Top 12 Reasons to Learn a New Language
One of the best ways to use your time is to learn a new skill. Many turn towards learning a new language because it opens their world in many ways. From new friendships to health benefits, there are so many great reasons to make language learning a commitment in your life.
1. Your Travels Will Be More Fun
Have you ever traveled to another country and wished that you understood what the locals were talking about in a restaurant? Maybe you wanted to ask someone a question about transportation but they didn’t understand your language. Language barriers can create some difficulty in your travels. Knowing a new language will open so many opportunities for you to have more fun.
Learning a new language will allow you to interact with locals and their culture, whether you’re at a hotel, restaurant, riding the bus, or at a local attraction. Your language skills will allow you to ask questions, understand deeper conversations, and talk about a variety of topics. Traveling around the city will also be a breeze because you’ll be able to read the language and ask for directions if you don’t understand something.
2. You’ll Make New Friends
One of the best parts of knowing a new language is forming connections with others who speak the same language. For example, if a group is visiting your city, and they happen to speak the second language you know, you’re able to form a connection with those travelers. Travelers don’t expect locals to know their home language. When you do, they’re so excited to have a conversation with you.
Learning a new language allows you to communicate with people that you would have never been able to know otherwise. When you’re traveling and able to speak a second language, you’ll be able to have a free-flowing, meaningful conversation that can create lifelong friendships with others around the globe.
3. You’ll Become Smarter
Your brain is a muscle. The more you use your brain, the better it will work. When learning a new language, you’re consistently using and exercising a part of your brain by memorizing words and learning new sentence structures. This process helps your brain to become better at memorization and has been proven to make you smarter!
Studies from the Great Online explain that those who speak multiple languages are better at remembering lists and sequences. Obtaining knowledge of a new language is also associated with better problem-solving skills, reasoning skills, and improving creativity. Researchers have found that as you consistently learn a new language, scores on exams will improve.
4. Provides New Career Opportunities
Knowing a second language will increase the number of job opportunities available to you. Jobs need workers who can speak other languages. The amount of demand in the United States for bilingual workers has doubled within the last decade and is unlikely to stop growing anytime soon.
Knowing two languages will attract hiring managers to your resume because it shows that you are dedicated to learning a new skill and improving yourself. Often companies want these types of employees on their teams because of their versatile skills.
5. Ability to Travel Abroad for Work
Have you ever dreamed of living in a different country, but didn’t have the money to fund it?
Learning a new language can improve your chance of being able to live in a new country while working at your dream job.
If you work for a bigger company with overseas operations, knowing a second language can help you score job opportunities within your current organization. Companies need employees who know multiple languages to work in their offices overseas and still be able to report back in their native language.
If your company does not have any of these opportunities, you may still be able to find a role in another country. Many countries need bilingual employees, especially if these companies do business in your home country. Traveling abroad for work allows you to learn a new culture while being paid to do so.
6. Ability to Get a Pay Raise
Knowing a second language is a skill that you should be properly paid for. When it comes time for your yearly evaluation or when you’ve been offered a new job, you can ask for a pay raise because of your enhanced skillset. Employers are willing to pay more for these types of skills.
7. Cut out the Middle Man
Have you ever tried to negotiate a business deal while using a third party to facilitate the translation? It seems impersonal, does not create a personal relationship, and you are stuck relying on the translator’s skills.
Knowing a second language can be a game-changer for future business deals. Speaking their language allows you to create a business relationship with your overseas clients and negotiate with vendors in their primary language without having to use a translator to facilitate the deal. You’ll be able to have more control over what is said and who you do business with.
8. Create Stronger Business Relationships
While English is the language spoken at international airports and conferences, it is not the only important language to know. Mandarin Chinese has over 918 million speakers, with Spanish following at 460 million speakers. English, on the other hand, only has a total of 379 million speakers. International clients will be attracted to working with your business if you’re able to create a strong business relationship with them. This includes knowing their native language. When you understand their language, you can connect more with your clients by telling jokes, participating in everyday conversation, and responding to e-mails. You’ll understand the differences in slang words and the appropriate etiquette when speaking with business contacts.
9. Learning a Third Language is Easier
Learning a new language requires you to practice the way you speak, how you structure your sentences and your pronunciation of unfamiliar sounds. Once you’ve learned a new set of language rules, you’ll start to notice similarities as you venture into learning a third language. For example, if you’re learning Spanish, it will be easier for you to learn French or Italian because much of the vocabulary and grammar are similar.
10. Truly Appreciate a New Culture
When you understand another language, you can begin to explore culture on a deeper level. For example, you’ll be able to read popular books and movies in the native language it was created for. Many times, translations in the subtitles or through text, are pretty accurate. However, slang or specific verbiage may not be translated right, which can lead to various interpretations. Understanding the native language of a book or movie allows you to appreciate its original form without losing anything in translation.
Besides movies and books, other parts of culture such as music, food, or even politics can be learned from a new perspective. This creates an opportunity to ask questions and interact with the world around you.
11. Keep Your Mind Healthier
While we’ve mentioned how learning a second language can be great to improve your memory and make you smarter, it can also keep your mind healthier for a longer time. Consistently learning and practicing new languages has been associated with delaying the onset of Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
12. Grow as a Person
Learning a new language is more than just understanding new phrases or having skills to show others in the workplace. Knowing a second language will help you to have a better understanding of the world around you and creates personal growth.
When you can truly understand another’s culture, background, and traditions, it opens your mind to a new way of thinking, learning, and participating in the world around you. This can influence your future career and journey through life with more understanding and empathy for those around you.