills and memory. A second language improves your capacity to think differently. What’s with a new choice of words, tone, and exotic accent?
There is evidence that billinguals have better memory, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. They also multi-task better and are good listeners.
- Career Opportunities
Speaking a second language opens a ton of career opportunities. Today, the job market place is flooded with freelancers who work independently in remote locations throughout the Internet. They work in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, and even Croatian.
Multinationals understand best the advantages of learning a foreign language and are doing business in dozens of countries around the world. They know they’re unable to perform effectively without hiring multiple speakers and globally-minded people who can speak at least one foreign language.
Even in your own country, when it comes to hiring, chances are, if you speak a second language, it sets you apart from other applicants.
- It Establishes Cross-Cultural Friendships
What are the benefits of learning a foreign language? You have probably experienced a pang of regret that day you met a professional colleague from a different culture and realized how the experience could have been enriched if you knew that person/s language.
Speaking a second language establishes friendships that connect you to other communities and their way of life. That exposes you and ignites your passion for learning more about that strange cultures.
- You Think More Deeply
Learning a second language forces your brain to think deeper than usual.
You’re forced to confront strict grammar rules, the meaning of words, suffixes, and many other different challenges. This continued onslaught forces your brain to think deeper than usual as you try to solve problems in a new way and from the new angles.
- It Improves Your Memory
If your memory is slipping faster than you wish, then learning a second language can be a big step in the right direction. It’ll force you to work on your memory frequently as you absorb new information to digest and store.
Memory remains active when you work it out. One sad reality about the Internet is that it has significantly weakened our abilities – we no longer strain to search for information the traditional way through books and the library.
We search for information from Google with zero need to remember anything.
There is evidence that decisions made in your acquired language are more well-thought-out than decisions made in your mother tongue. This study is strengthened by the assumption that when we speak in a different language, we distance ourselves from the fears and prejudices associated with our native language.
In a contested scenario, chances are we’re more likely to favor our native point of view as opposed to a foreign viewpoint.
But in a second language, what comes out is clear-headed and systematic decisions based on just facts.
- Talk To The World
If you’re looking to travel to France and can only speak English, then you’d expect limitations and cultural barriers when you interact with the French.
But if you visit with a companion who speaks French fluently, you can only marvel at his ability to see the world differently. Chances are, your companion’s likely to enjoy the trip to France more than you will.
You can probably picture him studying the menu, which is inevitably printed in French, with a wide smug on his face.
Traveling as he speaks French, he has more choices when it comes to food, fashion, and local museums. Whereas you, the monolingual traveler, can only marvel as he effortlessly navigates outside the tourist bubble and interacts and connects with the French in a manner you cannot comprehend. So learning, say, French opens new doors for you when you visit France.
- It Slows Brain Aging
Research shows that the brain of adults who learn a second language ages slowly.
The research by Thomas Bak of Edinburgh University, UK, studied some 1100 monolingual English speakers when they were young.
He tracked them down later when they were in their 70s and found that almost one third, or 260 of them, had learned to speak a second language.
He gave them cognitive tests and compared these to the test scores at age 11. Those who had acquired a second test scored better in the cognitive tests, indicating that the additional language itself was beneficial.
They scored highest in reading and general intelligence, and this was further evidence that the benefits are drawn to the additional language.
- Bilinguals Multi-Task Better Faster Monolinguals
Students who grew up learning to speak two languages, multi-task faster than those who learned only one language. That has been manifested by the ability to switch jobs faster, understand colleagues, and communicate with peers.
That has been attributed to how the brain develops. The human brain processes the dynamics of a different language differently. That means remembering multiple words, grasping the patterns of speech, different structures, and grammar, as well as pronunciation techniques specific to the language.
Multilingual speakers, therefore, switch between different systems of speech, grammar, structure, and writing.
Put differently, knowing two languages boosts a person’s ability to focus what is relevant and results-oriented as opposed to irrelevant and time-wasting tasks.
Undeniable Benefits Of Knowing Multiple Languages
In today’s fast-paced career environment, learning a second language can enable you to scale different heights and is beneficial in so many levels. It’s fun, and it stops speakers from another country taking advantage of you.
It improves your understanding of the world, increases your intelligence, and opens up several career options for you. It also boosts your cognitive skills and helps you to be more welcoming to different cultures.
Frankly, it’s not possible to see any negativity in learning a second language. Speaking a second language essentially means the ability to remember many words, sentence structure, and grammar rules.
That is an exercise your brain enjoys, just like lifting weights to strengthen your muscles.
Sometimes the ability to see a bigger picture requires us to think in different languages. That helps us understand the issues better, which, in turn, leads to making the right choices.